Cultivate aromatic: What aromatic plants to put in pots

Here is the continuation of the post « Aromatic plants in pots «. In it I told you about the first steps we have followed to grow aromatics in the flowerpot of our patio : choose the plants, the substrate and the appropriate containers for each one.

The aromatics that we have chosen to grow together with the cherry tomato plants have been oregano, basil and chives, aromatic plants to use in the kitchen (in this link you can see some more).

How to grow herbs in pots step by step

We continue with the steps to cultivate aromatics. In the previous post, Growing aromatic plants in pots, you will find the first steps, the ones prior to those that we will see in today’s post.

Once the plants and containers have been chosen, we proceed with the following steps to cultivate aromatic plants: seedbeds, transplantation and cultivation care.

Step 4. Make seedbeds to grow aromatics

Although we buy the oregano a little grown, we have the seeds of the basil and chives, so first we make some seedbeds to later plant the seedlings in the final container, knowing exactly where and how many plants there are in each one. In the post « How to make a seedbed « you can see some keys to make them well and the advantages of making a seedbed prior to transplanting in the final land.

Basil seedling and seeds

To make the seedlings, we use yogurt containers (well… custard to be exact) and we have also reused the plastic seedlings where the cherry tomato seedlings came from and that we have already transplanted into their pot.

We have filled the small containers with a mixture of universal substrate and earthworm humus and we have placed, at a depth of 0.5-1 cm, three seeds in each one -since normally not all of them germinate-. Then an irrigation is carried out to moisten the seeds. So that they do not sink, it is better that, until they germinate, we water a little every day with a sprayer, which applies the water in fine drops instead of in a jet.

To grow herbs successfully, seedbeds must be kept at the right temperature and in the right place. In this case, as the minimum temperature is actually dropping below 15ºC, during the day we have them in the patio but at night, when it is colder, we bring them inside the house to facilitate germination.

Step 5. Fill the containers with gravel and substrate

First, at the base of the pots, we have placed a layer of stones to improve drainage and aeration. In this case we buy clay gravel, since it weighs very little and it will be more comfortable to move the containers.

On top of the gravel we have added the universal substrate up to about two thirds of the container. In the last third (more superficial) we have added a mixture of the universal substrate and the earthworm humus (the fertilizer), then we will add a few handfuls of normal substrate to cover the mixture so that the humus is covered.

Step 6. Transplantation of aromatic plants

Although the seeds of our basil and chive seedbeds have not yet germinated, we are going to transplant the oregano (which is already grown) and the cherry tomato plants.

This must be done very carefully. To make things easier, you have to leave the seedbeds without watering a couple of days before transplanting.In this way, the soil around the roots will be hard and dry, and it will be easier to remove the entire root ball or block of soil with roots, without breaking them.

You have to make a small hole in the ground, enough to fit the root ball of the little plants to be transplanted. We put the root ball and bury it a little bit adding some soil on top and compacting it by squeezing it a little with the hand.

Then you have to carry out a planting irrigation, which is very important so that the plant settles well in its new container.

Step 7. Place the planter in the right place

Find a place with easy access so that it is comfortable for you to water the plants, and where there is direct sunlight for at least 3-4 hours a day. Although aromatic plants are not very demanding in terms of substrate, sun or watering, they need to be exposed to sunlight for at least a few hours a day.

The floor of our patio only gets the sun at noon, when the sun is directly above it, so to take advantage of it for a few more hours, we have placed our pots on top of a cupboard, about two meters from the ground, so that we can reach them easily stretching out our arm or climbing a small ladder. This is the result:

Oregano and cherry tomato in pots. Basil and chive seedlings

In the next post, in a few weeks, I will show you how our herb garden is going and the last step before consuming them: collect and prepare the leaves.

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