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Project

Tower of Herbs

Don't miss out on fresh herbs (or pay a lot for them at the market) just because you don't have a big yard. Situate this compact herb garden in a sunny spot near the kitchen door for easy snipping.

Created By: Bjorn Wallander, Johnny Miller, Raymond Hom

Introduction

Our planter has rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, and chives -- all readily available in nurseries and versatile in the kitchen. Any herbs can be used. If you want to grow mint, plant it on its own in the top pot, since it can overwhelm other herbs.

Materials

  • 5 terra-cotta planters
  • Soilless potting mix
  • Assorted herbs

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Place largest planter in the location selected for the herb garden. Center 1 smaller pot within, upside down (with at least 6 inches of space around the inverted pot); fill ring between the two with potting mix.

  2. Step 2

    msl_0310_herb_tower_ht.jpg

    Repeat to create a second layer with 2 smaller pots, with 4 inches between them. Place final pot right side up on second inverted pot. Fill with potting mix. Plant herbs in all three layers.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, March 2010

Reviews (19)

  • Jazzgirl52 2 Aug, 2012

    I live by the ocean... although good weather (Cascais, Portugal) have lots of problems with salty and strong winds. Have a winter garden by my kitchen where tropical plants thrive all year round. Would it be possible to plant these herbs there? On open air only have laurel ( great resistant plants) but herbs do not resist winters..... am a herb cooking lover and this seems like a great suggestion... Any suggestions or comments PLEASE???

  • Mother of Pearl 30 Jul, 2012

    I loved this idea, but when I got to the garden center and started pricing all the pots, I came up with a similar idea. I bought a large strawberry pot -- the kind with the multiple openings all around, and plant a different herb in each opening. I fill the pot up to the first round of openings, then gently work the herb plants into each [filtered word], fill with more dirt to the next level, and so on. Works like a charm - the herbs are thriving, and the pot is sturdy and easy to move.

  • Yopres 30 Jul, 2012

    I live in B.C. where the winters are mild so I am going to try this with pansies over the winter!

  • UUjerri1 30 Jul, 2012

    Well, I agree the pots take up space inside, but these plants should not be allowed to get their full size anyway. The herbs to be frequently harvested if the gardener is a fresh herb user and that generates fresh, young, new growth which is tastier. I would probably just sit the next pot/tier on the packed down soil tho. Herbs need to have well-draining soil too so the terra cotta is a good choice although it's heavy. Have to put the planter on a rolling pedestal. Fertilize every 30 days.

  • Linda Hutchinson 30 Jul, 2012

    I have a nice size deck, with wide boards where the "hand rails would be, someplace where you can safely set your drink, or plate. I was wanting my herbs most often used close to the door, so I would actually use them. I looked around for a couple weeks to find a planter that would safely fit this location. I ended up with a " plastic window box" planter. I chose the plastic as it doesn't loose moisture as fast as clay ones do. I've had a bumper crop of fresh herbs with my planter selection.

  • nlblack 30 Jul, 2012

    Two comments/questions: First, are those upside down pots really necessary for stability? It seems that they take up valuable space that could hold more soil for the herbs to grow in. Second, the terra-cotta pots lose a lot of moisture: it seems with the small amount of soil available, this set up wouldn't last the summer. I think plastic pots, might be cheaper and work better. And perhaps a dowel through the center holes, as someone suggested would keep the whole thing stable.

  • Laurie Flood Nuzzolilo 12 May, 2012

    i saw one using galvanized steel buckets. they poked a nail on 2 sides 2" from the bottom using a nail from the inside out!

  • chesapeakecrafter 7 Jun, 2010

    I've designed and build 3 ft. and 6 ft. tall pyramid towers that I plant herbs in.It's very unique planter. They were originally for growing strawberries, but work great for other garden plants too. If you're looking for ideas, there are some photos and woodworking plans for them on my webpage: http://www.chesapeakecrafts.com/STRAWBERRY_TOWER.php

  • Smallard24 3 May, 2010

    After much shopping around I found a planter for the base that is big enough for a reasonable price. The site is garden.com (go figure) and it is the lightweight planter called Akro clay garden bowl. I ordered it in the 22" size. Much luck and happy planting!

  • NikkiManioci 29 Apr, 2010

    I also am having difficulty finding a base planter that large. I looked on-line and found some wood crate ones at Lowes for under $30, but I want to see it in person first befor I go ahead with the project.

  • ChuckRob 29 Apr, 2010

    It looks like a 20" planter would be needed for the base, based on dimensions in the drawing. I have been unable to locate a clay pot like that, with the low height. However, I did find a plastic one online at PlantContainers.com. It is described as a " Basso Italiano" planter in their catalog. It isn't cheap, $73. I would like to know where they got the large base planter for the photo in this article.

  • ChuckRob 29 Apr, 2010

    It looks like a 20" planter would be needed for the base, based on dimensions in the drawing. I have been unable to locate a clay pot like that, with the low height. However, I did find a plastic one online at PlantContainers.com. It is described as a " Basso Italiano" planter in their catalog. It isn't cheap, $73. I would like to know where they got the large base planter for the photo in this article.

  • Wholelottarosie62 24 Apr, 2010

    I have not done this project yet, but am going to. I thought it would be so pretty, and practical to sit on the deck, and finally I could consolidate my many herb pots. I also thought it might be a bit unsteady, so my thoughts were to find a dowel rod the length to fit through the top down to the bottom.I am so excited-off on a pot search I go....lol Peace to All....Love you Martha, ( I personally think you got the "raw" end of the deal a "while" back)

  • JohnR101 10 Apr, 2010

    I just finished this project and had a hard time locating large enough pots. The best I could do made a slightly smaller "tower". For the bottom - 14.5"
    Azalea pot, inside inverted an 8" Azalea pot, second tier an 8" standard pot, then two 4" standard pots on top. All from Lowes.!

  • rhondarootoo 30 Mar, 2010

    dear tweekgirl27,
    I am from greenville sc and I found pots at a place called Old Time Pottery. the lady there says they are in 31 states. hope you can find one near you. You may try to google clay pot retailer...who knows? Google is awesome.
    Any who I got the following pots and the only thing I would suggest is to consider somehow "glueing??' some of the pots together as they rock a bit..
    16.9 in @7.99, 12.2 in @ 4.99, 10.6 in @ 2.99 and 2 8.3 in @ 1.49. not too bad

  • rhondarootoo 30 Mar, 2010

    dear tweekgirl27,
    I am from greenville sc and I found pots at a place called Old Time Pottery. the lady there says they are in 31 states. hope you can find one near you. You may try to google clay pot retailer...who knows? Google is awesome.
    Any who I got the following pots and the only thing I would suggest is to consider somehow "glueing??' some of the pots together as they rock a bit..
    16.9 in @7.99, 12.2 in @ 4.99, 10.6 in @ 2.99 and 2 8.3 in @ 1.49. not too bad

  • tweekgirl27 28 Mar, 2010

    i am having an impossible time trying to find the large bottom pot...from the diagram it would have to be at least 18" wide, probably wider. the closest i've come is a 13" azalea pot at lowes, which would work for the 2nd tier... please HELP!!

  • tweekgirl27 28 Mar, 2010

    i am having an impossible time trying to find the large bottom pot...from the diagram it would have to be at least 18" wide, probably wider. the closest i've come is a 13" azalea pot at lowes, which would work for the 2nd tier... please HELP!!

  • ellemarz 21 Mar, 2010

    what size pots are used to make the one pictured? thanks!