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Planting an Apartment Herb Garden in Kansas City

Start by selecting your space and evaluate the level sunlight your balcony receives throughout the day. Pick the best spot for your new garden, provided the light is just right. If you have outdoor space that is in the dark all day, it’s probably not going to work. Many herb plants are fine with 6 hours or less in the sun. 

Gather your supplies once you have decided on the right space. Try to purchase your plants and gardening equipment locally to support the downtown Kansas City small business community. Research your planting zone before you begin because you won’t want your baby herbs to freeze. Once you are certain that the outside temperatures won’t reach freezing again think about the containers you want to use. It’s tempting to choose what is cutest, but this is the time to choose what is most realistic, and what will work best in the space, and sunlight, that you have. Lastly, invest in some sort of good potting mix over just potting soil and a good small gardening tool set that includes a shovel, rake, and spade. 

Once you have your space and tools, the next step is to purchase your plants. While there is something so very dreamy about starting plants from seeds it’s easiest and best to start with plants that are already blooming. You can purchase these anywhere from a local Kansas City farmer’s market or nursery in near your apartment. It’s very important to save the tags that come in the plants. There is detailed information on each tag specific to that plant's care and upkeep, including planting depth and distance from other plants, water advice, and sunlight needs. 

Ready to plant?   Start by placing potting mix in the container or pot or of your choice, leaving cavities for each of the herb plants. Make sure you leave enough space between each planet, as the roots will spread as they grow. Never pick up your plants by the leaves, because you want to keep the roots intact. Grab your plant by the stems and slowly remove it from the container in which you bought it. If the root ball is in one mass, loosen it with your hands a little, this will help the roots settle in the new soil. Fill the space around the cavity and the roots with more potting mix, and pat down evenly. Water your plant, liberally. It’s really that simple! 

Don’t forget to trim and water your herb garden as often as needed. Do your research on how to harvest your herbs for home use. For example, trim mint by the stem, not the leaf. Where you cut mint, a new growth will form, making the plant fuller over time. It’s good to keep the plants at a controllable size, even though you might not need the use of a herb immediately. 

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May 29