We’ve finally installed our public herb planters at the front of London Road Station, supported by a small grant from Harvest … took a bit of doing to sort out the flat packs.
Once the plants get established, the herbs are available for you – anyone – to pick and use. The idea has been mentioned by several visitors to the garden, and it’s our first real step in the spirit of Incredible Edible Todmorden: growing things that passers-by can sample freely.
The two planters accommodate slightly different planting conditions. The left side has the herbs that prefer richer and moist soil: flat leaf and curly parsely and chives. We’ve also got French tarragon and hope to add basil and coriander that we’re growing from seed. We might also add some mint, restricted in a pot. These herbs like rich soil, so we’ll probably need to feed them throughout the growing season. Quite a few of them will tolerate a bit of shade.
On the right side are the Mediterranean herbs that like poorer, grittier soil and full sun. We’ve added horticultural sand and grit to try to recreate their preferred conditions. There’s thyme, sage, rosemary and oregano. Just noticed on one of our photos, though, that the tree in front casts shadow – something to check later, when the tree’s in leaf.
Herbs can grow fast and furious, and, as I’ve just discovered from my own herb pots, can soon become root bound in containers. But if they get used regularly, they should be kept in check. We’ll be checking regularly to see how they are growing and will probably replace/divide plants annually.
Herbs are easy to propagate: we’ve got thyme, sage, basil, dill, fennel and parsley seeds coming up already, oregano and thyme are easy to divide and rosemary can be propagated from cuttings.
We’ve already had several people looking and commenting on the planters. Give the plants a month or so to settle in, and then the herbs should be ready for cutting: inspiration at the end of the working day for cooking your evening meal.