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Growing herbs in garden boxes or grow bags

Mmmm delicious: fresh herbs. Straight from your own back yard or balcony.
Fresh home-grown herbs
Home-grown herbs taste better than herbs from the supermarket. They just do.

Supermarket herbs are also ridiculously expensive: 3 sprigs of rosemary cost more than a euro here. Add those euros up and before you know it, you've earned back what you spent on your garden box.

Do herbs grow well in a Planty Garden?

You bet. All kinds of herbs do extremely well in the MM-Mix:
These were 4 tiny parsley plants once
They grow great next to your other vegetables.

But most herbs are perennials and occupy 1 patch year after year.
Deze salieplant is nu drie jaar oud
This sage is 3 years old already
When you get your garden box ready for a new season, you have to work around it. For me, it's pretty inconvenient.

Plus: the herbs do so well in our soil mix that they quickly turn into huge bushes. They don't care about the grid much and grow all over:
This is a mint plant after 1 year

Herbs that grow like weeds

Some herbs never stop spreading. A single mint plant will dominate your entire garden box if you don't contain it.
Munt maakt lange wortel uitlopers aan en duikt dan overal op
New mint root sprouts pop up all over in the spring
Oregano, lemon balm, lavender, and sage also grow into huge bushes. So big they overshadow the neighbors.
Vierjarige lavendelplant: de bak is niet meer te zien
4-year-old lavender plant: you can't even see the garden box anymore

Herbs in pots

So a lot of people growing with the Planty system opt for growing herbs in pots.

They are easy to move so cold-resistant herbs can get moved to a sheltered spot in winter. That way, you don't have to sacrifice a square patch in your garden box just for them.

Like other plants, herbs don't grow as well in pots as in a garden box.

That's because the roots hit the pot's walls, grow thicker and thicker, and eventually suffocate themselves. That's why you have to move them to bigger pots all the time.

The good news is, there's a better way:

Better than a regular pot: the MM-mini

The MM-mini is made of recycled plastic felt that allows air to pass through. As a result, the roots do not continue to grow longer and thicker, but instead stop growing once they reach the wall. For the plant, this is a signal to produce new roots.
Herbs grow better in MM-mini's than in regular pots.
The MM-Mini grow bag is made of breathable felt. As a result, roots don't grow longer and thicker. Instead, they stop growing as soon as they reach the side of the grow bag. Then the plant knows it's time to form new roots.

The plant develops a healthy root ball that stays healthy for the long term. It can stay in the same grow bag for many years, and grows just as well as in a garden box.

Nothing but upsides

With herbs in an MM-Mini:
  • you keep your mint plants in check
  • the plants can grow as big as they want
  • you can move them around to your heart's content
  • you no longer have to worry that they will crowd out the rest of your vegetables
Plus, the MM-Mini is made from recycled plastic bottles. How great is that?

Mini herb gardens

In a square patch in your garden box, you have to keep the neighboring plants in mind. But with an MM-Mini, you can easily put several herbs together.

I'll give you some examples:

Rosemary, dille, and sage
Rozemarijn, dille en salie
Rosemary, dille, and sage in 1 MM-Mini
But after a year, they start to get in each other's way, resulting in none of them performing really well anymore. Due to lack of space.

And that's a real shame, because as long as they're happy, perennial herb plants can last for years.

That's why I now give them their own section. Usually separate in a mini. But if you want to plant a whole box of herbs, then a MM-airbak is a great alternative. They can grow over the edge and not get in each other's way.
Rosemary, sage, thyme, and flat-leaf parsley in an MM-Airbak.

Plants or sow yourself?

For most herbs, plants are by far the most convenient. Often, one plant is already more than enough, especially for the perennial varieties. Chives can even last a lifetime.

Parsley is most delicious in the first year, in the second year it quickly goes to seed and it's better to replace it.

Small curly parsley plants are available everywhere in spring, I then plant four of them in one bed:
Vier kleine peterselieplantjes in een vak
Four small parsley plants in one bed
Flat-leaved parsley has a stronger taste and can be easily sown by yourself. You can also fit 4 plants in one square, although that quickly becomes a large bunch. Again: ideal for a MM-mini 😉
Plants of flat leaved parsley grow quite big


You can never have enough basil and you can easily sow it yourself. Then they'll even grow better than store-bought plants and it is also much more cost-effective.
Zelfgezaaide struik basilicum
Self-sown bush basil

Koriander en dille

Cilantro and dill should never be bought as plants, because they quickly go into bloom. I don't know about you, but I mainly grow them for the leaves, not for the flowers and seeds.

Furthermore, I sow them multiple times a year, simply in a compartment in a container. That way, I always have fresh greens. Like here in a MM-bamboo table box:
Cilantro in an MM-bamboo table garden box

Are there herbs you don't recommend?

Well, lovage. As a young plant, it looks harmless and the leaves are super tasty in soup. 
Jonge maggiplant in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Ah, young lovage
But just wait. It can easily grow up to 3 meters tall, starts flowering, no longer tastes good, and is super ugly. On top of that, it's hard to remove from your garden box. It clings to the weed mat.

I also wouldn't recommend savory, tarragon, or sorrel. Chamomile is super cute but I don't do anything with it. I'm not a big fan of celery either. All in all, it's a matter of taste 😉

A quick recap:

  • All herbs grow super well in the MM-Mix.
  • You can harvest a lot from 1 plant. Buy young ones from a garden center to keep it simple.
  • Easy herbs to sow: basil, cilantro, and dill.
  • Many herbs are perennials and will stay in 1 spot for a long time. If you sow in a square patch, they'll probably outgrow it after a year.
  • A good alternative to growing in your garden box: the MM-Mini.
Herbs in our MM-Minis
Enjoy your Planty (herb) Garden!


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