Growing Herbs in a Strawberry Planter
One of the best things about growing herbs is that you can plant a lot of them in a small space. An unusual yet practical way to grow herbs is in a strawberry pot. Strawberry pots are designed with pockets so that strawberries can be planted through the top and the runners they grow can fill the pockets. Believe it or not, herbs like to grow in strawberry pots as well—they love the excellent drainage provided to them in these planters. Because of the multiple pockets, standing water is not an issue.
Begin with a strawberry pot, which can be found at almost any garden center or hardware store. The more soil a container has, the better the container can hold moisture. Growing herbs in a larger pot will result in less work on your part, plus the bigger the pot, the more herbs you can grow!
First fill the strawberry pot with soil—we used an organic potting mix since we'll be eating these herbs. One thing to remember when caring for herb plants is to NOT overfertilize them. Fertilizers speed up the growth of plants, which can lead to a loss of essential oils that give herbs all their flavor.
When filling your strawberry pot, be sure to pack down the soil so it doesn't spill out of the pockets. As with planting most pots, you'll want to leave an inch or two at the top so you have plenty of room to water.
You can grow almost any herb you want in a strawberry planter. Stay away from invasive herbs, though. This includes varieties of mint, lemon balm, and catnip. A few herbs that we chose to grow in this pot are thyme, basil, sage, and oregano.
When planting the herbs in the pot, place taller herb varieties, like basil, in the top of the pot while tucking smaller herb varieties, like thyme, in the pockets. Feel free to divide herbs so they fit more snug in the planter's pockets: Most plants are pretty tough and can actually be pulled into multiple sections. You can also make the root balls smaller by carefully stripping them of excess soil.
As you finish planting the last pockets of your planter, see where you may need to add some soil back in. As you water, you may notice soil leaking out of the pockets so it's a good idea to replenish the soil every few weeks.
Place your finished planter on a deck or patio right outside your kitchen door for easy access when cooking. Since you'll likely be constantly cutting your herbs to use in the kitchen, you shouldn't have to worry about these plants overgrowing. Editor's Tip: If the basil begins to bloom flowers, snip them off. The flowers signal to the rest of the basil plant that it's time to stop growing. Place your herb planter in full sun, and water it when the soil starts to feel dry.
Don't limit your strawberry planter to just strawberries and herbs, either! Grow your favorite flowers in a planter's pockets as a beautiful trade-off. If you're planting multiple varieties of flowers, just be sure that they have similar care needs.