Vertical Herb Garden Update (The Deck Diaries, Part 2)
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You guys, you know it’s time to stop blogging at midnight when you spell diaries as ‘dairies’, right? And it took me an entire 24 hours to realize I’d done it on my last post about staining the deck. Someone needs to revoke my blogging license. 😉 Anywho, a few years ago I did a little post about how to create a vertical herb garden on the deck, right outside our kitchen doors. Each summer we’ve continued to plant our vertical container garden and use the herbs in our cooking all summer long! Plus it provides beauty and interest to our deck, so who can argue with such a multi-tasking DIY idea?! I wanted to give an update for ‘seasoned’ readers of this site and a tutorial for new readers in case you want to create a vertical herb garden too!
STEP ONE: HANG THE TRELLIS. Four years ago, we picked up these trellises from Lowes. They drilled right into the wall, so easy! After all those years, the trellises were holding strong but looking beat. Teak oil to the rescue! This little darling of a can restores teak to it’s former glory. Now the trellises were rough to begin with so the result wasn’t as great as you’d get with a piece of furniture, but it was a definite improvement. I simply wiped off the dirt, then wiped on the teak oil. This also helps protect the trellises for years to come. The hardest part of this process was opening the can. No lie. We finally had to pry off the child proof cap because we could not get it open! My sidekick and I are channeling our inner Zoolander– I hate selfies and seriously can’t post them with a straight face. Neither can my son, he’s learning early!
STEP TWO: PLANT AND HANG THE POTS The pots and hooks are from IKEA in the kitchen organization section (next to the kitchen design section at my local IKEA, NOT in the Marketplace downstairs). This year I mixed it up with the galvinized metal FINTORP pots (which are less expensive) and some of the newer white enamel-like ones (more expensive, but SO pretty and I think they’re better for the herbs because they’re less hot). I also loved the ‘condiment caddy’, and got two to hold the petunias. Note that the white pots DO NOT have drainage holes, for better for worse.
When you get the hooks, be sure to get the larger GRUNDTAL S-hooks so they fit over the wood of the trellis.
As for the herbs, I’ve found it’s best to have a mixture of flowers and herbs to make it look stunning all summer long. For flowers, mini wave petunias add tons of color with very little upkeep.
STEP THREE: TAKE CARE OF THEM! The herbs do require more care, here’s some tips I’ve learned over the years for an ultimate vertical herb garden:
Vertical Garden Tip #1: Go for herbs that require less water or care, such as thyme, rosemary, and mint. Leafy herbs like basil, dill and oregano are thirsty and more fragile (though I love basil so I put up with it anyways).
Vertical Garden Tip #2: Use a soil that contains moisture control and is specially formulated for edible plants. That way if you need to skip a day watering you’ll be okay.
Vertical Garden Tip #3: Water every single day, unless you live in the Pacific Northwest and can count on daily rain. 🙂 The metal pots tend to heat the soil so it dries out quickly. Make it part of your daily routine to water them!
Vertical Garden Tip #4: ENJOY the fruits of your labor! The more you use your herbs, the more you’ll appreciate the work you’ve put into it.
Now we have fresh herbs all summer long, which is nice, because we just don’t have the time to maintain a traditional raised garden bed. Plus, it’s so pretty. I can literally turn around while eating dinner and add a sprig of basil or rosemary to my food. It feel gloriously indulgent for the little amount of time I put into it.
Here’s the entire Deck Diaries series from start to finish:
Deck Dreaming (Design Board and Plan)
Part One: Deck Staining 101
Part Two: Vertical Herb Garden
Part Three: How to Hang Outdoor Lights
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