Nor West News : January 8th 2015
www.stuff.co.nz NEWS NOR-WEST NEWS, JANUARY 8, 2015 11 Vertical garden great for herbs By HANNAH MORRIS My nana was part of a herb society for years and I never really knew what her fortnightly meetings entailed. I guess at 12 years old I thought there was only so much you could know about herbs. Fast-forward 13 years and I’m putting together a herb garden of my own, drowning in a sea of information about herb varieties, potting mixes, planting environments and wishing I had developed an interest for herbs while nana was still around. Growing your own herbs has got to be a better option than splurging out $3 for a wilted bunch of coriander at the supermarket. So my quest: A vertical herb gar- den. Outside my local fruit shop I heaved a battered up pallet-box, all the way from the Philippines, into the boot of my wee car. The store owner had been only too happy to let me have one. ‘‘Take as many as you want, we have heaps,’’ he said. Pallet boxes are everywhere these days and used for just about anything. Enter it into Google and you’ll find chairs, tables, bookshelves, planter boxes and more. They’re definitely the cheap option if you’re OK with a little bit of DIY. Helen Ford from the North Shore Herb Society happily offered her thoughts on the concept. ‘‘They’re quite good for people starting out and people with limited space. As long as they get plenty of sunlight,’’ she says. She’s been the president of the society for eight years and knows her plants. She says she may have even met my nana at one stage – it’s a small world once you start getting into herbs. So after two trips to Bunnings, a wander around Kings Plant Barn and a solid few hours in the garage staple-gunning up a storm, I had the canvas for my garden. Once filled with soil with herbs in and standing upright I did admittedly wonder if they would just fall out overnight. But a month later the roots have held strong and my parsley, chives, rosemary and rocket has taken off. From carrying fruit to growing and displaying herbs – the pallet box lives on, and my stash of herbs is now home grown. Nana would be proud. Plants in: Once filled with soil, (I used three 40 litre bags of potting mix), lie the pallet flat and cut crosses in the mulch-mat where each plant will go. Use three or four for each row depending on how much spacing they need. Topping up: Once vertical the soil will drop down. Fill the top layer with soil and plant an extra row. Success: The finished product includes basil, rosemary, thyme, chives and rocket sprouting three weeks on from being planted.
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