Saturday, November 8, 2014

Splashing out on herbs

It's amazing what a difference a pot can make to a plant's personality. In the case of my traditional 'Mediterranean' herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano and bay leaf, they have turned out to be very different plants to care for, compared to how they grow in ordinary garden soil. Yes, of course they need more maintenance in a pot, but I am surprised how thirsty they are. They all love a drink (well, at least in springtime they do).

Let's put this discovery another way. Since I have started watering these potted herbs a lot more often than I ever did in previous years, they are much happier. And yes, I am slow on the uptake sometimes. (Just ask Pam!) 

Much happier now that it is being watered
every morning, the rosemary is lush, deep
green and very fragrant to be around.
As I water the rosemary now, I can smell its 
sharp scent wafting around in the air.

Same goes for my potted bay tree. More water
this season has produced more growth, and
much nicer looking foliage. 
The thyme is flowering its head off at the moment. It needs the
most clipping to stay bushy, plus, you guessed it, water.
I've already done a blog posting recently on this potted oregano
patch, but it needs lots of watering as well.
Though hardly classic Mediterranean herbs,
the two pots of mint (common mint in the
foreground and basil mint behind) lap up the
water like a pair of thirsty hounds. 
When I grew rosemary, oregano and thyme in the ground I never watered them. Sydney's relatively abundant rainfall took care of all their needs for many years. And so I always thought of them as almost drought-proof and definitely not thirsty. I knew that transferring them to a pot would mean I'd have to water them more often, but I have, until now, underestimated how much water they need.

And so, Aussie gardeners, if your potted Mediterranean herbs aren't looking too terrific this spring, think about giving them more water more often. It might be what they desperately need. 

I'm not sure what they want once summer comes around, but my new hunch is that it will be more water than I gave them last summer...

1 comment:

Jess said...

You are preaching to the choir here! That is certainly what I have discovered and why I have transferred mine to the ground this year!