Have you ever seen an herb garden kit at the store and thought it would be easy to make yourself?
The truth is that you can make a DIY garden kit yourself, and it’ll cost a lot less than what you pay for a kit from the store.
Personally, I love making DIY gift sets. I can have fun being creative and sourcing different gift ideas for the people I love. Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to go shopping at the craft store?
A gardening kit is extra special because you can choose plants and seeds based upon what your loved one is most likely to enjoy and use.
I’m a big fan of practical gifts.
Finding Your Containers
Don’t limit yourself to the garden center when finding containers for your gift set. In fact, a garden center is probably the last place you want to look.
Garden centers don’t make a huge markup on plants and seeds. They make up those profits by selling supplies, like planters and containers.
The beauty of gardening is that almost anything can be used as a container, you just need to drill some drainage holes.
Craft stores always have something that can be used as a planter. Shop their clearance aisles and take advantage of coupons whenever possible.
The dollar store is also a great place to find containers, although they may be lower quality than the craft store.
Keep in mind that you will need to drill holes for drainage, so try to avoid very thin plastic that will likely crack when drilled.
For the purposes of this gardening kit, you will also want a larger container that will hold the planters.
Since these plants will be grown indoors, we want to make sure they don’t leak all over the counter when they are watered.
You won’t be drilling holes in the outer container, but you will want to line it somehow to keep water from seeping through.
I’m using cork board tiles that I’m cutting to fit the bottom of my outer container.
Another option is plastic sheeting.
From a design standpoint, mixing container mediums looks really nice, like ceramic planters with a wood container or metal planters with a plastic container.
The nice thing with plastic containers is they don’t need to be lined to deal with the water runoff.
Plants vs Seeds
You’ll want to fill your planters with something, and part of that decision will depend on the gift recipient.
What types of plants do they prefer? What type of cooking do they do? Which herbs will they use the most of?
Not all herbs are easily started from seed, like rosemary and mint, so it’s important to start first with a list a plants your loved one will enjoy. If their favorite herb is rosemary, then it doesn’t make sense to give them rosemary seeds. And even if only one plant is rosemary, it’ll look silly to have a plant in one container, but seeds for the other containers.
Also consider if the gift recipient is patient enough to wait for seeds to grow. If they are very focused on instant gratification or just don’t have enough confidence to grow a plant from seed, then live plants may be a better option.
Gardening in Florida? August is the best time to start seeds for our main growing season in the fall and winter. Check out What to Plant in August – 65+ Best Florida Friendly Flowers, Vegetables, and Herbs
The next consideration is your budget.
Obviously, seeds will be less expensive than live plants.
If you are making gift sets for multiple people, you also have the added convenience of splitting a seed package between multiple gift sets.
Some herbs I recommend for container growing:
These are all herbs that I’ve successfully grown from seed and in containers. Many of them are also butterfly host plants, so be prepared to plant extra this spring and summer.
Garden kits are the perfect way to share the gardening spirit any time of year. They allow you to grow your favorite herbs to have fresh in your kitchen at any time.
- 2-3 Planters
- 1 Container or Tray
- Cork tile or other lining material
- Organic Potting Soil
- 2-3 Seed Varieties
- Small Envelopes
- Cardboard, cut to fit the tops of your planters
- Clear Tape
- Plant Markers
- Drill with large drill bit
- Gardening trowel
- Turn the planters upside down onto a piece of cardboard. Trace the outline with a Sharpie, then cut out the shape slightly smaller than the opening of the container.
- Trace the bottom of the tray onto a cork tile with a Sharpie. Cut out the shape slightly smaller than the outline.
- Fit the cork to the bottom of the tray, cutting off excess as necessary. The cork should fit tight into the bottom of the tray.
- Using approximately a 1/4" drill bit, drill 3 evenly spaced holes in the bottoms of your planters.
- Fill each container with your favorite organic potting soil.
- Fit your cardboard into each planter to prevent the soil from spilling out. Tape the cardboard into place.
- Portion a few seeds into a small envelope for each planter. Label the envelope with the seed type, variety, and ideal growing conditions. Tape the envelope onto the cardboard on the top of each planter.
- Tie a ribbon over the top of the planters and container. Within the bow, tie your plant markers for each planter.
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