The Thanksgiving and Christmas season are upon us and we all want to serve our dining guests the finest foods we possibly can. One way to assure great quality is to grow our own seasoning herbs ourselves to assure we are picking them at their peak of quality. I’m talking about growing the herbs in containers that we can move indoors when the temperature cools to keep them alive and vibrant-tasting for our holiday foods.
Growing Herbs in Pots
I like to use clay pots, but any kind of container that holds enough soil and drains well will work just fine. Proper watering and good drainage are two important factors when growing in pots. Proper light is important when the plants are growing and I dare say most any herb has matured sufficiently by November that the only light you’ll need is a bright window – you just want to keep the plant alive long enough to harvest your herbs. Don’t worry with trying to fertilize the plants this late in the season as the growing is all done; I only fertilize through late August or early September.
Keeping the plants alive has a few problems involved. Annual plants have a definite life cycle and die back after they finish growing and flowering. It’s just nature’s way. If you manage to trick the plant, you just might be able to make it last through the holiday season. Like I mentioned before, proper watering – and keeping the room’s heated air from completely drying out the plant – are essential to keeping the plant alive and fresh. Of course, if the herb starts to die you can always pull it out of the soil by its roots and hang it upside down to dry completely, or let it continue to die and dry right there in its container and use the dry leaves in your food preparation anyway. It’s a win either way. Hey, you tried, right? It will still be better than store-bought.