Top tips to grow plants and herbs on your patio

Turn your homemade meals up a notch with a sprinkling of fresh herbs! Store-bought herbs tend to spoil quite quickly, so why not invest a little time and money into growing your own herbs at home? Read about some of our herb growing tips and ways to use them at home.

Depending on your preference, there are many different ways to house potted herbs. You can use a standing or vertical planter, or a wooden box.

Placement of your potted herbs is important. Herbs tend to like full sun or partial shade; if your home faces North or North-west, they’ll get some good sun. It’ll be evident if your herbs are not getting enough sun as they will start to grow and ‘pull’ in the direction of the light. Before purchasing potted herbs, do some research on the care that different types of herbs require.

Herbs don’t need to be fed with plant fertiliser all the time, in fact, you can give them a fertiliser boost once a year and they’ll be fine. Consider adding nutrients to the soil by scattering compostable scraps or organic matter in the pots – for example, crushed eggshells are good for adding nitrogen to the soil.

Potted herbs are different to herbs which grow in a garden bed and therefore are more sensitive to the soil conditions. Herbs should be planted in pots which allow excess water to drain; pots with holes in the bottom are best and also elevating your pots (like in a planter) will allow them to drain freely.

Herbs need to be trimmed or pruned, to encourage growth. It is best to prune your herbs on a sunny day before noon. Parsley and coriander must be pruned from the base (about an inch above the soil) with a pair of long nose scissors, or a sharp knife. Mint needs to be pinched with clean fingers – pinch the top 2 inches off any new shoots. It’s best to harvest herbs in the early morning or late afternoon and also before flowering season as this ensures the best flavour. It is also recommended that blooms be cut off the plant in order to encourage growth and strength, as well as to stop seeding.

Having access to fresh herbs is a fantastic way to save money (as store-bought herbs can be costly and have a limited shelf life) and to add a punch of flavour to your meals. Herbs can grow well in pots if they are properly cared for. Potted herbs do not require a lot space and are therefore suitable to grow on your patio at Pebble Beach.

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