Inexpensive Herb Centerpieces

lmvancJune 17, 2009

Because my club needed 15 inexpensive centerpieces / member give-aways for an annual mid-August meeting, I volunteered to grow some herbs to create centerpieces. I have planted compact/dwarf or trailing varieties of the following: basil, thyme, sage, oregano, marjoram, johnny-jump-ups, and nasturium. I started 20 seeds of each a few weeks back and now have 2-3 inch plants with 4-6 leaves per plant, except the nasturtium which is supposed to be a 12-inch dwarf that is already 10 inches tall. They are currently in seed-starter trays, about a 1 inch square for each plant.

My question is, what would your next step be, keeping in mind we're trying to really minimize expenses? With my own herbs, I move them directly from seed trays into my large 50-gallon outdoor herb pot, but the centerpiece pots will (obviously) be substantially smaller.

-- Is it better or necessary to move them up to individual 2- or 3-inch pots to allow each plant to develop in its own space? If so, this will mean purchasing pots as I only keep about 20-30 pots on hand for myself, and I've got roughly 130+ plants that germinated.

-- The alternative is to move them directly in the whatever we decide to use as centerpieces, which probably will be no larger than 8-inch pots, and I'm hoping to get 5-7 plants in each. But will "crowding" them early-on in their growth cycle prevent them from developing well?

-- At what point would you recommend transplanting from the seed trays?

Also, I'd love to hear any suggestions for the actual centerpiece containers. My original plan was to find inexpensive toy buses, cars, trains, etc at dollar-stores or Goodwill (transportation theme for our meeting), but so far I haven't found anything large enough. At this point, anything that will be pretty and/or whimsical will be fine ... and they do not have to be identical.

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You might try purchasing some wicker baskets at dollar stores. The ones around here seem to have quite a few of those right now.

Possibly you could double-line the baskets with plastic food storage bags, with the inner bag perforated for drainage. That could get messy if you overwatered, but at least it gives a bit of drainage that way.

I think it would work better if you just plant them directly into the baskets , or whatever final container you choose, lined with plastic. If they start to overgrow you could always trim them.

If the meeting isn't until August, you may find that 5-7 plants will be too many.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 6:21PM
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you can buy few vase, like pedestal vase and can use it as centerpiece , it wont cost you much.


Here is a link that might be useful: Wedding Centerpieces

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 2:01AM
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Becky Klein-McCreary

Sounds like you have a green thumb!! You might pick up soup bowls or ice cream dishes at a thrift store. Or even pretty paper bowls (like paper plates) from the grocery. They coud be decorated.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 9:02PM
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If you do change containers do it at least a week or two before needed or just before the meeting. Two weeks to have plants adjusted to new container. Just before the meeting with a hefty dose of water sending home instructions to plant immediately. Some herbs will pout when moved from one container to another.

Of course you could just stage the pots arround a central pot turned upside down. One container for each person at the table.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 11:48PM
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granite(z6 NC)

You can accumulate an interesting array of planters by checking out yard sales and thrift stores.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 9:40AM
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