Apr 28, 2012

Planting Our Herb Garden

One of the benefits of living in Albuquerque is that it's very sunny.  If you know me, you know I love me some rain...but when it comes to gardening, "full sun" (or even "part sun") is helpful.  Now that I'm in Albuquerque instead of Seattle, I decided I'd try to take advantage.  We have been wanting to start a little herb garden, and now that it's getting nicer and warmer (yay for shorts and outdoor lawn games!), we got to it.

We started by collecting 6 large cans.  We went to a local pizza restaurant and asked if we could have 6 of the empty cans they were just planning to recycle.  After they looked at us rather strangely, they gave them up. :)  Free pots = worth strange looks.   We washed the cans thoroughly and removed the labels.
My parents bought me a hammock for my birthday last year, and we wanted to coordinate our pots with the fabric so it would be visually pleasing when we were out back.  This is the fabric.  (PS - Thank you, parentals, for the great gift!  It's super comfy and we lay in it all the time!)
To match, we bought Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Satin spray paint, in the colour Pimento.  We had a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby, so it cost all of $3.  We used an old box (one that we had already destroyed for the Coffee Table Upscale project) so we wouldn't get paint everywhere....and so we wouldn't have to buy a tarp. 
Then I spray painted the cans with two coats.
We allowed them to thoroughly dry in between each coat.  We let them sit overnight even though it said it should be dry in 10 minutes. I didn't want to take any chances.
Home Depot was having a 50% off sale for their herbs, plus we get a 10% military discount, so we bought 6 plants.  I think we spent a total of $8 for all of them.  We got Sweet Basil, Thai Basil, Greek Oregano, Apple Mint, and two Rosemary plants. 
We bought our herbs in biodegradable pots, so we had to soak them for an hour to loosen up the base.
 While they were soaking, we drilled holes in the bottom of our cans for drainage.
 Here's a tip:  put coffee filters in the bottom of your pot, so that the water can drain through but the dirt doesn't leak out with it!  Keeps it a lot cleaner.
 We planted them in our pots, using Miracle Grow Moisture Control Potting Soil.  We were told by the specialists that the moisture control variety was by far the best to use in the hot mega sun that Albuquerque gets. Fill the pot about 1/3-1/2 full of soil.  Then break the bottom half of your biodegradable pot in little pieces into the can, breaking up the roots a little.  Place your plant into the soil and add extra soil around and on top.  Then water.  Always water your plants when you first transplant them!
Once they were planted, we hung them up on our back fence using twine around the top.  We are fortunate to have a little ledge that was perfect for resting the pot bases on to keep them all level.

Then we tied a significant knot in the back to hold them tight and securely against the fence.
And there you have it.  A beautiful, and hopefully plentiful / healthy, herb garden.  I LOVE how it turned out!