By ALLIE MYSZKA
Last summer, I decided that I wanted to grow my own herbs. Now, I live in the middle of downtown Nashville, and I don’t have much of a “yard,” so a container garden was my only option. I had high hopes of my basil growing enough leaves to make homemade pesto or margherita pizza, and I couldn’t wait to sprinkle some of my cilantro onto some tacos.
Unfortunately, I didn’t really educate myself, and I think I planted my herbs far too late in the year for them to grow successfully. Couple that with me forgetting to water them every day, and I think I ended up with maybe three leaves of basil… oops.
Luckily for you, I’ve learned from my mistakes and I plan to try again this year. The month of April is the perfect time to plant new seeds because the weather is pretty forgiving (read: the likelihood of freeze warnings is low, and the heat isn’t intense enough to burn up fledgling plants). Whether you’re looking for some herbs to cook with, useful plants to use for home remedies, or just a little color in your backyard, here are a few plants you can try this spring. Happy gardening!
Of course, herbs are a very popular plant to grow at home, and for good reason! Fresh herbs add a flavor to food that you just can’t get with dried herbs. If you choose to plant herbs, good ones for our area of the country are basil (just make sure it gets some shade in the afternoon!), thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, chives, and even marjoram. When I tried my container garden, I bought seeds and planted them myself. When I try again this year, I plan to buy plants that are already potted and growing from a nursery or home improvement store, and just transfer them to my own containers. Why? For one, I’m impatient. For another thing, it’ll give my plants a healthy start and increase my chances of having enough basil for that pesto…
Ivy and Low-Maintenance Flowers
You may see associate ivy with growing up a wall or structure, but it can also grow well in a container—plus it’s pretty low-maintenance. Keeping ivy in a container prevents it from taking over any ground plants that may be nearby, and it adds a bit of effortless beauty to a front porch or patio. Add flowers in separate containers for more color.
If you’re really bad at remembering to water plants, aloe is a wonderful solution for you. It’s a succulent, so it really only needs watering when its soil becomes dry. With aloe, you can sometimes go weeks without watering, and the plant survives just fine! Aloe can be grown indoors or outdoors. As an added bonus, when your aloe plant is big enough, you can cut open the leaves and use the pure aloe on sunburn, just like you would with store-bought aloe gel.
So, are you ready to get something growing this spring? What will you put in your garden this year?
Allie was born and raised in Georgia, and moved to Nashville after graduating from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!). She’s a freelance writer, an old soul, and a chronic DIY-er. Connect with Allie at alliemyszka.com.