There's no better way to take a dish from bland to delicious than fresh-grown herbs. Growing herbs is incredibly easy and the summer is the perfect time to do it. Unfortunately, not everyone has a great deal of outdoor space to devote to growing herbs - that's where a container garden comes in. Keep reading to learn about the best herbs for container gardens.

What are the Benefits of Container Gardens?

A container garden is exactly what it sounds like - a garden grown in containers instead of in the ground. There are a number of different befits of container gardens over traditional gardens, including the following:
  • You can build a container garden with very limited space - it is great for apartment and urban dwellers.
  • It's a great option for novice gardeners because you don't have to worry with as many challenges in terms of pests and weeds.
  • You can work on your garden any time of year - simply move your containers indoors when the growing season is over to keep it going.
  • It takes a lot less water to maintain a container garden than to water an in-ground garden.
  • You can switch things up as often as you like, changing it for whatever is in-season or incorporating perennial flowers.
Because container gardening has so many benefits, it's definitely something to try if you've ever thought about starting a garden. Small vegetables and perennial flowers do well in container gardens but they are particularly good for herbs.

The Top 5 Herbs for Container Gardens

Most herbs can be grown in a container garden but there are certain ones which tend to fare better than others. You want to choose the herbs you are going to use the most while still considering the practical aspects of growing them. Here are our top five herbs for container gardens:
  1. Basil - This herb is aromatic and flavorful, plus you can use it in a wide variety of recipes from soups and salads to pasta dishes and more. Basil does best in full sun with moist, fertile soil and it can be harvested about 6 weeks after sowing. For companion planting, basil does well with thyme and parsley.
  2. Cilantro - This herb has a fresh flavor that works well in homemade salsa, soups, and salads. Cilantro prefers well-drained soil and full sun, though it can tolerate some shade. This herb has a long taproot and requires at least 12 inches of soil and you must harvest the leaves before the herb goes to seed.
  3. Lemon Balm - Though you may not think of this as a popular herb, it grows quickly, self-sows, and spreads easily. This herb works well in many homemade cleaning products and naturally repels certain pests. It prefers partial shade and moist, rich, and well-drained soil.
  4. Mint - This herb actually does better in containers than in the ground because it tends to spread quickly and can easily become invasive. Mint grows in many soil types but prefers rich soil. It is a perennial herb but the hardiness varies, so check by the type you choose.
  5. Oregano - A staple herb in Mediterranean cuisine, oregano is a shrubby perennial herb that prefers full sun and well-drained soil. The more sun this herb gets, the more pungent the flavor. Oregano does not tend to tolerate wet soil.
Whether you have a lot of space to work with or a little, container gardening is a great idea. Grow some of your favorite herbs, including the herbs on this list, to use in recipes all summer long.

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