Herb Garden on the Balcony

Balconies are the perfect place for mini herb gardens with plenty of light and sunshine to aid even the laziest gardener.

Brendan has some tips on ways to keep your herbs looking fresh and ready to be added to any meal.

  • Buy your herbs from a garden centre, not a supermarket, as in the supermarket they’ve probably been sitting under fluorescent lights for some time and aren't as well looked after
  • Buy the same size bag of potting mix as the pot you’re going to use – left over bags of soil just get in the way
  • You can plant your herbs in any sort of container – a bucket, window box, or trough. Be creative, but whatever you choose it must have holes in it for drainage
  • It’s generally better to plant one herb per pot. If you do mix your herbs in a single pot, just don’t put rosemary and mint in together – they tend to take over!
  • Small buckets are perfect for herbs as you can carry them straight into the kitchen for cooking
  • Picking the leaves of your herbs encourages further growth and results in well-established plants
  • Herbs like lots of water, at least once a week and more in hot weather
  • Keep the little photo information card with the plant so you remember which is which. It is very easy to confuse some herbs, such as continental parsley and coriander.
  • Put some common mint (1 leaf per cube) in your ice tray to add a bit of zing to your iced water.
  • Basil supposedly repels mozzies, and coriander is apparently delicious in gin and tonics – so we’re told!

Some suggestions for your herb garden:

Garlic Chives
Considered a beneficial companion plant to roses and fruit trees. Remove flowers in spring to prolong life of plant. Thrives in sunny positions in fertile, well drained soil. Feed regularly with an organic fertiliser during warm weather.

Likes warm and sunny position, well drained soil. Can be useful in perfumes, gin and sometimes cocoa.

Opal Basil
An annual, so will need replanting each season. Likes a well drained, warm position.

Easy to grow in a well drained, fertile soil. Keep moist, to keep the leaves growing rapidly and tender. The leaves should be picked as regularly as possible to prevent them becoming bitter and tough.

Common Mint
Plant in separate bed or large tub as it can be invasive. It prefers a sunny position in fertile, moist well drained soil. Tip prune regularly to promote fresh growth.

Vietnamese Mint
This mint is hardy and easily maintained. Likes a sunny position with rich, moist soil. Feed with complete fertiliser during Spring and Autumn.

Likes sunny well drained position and grows into a large bush so it’s best planted on its own. Rosemary tea can be added to shampoos, hair and skin rinses to promote new growth (of hair).

Equipment and Suppliers

Herbs - $3.25 each
Garden Soil 30lt bag - $5.81
Galvanised Bucket - $16.98

Gardens R Us
Gardiners Rd, Kingsford
Tel : 9663 0701

Patio Landscape Designs
Level 1
66-72 Reservoir St
Surry Hills, Sydney
Tel : 9280 3550

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1 comment
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Posted by Julie2277Report
There is an awesome balcony planter which is perfect for growing herbs called a Composta. And the pot feeds off kitchen scraps! They are on Facebook under "Composta Australia". Hope this helps!