When you are living in an apartment, it is not necessary that you have to purchase all your herbs from a grocery store or supermarket. You can easily grow herbs in containers on the window sill or balcony without any problems. The solution to growing healthy and tasty herbs lies in using the best soil mix for herbs for container gardening.
Nowadays, people use soil mixtures for container gardening. These soils are especially formulated to ensure that the herbs get a constant and regular supply of nutrients. If the herbs do not get adequate nutrients, they will not be as aromatic or flavorful as you would like them to be. Make sure that the soil mixture that you use for growing herbs in containers does not contain clay. Instead, opt for a loamy soil that has adequate amounts of clay, organic matter and sand. Clay tends to get compact and this affects the root system and prevents the aeration of the soil. In case you cannot get loamy soil, then get top soil from a gardening store. If you happen to be using potting soil, ensure that there is a minimum of 1/3rd soil in it. (See Reference 1)
Then, add some peat to the soil mixture that you have purchased from the gardening supplies store. This will increase the organic matter content in the soil and also improve the moisture holding ability of the soil, and enhance the oxygen and nutrient content of the soil. Use sphagnum peat moss for herbs that you want to grow in containers. (See Reference 1) If you cannot get peat, then use vermiculite. (See Reference 1) The amount of peat or vermiculite in the soil should be 1/3rd.
The last ingredient to add in your soil mixture is sand. The soil should contain around 1/3rd amount of sand. The sand will facilitate proper drainage of the soil and prevent water logging in the container. It goes without saying that the sand should be clean. Refrain from using fine sand as it will cause compaction of the soil and prevent it from draining properly. (See Reference 1)
So, basically the best soil mix for herbs for container gardening should be made up of soil, peat and sand. However, you can further add more ingredients into the soil mix to ensure that the quality of the soil mix improves and helps the herbs to grow better. You can add half a cup of compost for every gallon of the soil mix. This will provide the much required nutrients to the herbs. Also, to make a better balanced soil mix, add one tablespoon of dolomite lime for every gallon of the soil mix. (See Reference 1)
In case you are living in hot and arid place, then make sure that you add polymer water crystals to the soil mix. (See Reference 1) Lastly, add fertilizer to the mix that releases its nutrients slowly. This fertilizer should be able to sustain the nutrient needs of the herbs for around 6 months. The amount of fertilizer that you would require for herbs will depend on the size of the container. (See Reference 1)
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