When you’re a rental tenant, you may be reluctant to do any more than what is necessary in the garden – especially if you’re on a relatively short lease. After all, if and when you move, you’ll be leaving all your darlings behind. However, there are lots of ways to get around this, and even if you’re only staying for a few months, it’s worth investing a little time in growing fresh culinary herbs to liven up your cooking.
Yours for a season
Many culinary herbs are annuals. Even if you start them from seeds, you will have a harvest within three months. Later, they will complete their life cycle by flowering and seeding before dying back. Depending on garden conditions, you may only need to sow them once. These easy-growers are quite happy to self-seed in your garden, giving you an ongoing supply of fresh herbs.
Try introducing the following plants:
- Sweet basil: the variety with purple foliage is also very pretty and makes an attractive ornamental plant.
- Rocket or arugula: the leaves are tasty until the flowers start, but allow them to bloom and seed, and chances are you won’t need to sow rocket ever again.
- Coriander: Use the leaves fresh as a herb and harvest the seeds as a spice. It doesn’t self-seed as prolifically as rocket, so you may want to save some seeds to sow next year.
- Parsley: Although we all love the pretty, moss-curled parsley, the flat-leafed Italian parsley is much easier to grow, has more flavour, and is more likely to self-seed. Parsley lasts two years but tastes best during the first one.
Perennial herbs will do better when planted out in garden soil, but if you’re not planning on a long-term stay as a rental tenant, you will want to take them with you when you move. Container gardening is the simple solution. Choose a variety of pot shapes and sizes so that you can arrange your containers as an attractive garden feature, and make sure they have good drainage.
However, some perennial herbs will not mind if you transplant them when you move. These include all the many varieties of mint: apple mint, chocolate mint, spearmint, pineapple mint, cologne mint – the list seems endless. Thyme oregano and chives are also tolerant of transplanting, and again, there’s a wide range of varieties to choose from.
For your container herb garden choose:
- Bay leaf tree
- Scented geraniums (Pelargoniums)
- Perennial basil
Add some lavender to the mix just because it’s pretty, and consider growing strawberries too. Remember, mixed pots with several different plant varieties in each one make delightful mini-gardens.
Some final tips for rental tenants who love to garden
If you’re thinking of making big changes to an existing garden, do remember to check with the property management company first. Not all property owners are going to be pleased with a garden transformation, especially if it means the garden will have higher maintenance requirements after you leave. As a rental tenant, it’s wisest to ask before changing the shape of existing garden beds or digging new ones. However, most property owners are only too happy to have tenants who love to garden.
If there’s a “hands-off” policy, there’s nothing to stop you from having fun gardening in containers – you can even grow certain vegetables. The bottom line? You don’t have to give up gardening or delay taking it up just because you’re a rental tenant! Enjoy your plants – and those tasty culinary herbs!
Written and syndicated by
– Baxton Media.
#1 – Australia’s Property Management Specialists