DIY Crate Herb Garden
I wanted some container herbs near the house so I can walk over and pluck easily. I came up with this crate idea. The crate was salvaged for me by a coworker from a restaurant. It was so easy, I ended up not needing to hammer or to nail! A 2×4 plank leftover from a project was simply placed in the middle of the crate as the middle piece.
My son and I painted it all teal and added Valspar Antique Glaze and it was done! Since it’s outside a poly coat would be ideal, but I figure it will last a few years. Avoiding extra chemicals is always a good thing!
The terra cotta pitcher for the basil plant was an amazing find at a flea market for just a few dollars!
The crate is very cute mixed in with our landscaping:
Garden Update 2016:
The herbs I’ve had the most success with this year are cilantro and basil (watch for bolting and pluck off flowers if they sprout). We had an unusually wet spring so I ended up with a black mold on my basil plants. I plucked off all affected leaves and they are now thriving with no signs of molding.
Oregano, chives, dill and parsley are also herbs that are easy to grow and maintain. We have potted planters on our porch with lemon balm, sweet mint (for tea), citronella, and lavender to keep mosquitos at bay.
I companion planted sage near the pole beans. Basil and rosemary is planted throughout our garden to keep pests away. This year I planted these herbs very close to my plants and it seems to be deterring better. Marigolds were also woven into the landscape at a higher rate this year and placed around the entire border.
A butterfly garden is also adjacent to attract Monarchs specifically (an endangered species) and pollinators like the honey bee. You must attract pollinators to your garden, so flowers are important. We have butterfly weed, sunflowers, bee balm, zinnias and more planted nearby in our butterfly haven.
I did have to crack out some organic insect soap and peppermint essential oil on a few plants. We have ant issues with our strawberries and I’m starting to lose hope any will ripen without being attacked.
I’ve tried charcoal powder around the border of the container, the garden soap, and adding onions directly to the planter with no luck. There is also netting around them to keep the birds and bunnies out. I should try some different essential oils next, I need to research more about using essential oils in the garden, so far I’ve only tried peppermint.
This may not be our year for strawberries…but I’m excited for the pumpkin container garden. I need to remove a few plants, every seed I planted sprouted so it’s overrun.
I’m growing them up a trellis I made out of some scrap wood, quarter round, and twine I found in our garage. My little helper. She loves to get muddy and help mommy in the garden!
Happy Organic Planting everyone! Feel free to share your tips and tricks below. I’ll be working some of my organic compost in soon- it’s finally ready after about 3 months!