Create a Cocktail Container Garden - Quicken Loans Zing BlogAt the store over the summer, I noticed that you could buy herb or salsa container garden kits. From the necessary pots to seeds, the salsa kits contained everything you needed to grow the ingredients for homemade salsa. Then I started to think about various plants and types of themed garden I could create. The possibilities are endless during the spring and summer, but with winter coming I had to refine what I could grow indoors.

Also, with the holiday season coming up faster than we think and family coming over and parties galore, you’ll probably start dusting off the top shelf liquor to get ready. Most people would agree that aside from the food, great cocktails can make or break a party.  Plus, some cocktails use herbs and fruit for flavor or garnish. After connecting the dots of what I can grow indoors and what drinks I like, I thought why not put together a cocktail garden?

Want to try your own cocktail container garden? We’ve got some helpful tips and suggestions to get you started!

Before you start planting a ton of stuff, think about some basic drinks that you enjoy and look up what goes into them. If you like a good Bloody Mary, do some research on different varieties and look up the ingredients needed to make it. Consider what goes well with tomatoes that you eat. The first two herbs that come to mind are cilantro and basil. Those might be two plants you can put in your cocktail container garden. If you want to make infused vodkas or gins, research a few different recipes online or the plants that are popular to create infused liquors.

Once you have looked over some popular cocktails and made a general list of herbs, look up variations of the herbs that may add a unique twist to your everyday cocktails. For example, this summer when I bought herbs for my garden I discovered that mint comes in more flavors than just spearmint and peppermint. I picked up some chocolate and orange mint for my garden this year, which added a nice flavor to my refreshing mojitos. If those don’t strike you, growers also sell ginger, pineapple, or apple mint.

Don’t think that you can limit yourself to just herbs either. Some kinds of lemons, particularly Myer lemons, and limes grow well indoors in pots. While they are a bit pricey to purchase, you can use fresh lemon and lime juice also for cooking and cleaning around the house.

Once you have your plants purchased for your container garden, pot them in well- fertilized soil for optimal growth. You can buy both natural and chemical fertilizers at the hardware store, or you can use some natural fertilizers that you generate from your kitchen with coffee and egg scraps to save a little money.

One thing to also take note and caution of is soil drainage. When you purchase pots, make sure that they have some kind of cover or reservoir on the bottom to catch excess water – otherwise it will end up all over your wood floor or carpet. Using a plastic storage tub can also help with keeping water contained.

If you decide to go with herbs for your cocktail garden, the key to maintaining it is proper harvesting. It varies from herb to herb, so make sure to do some research on the specific plants you decide to grow. Improper harvesting of your plants can shorten the lifespan and potentially kill the plant.

Growing citrus, like limes or lemons, takes a little more care. Since the plants can’t be naturally pollinated by bees or other methods indoors (unless you want to let some bees loose in your house), you have to do it for its flowers. Although it sounds complicated, it’s pretty simple. You can shake the plant a little or use a soft brush, like an art brush, and distribute the pollen in the flower.

Lastly, don’t forget to make sure the plants get plenty of water and sunlight!

For a fun twist on a traditional window herb garden, try making your own cocktail container garden. Knowing what kind of drinks you and your friends and family like can help you figure out what types of plants to grow. For fun, grow some unconventional herb varieties to put twists on classic drinks. Don’t limit yourself to herbs though – branch out and experiment with growing citrus plants. With a bit of research and care, you can grow a cocktail container garden that will enhance your home and impress your friends.

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