Gardening has always brought me a lot of joy. I love getting my hands dirty, watching what grows, and what bulbs the rabbits and squirrels haven’t stolen over the winter months.
Every year I pick a different garden project. Last year we terraced our side steps so I could plant my blueberry bushes in a safe space away from where the boys play soccer. This year, I wanted to focus on fixing up our screened-in porch.
I decided to create a hanging herb garden that I could attach on a trellis and then lean it on my porch in the summer months. In the winter, I would bring the trellis inside and have it sit in my living room, providing me with fresh herbs year-round. It would also add a little burst of green color indoors during the dreary months of winter.
That is if the dog the dog didn’t eat the plants after the first day.
Why a hanging herb garden?
Herbs are one of the easiest ways to bring fresh flavors into your kitchen. They also add spice and flavor to many dishes that are found throughout the globe. I can make some of my favorite meals, transporting me back to a villa in Tuscany, a little cottage in the South of France, or a café in Mexico.
Herbs are also incredibly easy to grow. This project was one that my kids could help me with. It was also portable. I wouldn’t have to worry about my plants dying off in the winter months.
I had tried overwintering a few plants this past year with great success. I was ready to step up my game to see if I could grow some indoor vegetables and maintain an herb garden year-round.
Picking the best materials
My herbs are always planted in organic soil. I want my plants to be healthy and free of chemicals so my kids can eat them without fear of pesticides and other random junk.
As I already mentioned, our little pup also likes to nibble on all of my plants, so I need to protect her tiny, 12-pound digestive track as well.
Harvest Organics Potting Soil (found at Lowe’s) would work perfectly for this project. I love this brand because Harvest is the largest processor of yard and food waste in North America, which means less trash is going into landfills.
Their potting soil incorporates aged pine bark (microorganisms love it), Perlite (keeps the soil nice and airy), and peat moss (helps with water retention). By using a composted material to create new plants and food, I’m helping to promote what they like to call #theHarvestEffect, “the food you throw away today can become the dirt that you grow produce in tomorrow.”
Know Your Herbs
As I strolled the aisles at Lowe’s looking for my herbs, I naturally gravitated towards the basic Italian favorites—basil, rosemary, parsley and oregano.
Two varieties of thyme, sage and dill, along with a hot and spicy oregano were also thrown into the mix. I also grabbed sweet mint and chocolate mint, because you just can’t have too many options during summer mojito season.
Lavender rounded out the batch, because my Lavender Dog cocktail recipe called for a lavender salt rim, and who was I to argue?
Now, all of these herbs are fairly easy to grow, but you need to keep an eye on them. Mint will go crazy if you put it in the ground, which is why it is perfect for container gardening. While my hanging garden would involve smaller pots, I knew some of my plants would eventually have to move into larger pots the next year.
That’s the beauty of gardening. You can keep your plants small or you can let them flourish and expand into a larger shell… just like that hermit crab you bought your kids at the beach.
Picking the right containers
Figuring out what kind of containers to use for this hanging garden was tough. At first I thought I would hang jars from the ceiling of our porch. That idea got nixed right away because the plants wouldn’t receive enough sunlight.
After hitting up a craft shop, I settled on a mix of mason jars and terra cotta pots.
The pots had drainage holes in them already; the mason jars did not. I simply added in a few rocks to give the water a place to drain into. Fingers crossed the soil eventually soaks up that water from the bottom up, creating a continuous feeding system like it should.
Assembling your hanging herb garden
Putting together the hanging herb garden was fairly simple.
Each pot got a few rocks on the bottom, larger for the mason jars and smaller for the terra cotta pots so the water could still drain without blocking the holes. I filled each pot about a third of the way with Harvest Organic Potting Soil.
For the herb plants, I took them out of their originally containers, broke up the roots and shook off the excess soil, before popping each into their new jar or pot. I then filled the rest of the jar with potting soil, leaving about a quarter of an inch at the top free for the water to sit so soil would not spill out.
The pots came with twine already wrapped around them. I used waxed twine that I had left over from a kokedama plant project (Japanese moss balls) to wrap the mason jars and create three lines coming off the lip that I could then tie around a hook.
Once all of my jars and pots had hooks, I could space them out, alternating between glass mason jars and terra cotta pots to create a textured look between the openings in the trellis I had picked up.
I threw a few tomato plants under it to hide the trellis stakes that would normally go into the ground. I could have also used larger pots to put the tomatoes in and the put the trellis in the pot if I’d had the space.
Cooking with your organic global herb garden
Now that everything was assembled, I watered my plants. In a few weeks I’ll have plenty of herbs to start cooking with. If you are creating your own organic hanging herb garden, here are a few recipe ideas to get you started.
My biggest dilemma now that I have my hanging herb garden set up is trying to figure out how to set Alexa (AKA my Amazon Echo Dot) to remind my husband to water the plants whenever I travel. The man can never seem to remember that we have plants!
At least he remembers to feed the kids and the dog.
Need the Cliff Notes Version? Here you go!
Organic Hanging Herb Garden
- Trellis with at least nine openings
- 5 Mason Jars
- 4 small terra cotta pots
- 2 larger terra cotta hanging pots
- 11 small herbs (or larger plants that you can split)
- Garden gravel
- Small garden rocks
- Wax twine
- Harvest Organics Potting Soil
- Garden Gloves
- On a flat surface, line up all of your pots and mason jars.
- Fill your pots with garden gravel and your mason jars with the larger stops about a fifth of the way up.
- Add a quarter cup of Harvest Organic Potting Soil to the jar or pot.
- Take your herbs out of their original container, breaking up the roots and shaking off the loose soil.
- Add one herb to each jar, carefully holding the herb by the base of the plant so that you can add enough soil to cover the roots. Leave about a pinky’s worth of space at the top for overflow water.
- If your pots and jars do not have twine already on them, use wax twine. Thick thread or rough garden twine to wrap around the lip of the jar/pot will work too. Carefully bring out three lines of thread to tie to a hook at the top so you can hang your jar.
- Hang all of your jars on to your desired trellis, fence or wall. Alternate jars and pots for a textured look.
- Don’t forget to water your plants!
This post is part of a paid partnership with Harvest Organics. As always, my opinions are my own. When they aren’t you will be the first to know.