Unless you live on the second floor (or above) of a townhouse or condo, your garden will probably be plagued at one time or another by some kind of furry pest. Moles and voles are less common in urban areas, but can do serious damage to gardens on the outskirts. Gophers seem to respect no borders and may tunnel dozens of feet into your yard to pull your prized specimens underground in just the blink of an eye. Another ubiquitous pest is the cuddly, cute cottontail rabbit. Just one little bunny can eat its way through a row of lettuces or a patch of parsley while you are watching the evening news.
There is lots of advice about installing baskets around the roots of your newly planted herbs and flowers to thwart the underground vermin. Little else is to be done about rabbits except to fence them out; not usually a very aesthetic option. Another, simple solution is to plant your herb garden in pots. The burrowers can’t get in and if the pots are tall enough (only 10 inches or so) bunnies can’t reach the tender greens.
In fact, planting herbs (or anything) in pots is an ideal way to provide the exact conditions they require. Sage (Salvia officinalis) is partial to very well-drained soil, while parsley (Petroselinum crispum) loves to be moist all the time. Choose the planting medium that fits the specific needs of each plant and it will be easy to ensure success. Pick your favorite culinary herbs and either group them together in larger pots according to their needs or give them their own space and cluster the pots together. Add a pot or two of ornamentals, maybe some that have edible flowers like calendula (Calendula officinalis), borage (Borago officinalis), or pansies and violets (Viola spp.). Nurture the plants and ward off the pests by planting in containers.
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