Growing an herb garden has been a project I’ve wanted to take on for a very long time! Having fresh herbs available for cooking or drying has become something I’ve thought about even more since starting Keto. I’ve had to spend a lot more time learning to season meat and vegetables as well as bake from scratch. I’ve found that fresh herbs are decidedly better than older dried ones but they can be expensive to buy. The idea for this hanging herb garden came from numerous inspiration photos on Pinterest. Not only does this design fulfill my desire for fresh herbs but it also takes up very little space!
Aside from making a pretty living piece of window decor I also found this idea to be a great opportunity to learn something new! A couple of things actually! Not only do I get to learn about caring for beneficial herbals but I can also learn to harvest and dry them as well as practice cooking with them. Combine that with the truly beautiful way this hanging herb garden pulls my dining room together and there just doesn’t seem to be a downside!
Learn Something New with Kristin
Feature 11 – Hanging Herb Garden
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Why Grow a Herb Garden?
I’ve had vegetable gardens in the past and while I enjoyed them I never really got to the point of loving them. I loved the vegetables they produced (when they did) but often times it seemed like a put a lot more work and time into them then I managed to get back. Between our scorching hot sun, the bugs and poor soil I was fighting a constant battle. That said I probably will attempt them again in the future (perhaps in raised beds?) But for now, an indoor herb garden seemed like a great alternative!
Benefits of a Herb Garden
- Fresh herbs – No more using old dried out and flavorless herbs on your food! While freshly dried herbs can be quite tasty they still don’t compare to fresh cuttings and fresh cuttings from your own garden will always beat cuttings that have been shipped and stocked at your local grocery.
- Save Money – While there is a bit of a start-up cost when it comes to starting your own herb garden over time having a renewable source of many common household herbs will save you money. Fresh herbs at the grocery store can be expensive and even some of the dried ones can be pricey if you use them frequently.
- Organic Herbs – Since you are growing your herbs yourself. Selecting the plants, soil and care you won’t have to worry about harmful pesticides or other chemical additives that you definitely don’t want on your food!
- Educational – Especially if you have kids! Learning about caring for a plant, especially an edible plant can be a great educational tool. A lot of children these days don’t have the chance to see where their food comes from but an herb garden can help bridge that gap, at least a little bit!
- Household Decor & Relaxation – There is no doubt that living plants bring something special to a home. Caring for plants can be relaxing and will quickly become a pleasant part of your daily activities. In addition to this, they often bring a burst of color and life to a room’s decor.
Where can you Grow a Herb Garden?
It turns out that most herbs are pretty hardy. This is a fact I was grateful to learn since I have a notoriously bad green thumb! Prior to this experiment the only plants I’ve been successful in keeping alive have been my succulents. Most herbs are pretty happy to live in small planters inside or small plots outdoors. Like more edible plants they do require a good bit of sunlight so choosing a room or garden location which receives a lot of natural light is ideal.
What Herbs Should You Plant?
Ideally, you should pick the herbs that you use most often in your cooking. As with all plants, it’s also important to take into account the room they will need. If you only have room for small pots then pick herbs that are fine with confinement. Your local nursery should be able to help you out.
Once you have picked out a room and the plants you want to use it’s time to start building! Here’s my quick, simple and beautiful hanging herb garden tutorial!
The DIY Window Herb Garden
- Wood – The helpful people at Home Depot helped me pick out the best type of wood for this project. The exact type you will need will depend a lot on your window size and the size of the pots you want it to support. I suggest taking your window measurements with you and explaining the project to someone in the department, they will steer you towards the best choice! They will even cut it for you if you ask! How many planks you need will depend on how many shelves you want your hanging garden to have. I chose three.
- Rope – your rope should be at least 1/4 inch thick if you want it to be strong enough to support the weight of your plants. I used 3/8″ rope for this project because I liked the look of it more and thought the thicker version would look nicer on the finished project. The 75ft selection I got turned out to be more than enough!
- Wood Stain – Select a color that matches your room decor or if you like the look of natural wood just go with a clear coat to help protect it from spilled water.
- Hooks – You’ll need something to hang your project up with! I suggest looking for some pretty heavy duty ones, long enough to give your project good support once you add the weight of plants and pots to your shelves.
- Pots – Make sure they fit well on your boards. You don’t want them to overhang and become a falling hazard.
- Plants – Pick what you like!
- Soil – An indoor potting mix works best!
- Drill Bit – Slightly larger than the diameter of your rope.
- Saw – Only if you didn’t get the people at the hardware store to measure and cut your wood for you.
- Sand Paper or Block
Step 1 – Preparing your wood
Since I am terrible at such things I had my husband help me with this part. He drilled four holes in each board, two at each end so that the rope can pass through. We found it best to drill the holes about an inch from the outside edges of the boards to keep the boards from cracking.
Once the holes were drilled I took a sanding block and smoothed out any rough edges. I then applied the stain to my wood. Continue adding coats of stain until you reach the desired depth of color and make sure to let your boards dry completely before continuing.
Step 2 – Hang your Hooks & Measure your Rope
My husband helped with this step too! Since I didn’t want my shelves crashing down in the middle of the night I had him make sure that they were well anchored and sturdy. He also helped make sure they were lined up properly. Once your hooks have been hung it’s time to measure your rope.
You will need to cut two lengths of rope. The two sections must be long enough so that if the middle is looped over your hooks both ends dangle to the floor. To be extra safe (because I hate it when I run out of material) I added a few extra feet to each measurement. Better to have too much rope and trim it later then not enough!
Step 3 – Start to Create your Shelves
You may need help with this part of the project. I recruited my oldest daughter! With the rope still looped over the hooks feed the ends of the rope through the boards. One section of rope through each hole. Slide the boards up the length of rope until it’s at the height you desire. Have your helper hold up the board while you tie a loose knot in each rope underneath.
Once your board is steady use the leveler and adjust your knots until the boards hang evenly and straight. This might take a bit of patience but it will be worth it in the end! Repeat this step for each board you intend to add to your shelf.
Step 4 – Trim & Decorate
Once your shelves are hung to your satisfaction then you can add a bit of decoration. I tied the end of my rope on each side and added a decorative knot to my shelves. By trimming and then unraveling a bit of the remaining rope I made a small tassel which satisfied my decorative spirit. How you choose to finish and decorate your shelves is entirely up to you!
I also spent a bit of time decorating the pots I picked for my herbs. A small bit of gold and white paint added some delightful details to my hanging herb garden. Of course, if you didn’t feel like painting, you could also search out some really cute pre-made pots and planters instead.