This year are going to be the year my plants survive, I tell myself. I buy the already grown herbs because growing them from seed is simply way too ambitious. I plant them in cute mason jars. they appear amazing, Pinterest-worthy even. They thrive. I’m happy. I feel totally awesome that I can eat off my windowsill.
Two weeks later, all growth involves a halt. The leaves begin to yellow. Despite water and sunlight, my babies wilt and eventually die. I leave them in their pots looking pathetic for a further fortnight cuz I just can’t deal.
WHY? How does this happen three years during a row? This scenario is only too familiar to me so I’ve finally dug deep to unearth the explanations why this black thumb won’t turn green (puns intentional!).
1. Don’t plant anything in mason jars, regardless of how pretty they appear.
But they’re soooooo cute and awesome and that I love mason jars. Stop. What herbs actually need are proper drainage systems to stop the roots from rotting. albeit you add a layer of pebbles at rock bottom like that DIY blog told you to. Unless you’ve got a drilling bit for glass and are capable of creating holes at the rock bottom of your jars, don’t use them. Let it go.
2. Find the right container that’s not too big, not too small, but good.
Planting your herbs during a small pot might mean less production and more work to stay them alive. If the pot is just too big, then you’re wasting money on extra potting soil (unless you’re planting multiple herbs during a large pot). For herbs, 10 inches in diameter is right, but you’ll also check the plant tag for recommended dimensions.
3. Don’t use gravel!
Many places tell you to feature gravel or pebbles to market drainage. Your elementary teacher lied to you. Guys, adding a bottom layer of gravel can actually cause plant disease . Apparently, water doesn’t move freely from fine soil to a coarser material unless it gets completely drenched first… the other of what we would like .
Tips for correct drainage:
- Invest in quality potting soil
- Line rock bottom of your pot to stay the soil from leaking out the drainage hole (paper towel, filter , newspaper, landscaping fabric or commercial mesh-like pot fillers)
- The more drainage holes in your pot the higher
- Elevate the pot during a saucer so excess water can seep out
4. Plant sort of a (gentle and careful) pro.
If the nursery pot is plastic, never pull the plant out from the stem. Instead, pinch the soil round the stem to get rid of it. If there’s resistance, loosen the encompassing soil with a spoon or simply break the package. Luckily, many plants are available biodegradable containers that you simply can plant directly into your soil.
Be sure to interrupt up plant roots and stop any compacted root balls. Also, attempt to maintain an equivalent level of soil that was within the original nursery pot.
5. Don’t forget to water your plants!
As important because it is to possess proper drainage and stop waterlogging, you furthermore may don’t want your herbs to suffer from dehydration. Water your plants right after potting and whenever the soil feels dry. you’ll test this by sticking your finger within the soil up to your first knuckle. you would like to aim for soil that’s damp.
And that’s it! No more killing plants year after year. I can finally enjoy fresh herbs whenever i want them stupidly , will this be the last time I eat you? Hopefully by keeping these 5 key steps in mind, you’ll also breathe life back to your plant babies.
What You Need:
- Potting containers with drainage holes
- Quality potting soil
- Paper towel, newspaper, filter or any fine, porous material
- Gardening gloves
- Garden trowel (or your hands)
- Seeds or already grown herbs
- Labels (optional)
- Use a pot with proper drainage holes
- Don’t add gravel or pebbles
- Line rock bottom of your pot with fine, porous material instead
- Be gentle when planting
- Water right after potting and whenever the soil is dry (do the finger test!)