Herbs are brilliant grown in a pot. Not only do they look attractive but they smell good and can be conveniently located near the back door for ease of access to the kitchen. Planting a herb container also restrains vigorous herbs like mint and sage, known to grow rapidly and spread in borders.
Many herbs are perennials (come back to growth year after year) but it is nice to add some annuals (plants that grow for only one season) into your container too, such as basil.
Many herbs grow well in pots initially but can decline or lose vigour over time. You can divide and re-pot herbs easily and doing this each year will keep your herbs looking fresh. Do this in early spring and only retain the growing outer portions of the rootball and discard the older central section. Use your hands to gently tease the roots and plants apart.
Regularly harvesting your herbs encourages them to remain bushy and compact. Use new shoots as fresh herbs or dry them for later use. You can do this by tying your harvest in a bundle with string and then hanging them in an airing cupboard. Once dry, chop them up and store in glass containers – just like the ones you buy in the supermarket.
In winter, herbs (even the hardy ones) are vulnerable to frost damage. Rootballs can freeze and winds strip moisture from leaves. Keep your herb container fairly dry where possible and in really cold snaps move your container into an unheated greenhouse, porch or conservatory. This helps prevent your pot from cracking with the frost too.