Easy Mason Jar Herb Garden
Having recently learned to cook (slightly), I keep finding myself buying packs of herbs for a certain dish and then throwing out that same pack, nearly still full, once it's gone bad a few days later. I can't stand the waste! So, I set out on a mission to figure out how I could possibly grow some herbs in my tiny apartment with only North-facing windows...
The answer: recycled sauerkraut jars! I honestly did not expect this project to work, but it might just be the one I am the most proud of. My herb garden is happy as pie in my window and my meals have a little more flavor! If I can make this happen, anyone can. After doing a lot of research on window sill herb gardens, I designed this arrangement. Read on for the step by step instructions:
Find the right jars.
Traditional mason jars didn't seem like the right choice for me, with their more narrow neck, however much more pretty they are. I'm a minimalist, I love the simple smooth glass and wider neck of these Bubbies jars...and I happen to eat a lot of sauerkraut.
Remove the labels and sticky glue.
- Remove as much of the paper and glue labels as you can by hand
- Fill a sink with hot water
- add in a 1/2 cup of distilled vinegar
- add in a 1/4 cup of baking soda
- fully soak your glass containers for a full half hour, turning occasionally
- Remove from the water and use a scouring brush or hands to remove any remaining glue
- Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix
- Home Chef Herbs
- Vase Filler Rocks (I would have found my own rocks, but living in a city has its limits)
- black core-board
- white colored pencil
- single hole punch
I needed to label these jars before I put the herbs in them (for fear of accidentally mixing up the seeds before they sprout) so I made simple hang tags from black core-board. A white colored pencil made hand writing the herb names look almost like chalkboard lettering (yay!). I punched one hole in a corner and used twine to wrap through the hole and around the neck of each bottle.
One of the most important factors I found in my research for this project was that you need to use containers with water drainage holes to avoid root rot. However... I was not about to drill holes in my glass jars. An easy fix: filling the jars with 1-2 inches of rocks first. Drainage issues, solved.
Next, the organic potting soil. I filled each jar nearly to the neck, giving a little room at the top for watering.
The seeds I bought from Home Chef Herbs came with a really helpful planting guide. It outlined how deep to plant each type of seed and the specifics of how much water each herb needs, etc. So great right? Well I didn't actually discover this handy guide... until after I had already planted mine. :| BUT even though I planted each seed the exact same way, they are all growing perfectly well!
Thoroughly soak the soil in each jar so that it almost has the consistency of mud.
Make small holes in the soil with your finger, each about .5 inches deep, about 1 inch apart
Not all seeds will sprout so place 1-5 seeds in each hole and softly fill in with the damp soil
Water when and as often as soil feels dry and wait for your sproutlings!
Wahoo! Herbs for days. These are so hearty, I even left on vacation for 6 days without watering (oops) and they were just fine. Have you started an indoor herb garden? Have any tips for ensuring they continue to thrive?