Planting herbs on the balcony, Would you like to grow your own herbs but don’t have your own garden? No problem. We will show you how you can easily and successfully plant herbs on your balcony. Here you can find out what you need, what you have to pay attention to and which herbs are suitable for growing on the balcony. We also tell you how you can use your harvest sensibly.
How to grow your own herbs without a garden
You can never have enough fresh herbs. They give a meal that special freshness and flavor. Some herbs even have a beneficial or healing effect and can be processed into teas or used for body care, for example. The best way to always have enough herbs is to grow them yourself. You don’t even need a garden for that. Many herbs don’t need a lot of space to grow. They are therefore very suitable for growing on the balcony. This is easier than you might think.
What do I need to grow my own herbs?
To grow herbs you really only need three things:
- A planter
Basically, you can use any conventional potting soil that you can get in the garden or hardware store. You may also come across special “herbal soil” . This is a soil mixture that is specially tailored to the needs of herbs. This is especially true for the composition of the nutrients that the soil contains. But don’t worry if you can’t find any special herbal soil. So does potting soil.
In addition to soil, you also need a container or several in which to plant your herbs. the balcony flower boxes . Maybe you already have some. You can fill the boxes with several plants. You can also combine different herbs with each other. for individual plants or for herbs that grow particularly large flower pots or flower tubs use . also plant herbs in a large planter You can Whether this option is an option for you will depend primarily on the size of your balcony. Special herb pots, in which you can plant many different herbs, are also very nice. Like this one here:
Where can I get the herbs from?
Last but not least, you also need the herbs themselves. Here you also have different options:
Grow your own plants from seeds
For many herbs, this variant requires patience and sometimes a bit of skill. For some herbs, however, it also makes sense to sow them directly on the spot. This applies, for example, to herbs that you can only harvest once. cress for example. A big advantage of seeds is that there is a very large selection. You can also easily order them online.
You can buy many herbs as preferred plants. This is practical because the plants are already a certain size and all you have to do is plant them. You can get herbal plants in spring in garden centers and hardware stores with garden departments. Often you only get standard goods here. After parsley and chives, the offer is quickly exhausted. You will find a larger offer in nurseries, where the plants are usually of better quality. With a little skill, you can also use the herb pots that you can find in the vegetable section of the supermarket. You have to be careful with these plants. They are raised in greenhouses and are not used to the harsh life of the wild. You have to get used to it slowly.
Grow plants from plant parts yourself
You can also grow many herbs yourself from plant parts. Ginger for example or lemongrass. If someone you know grows herbs, they may be able to give you cuttings or give away a small part of the plant for you to plant and grow.
Plant herbs on the balcony – what do I have to pay attention to?
If you want to plant herbs on your balcony, you have to consider a few points, especially in connection with the choice of planters and their placement. This also results in special features in care. When choosing and planting your planters, pay attention to which plants you plant in which container. Flower boxes, for example, are good for planting different herbs. When selecting the herbs, you should make sure that they have roughly the same requirements and grow at the same rate as possible . Here’s an example:
Thyme, rosemary and sage are typical Mediterranean herbs. They tolerate a lot of direct sun and also get along with little water. They grow rather slowly and don’t get in each other’s way that easily. If a plant does get too big, you can cut it back a bit. You can combine these three herbs well with each other.
Peppermint, on the other hand, does not lend itself well to combining with these herbs. It doesn’t tolerate drought very well. Peppermint also grows rampant. Their roots continue to spread and sprout again. Over time, the whole flower box will be rooted and the other plants will be crowded out. Cutting back does not help here because the roots remain in the ground. While you can hang thyme, rosemary and sage together in a flower box on your balcony railing in the blazing sun, you should rather plant peppermint in a single pot where it can spread.
Planters are always small compared to a bed. They naturally dry out quickly, especially in summer. So you have to water more than with plants in a bed. The same applies to the supply of nutrients. There is no natural replenishment of nutrients in a window box or flower pot. The earth is quickly depleted. It is therefore best to fertilize your herbs regularly with a special herb fertilizer.
What do I do with the harvest?
Eat up of course! Herbs taste best when freshly harvested. This applies to the herbs in herbal quark as well as to peppermint tea. So just always harvest your daily needs. However, your plants will provide you with more than you can consume. With many herbs, it is therefore worth harvesting and processing more or creating supplies. Here’s what you can do with your herbs:
This technique has been known since the dawn of mankind. It is particularly suitable for very aromatic herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, peppermint or lemon balm. You can tie the herbs into a bouquet and hang them upside down in an airy place out of direct sunlight. You can also spread them out on a cloth or newspaper. Then you should turn them every now and then. You can use dried herbs directly for seasoning or as a tea in winter. You can also process many herbs into bath salts, use them directly as a bath additive or for a foot bath.
Good for herbs that don’t dry well. These include, for example , parsley, chives or dill . These herbs lose too much flavor when dried. Harvest the herbs and simply chop them up. Then put them in a freezer box or freezer bag and freeze them.
Process and preserve
Some herbs do not freeze or dry well. Basil is one such example. Instead of freezing or drying basil, you can easily make your own pesto. This will keep in the fridge for several weeks. You can also process many herbs into herbal oil or vinegar.
Which herbs can I plant on the balcony?
Herbs are particularly suitable for growing on the balcony because most species do not naturally grow very large. With a few exceptions, you can in principle cultivate almost all types of herbs on your balcony if you know what to look for in the different plants. In the following list we will introduce you to various herbs and explain what you need to look out for with the respective plant:
You can cultivate basil in a pot or in a flower box. It doesn’t get very big, and it doesn’t overgrow either. The plant does not require full sun and only moderate watering. You can find basil plants in the produce section of almost every supermarket.
You need to harden these plants off a bit. Put out only occasionally at first. Too many plants often grow in the pots. Divide them or pick out ones and plant them one by one. Alternatively, you can grow basil yourself from seed or buy it as plants.
Chili / Peppers
Strictly speaking, chillies or hot peppers are not herbs. But they are also very good for seasoning and can also be grown on the balcony. They need lots of sun and nutrients. Depending on the variety, the plants can grow up to 1.5 meters tall. But there are also smaller varieties. It is best to plant chillies in a single bucket or large pot.
It is best to sow dill directly into a flower box. It is difficult to transplant. You can only harvest the plants once, they do not grow back after the harvest. Dill doesn’t need a lot of water and only moderate amounts of sun.
Ginger is exotic in most herb gardens. But it’s pretty easy to pull. In spring, when the sun is shining, ginger bulbs often bleed shoots. As soon as you recognize shoots, you can plant the root piece flat. Until the plant sprouts properly, you can cover it with foil. If the plant grows well, new root bulbs will form that you can harvest later.
You can grow cress in a pot. It’s best to sow them densely. Cress grows very quickly. But you can only harvest once. If you want to harvest regularly, you should therefore always overseed some cress. Cress needs little water and moderate sun.
Lavender is a typical Mediterranean plant and tolerates a lot of sun and, if necessary, drought. There are many types of lavender that grow in different sizes. The flower color also varies and can range from dark purple to pink to white. Lavender is mainly used as a scented herb. You can use the flowers for flavoring.
Fresh marjoram can hardly be compared with dried. You can grow it from seed or buy it as a plant. Marjoram stays low and bushy. It needs a medium amount of sun and water.
You can plant oregano in pots or flower boxes. You can grow it from seed or buy it as a plant. It needs a sunny to partially shaded spot and moderately moist soil. Oregano can vary in size depending on the species. You can choose a smaller species for your balcony.
Parsley can be used in many ways. Flat-leaf parsley is particularly aromatic. You can grow them from seeds. You can often find curly parsley as a preferred plant. Parsley needs moderate amounts of sun and should be kept fairly moist overall. She needs a lot of nutrients.
There are many different types of mint. Spearmint or Arabic mint are the most aromatic. It is best to buy mint as a preferred plant. Because mint spreads very quickly, you should always plant them individually in a larger planter. It needs a lot of light, but does not tolerate drought.
Sage comes from the Mediterranean region. Depending on how much space you give it, it can grow into quite a tall, bushy plant. It needs a partially shaded to full sun location with sufficient water, but also tolerates drought. Sage plants can flower beautifully. Depending on the species, white or blue-violet.
You can sow chives yourself (as densely as possible) or buy them as plants. Chives should be kept moist and placed in semi-shade. Sooner or later your chives will form spherical purple flowers. They are edible and look especially great in a salad.
If you like Asian cooking, you should grow Thai basil on your balcony. Since it is difficult to find plants, you usually have to sow them yourself. You can order seeds online. Thai basil does not need a lot of water and a partially shaded location.
Thyme is another Mediterranean plant. It tolerates a lot of sun, only needs a moderate amount of water and gets by with few nutrients. Thyme stays quite small and grows slowly. You should hold back a bit when harvesting.
Fresh but also dried lemon balm makes a wonderfully refreshing tea. Similar to peppermint, however, the plant grows vigorously. Plant them in a single pot or tub just like peppermint. Lemon balm is quite robust. It needs a lot of sun and can do with little water.
Lemon verbena has an even stronger lemon flavor than lemon balm. You can also use them for tea or flavor desserts with them. Lemon verbena grows into a bush. It’s best to plant them in a bucket. If you put them in during the winter, you can use them for many years. Lemon verbena needs moderate amounts of sun and water. Unfortunately, lemon verbena is not available everywhere. You may have to search longer. It is worth it!