Planting Herbs in a Container
To save time, you can buy ready grown herb plants from the garden centre or specialist supplier. Many herbs are only sold under their generic names rather than as named cultivars like flowers or vegetables although a few, such as thyme, have named variegated forms.
Decide on how many plants you want to grow and then choose a container that is wide and deep enough to accommodate them comfortably. Depending on the varieties, you should be able to squeeze six plants into a 30cm (12in) container.
If you've bought large pots from your supermarket, split the clumps to make more plants and space them out in the pot. Cover the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot with some broken pot shards and then add a layer of compost.
Arrange your plants in the container, making sure lower growing plants are placed around the edges. Fill in the gaps with compost and firm around plants, leaving a 2cm (1in) gap between the top of the compost and the rim of the bowl. Water well.
After planting, put the pot in a sunny spot, near the kitchen door or an outdoor kitchen area so you always have them close to hand.
Place the pot in full sun and water regularly, especially during the summer. Add a liquid feed to your watering can once a week to give plants a boost during the growing season. To ensure you have lots of new leaves, pick regularly from the tips of plants. This stimulates bushy new growth.
By autumn annual herbs, such as basil and coriander will run out of steam and can by lifted from the container and discarded. Perennial herbs such as mint, thyme oregano or chives will die back, but will re-grow in the spring. Protect the pots during a hard frost.