Waste Wednesday & the new herb garden

Why, it’s Wednesday, the day when I weigh my waste to see if I’m any closer to being a zero waste home.  Here’s how I weighed in for the fortnight:

Wednesday 22 Jan 2014 - 395g for two weeks worth of waste
Wednesday 22 Jan 2014 – 395g for two weeks worth of waste

Less last week’s weigh in:

Waste weigh in for WEd 15 Jan 2014
Waste weigh in for Wed 15 Jan 2014

Making this week’s adjusted total weigh in at 211g.  Not great, but it’s to be expected with a 50L bag from potting mix!


  • 67g (2.36oz) was my best and lightest weigh in, in July
  • 3,102g (6.8lbs) & 1,071g (2.36lbs) were my heaviest weigh ins whilst moving house in August.
  • 325g my average weekly weigh in, including the above outliers
  • 240g per week is my average, excluding the listed outliers
  • 41 weeks since I started tracking this at Easter 2013
  • 13.36kg has gone to landfill during this time
  • 7 weeks where the weigh in was less than 100g (3.5oz)

As the title gives away, it’s because we created a herb garden (savy readers from yesterday post would notice the $142 spent at Bunnings  – Australia’s hardware megastore).  It’s about $2 to buy a bunch of fresh cut herbs at the green grocer.  To buy the little (plastic) tubs is about $4, but I hope they last us a lot longer!

Plastic herb pots, ready and waiting
Plastic herb pots, ready and waiting


We also bought a big trough to plant them all in

Herb garden trough
Herb garden trough

Naturally, we bought one that matched the lemon tree’s pot we received as a gift at our housewarming

Lemon tree - suffering neglect, but since we've (well the BF's) returned some attention to it, we've seen new leaf growth!
Lemon tree – suffering neglect, but since we’ve (well the BF’s) returned some attention to it, we’ve seen new leaf growth!

And the waste-iest bit was the potting mix 🙁

Plastic encased vegetable and herb mix.
Plastic encased vegetable and herb mix.

With a yard, I’d consider a bulk drop off of soil sans plastic, but this is apartment dwelling. And I could have scoured Freecycle, but this was easy to buy, easy to transport, and (hopefully) good soil.  Shame about the plastic – and with all the toxic stuff in soil, I didn’t like my chances of washing it out, or fobbing it off to the grocery store plastic recycling stations.

Here’s the finished herb garden

All planted
All planted

I decided on thyme, parsely, sage and shallots, with a side of mint. Is mint a herb? It’s not really savoury like the others, but I know it grows well, and I love a mojito.  Hopefully everything has enough space to really thrive!  Our balcony gets the afternoon sun, so that should be enough to keep them growing without singeing them in this heat.

What herbs are in your garden (or the herb garden you wish you had)?  What couldn’t you do without?

19 Replies to “Waste Wednesday & the new herb garden”

  1. Oh, herb gardens are the best! I love that planter box, it will totally change the look of your balcony.

    Herbs are so expensive at the supermarket and we use them constantly, almost every meal, so we grow almost all of ours now. We grow regular parsley, continental parsley, rosemary, chives, mint and Vietnamese mint. All of those grow wild in the garden now and require almost no maintenance. We also grow basil, coriander and oregano but they are fussier. Often the heat gets them and we have to start again! I think I need an indoor planter box for them to protect them from the hot days and wind.

    We sprinkle herbs over everything: roast chicken, chicken thigh fillets, fish, they go in soups and in the slow-cooker, we use them to make salad dressings and add them to lots of salads.

    We can't do without the mint, rosemary, basil and oregano!

    1. Wow, I'm impressed at how often you use herbs! I opted away from basil as I find it very sweet, often too overpowering to savoury dishes. And you know what I think about coriander (from my post about foods I don't like!) Actually we talked about rosemary, but I thought it seemed to work ok as a dried herb, whereas more 'watery' herbs don't seem to dry as vibrantly.

      Hopefully what I have will thrive – I added some bokashi compost juice when I laid the soil, with hopes it would super power them!!

  2. I was wondering what Bunnings was. Oh, to think of planting anything! I like basil in eggs (omelettes or scrambled) and in pasta dishes. Or to make pesto, of course! If I grew mint I would probably use it for tea. I think mint and oregano plants can be very invasive so you may get a lot of them!

    1. Oh see I really can't handle pesto – I'm not sure why though. Maybe OD'ed in my student years? I'm looking forward to invasive mint – I LOVE mint tea as much as mojitos, so it'll get used!

  3. Good luck with the herb garden 🙂 I am going to be scaling mine down in the next few days before I move, but luckily the possums have helped out by eating all of my parsley and baby spinach. I have mostly basil and oregano, as these seem to thrive on neglect! My mint seems to tolerate not being watered very much either, which is a good thing.

    1. Thanks – I like this idea of 'thriving on neglect' – you can see some evidence of neglect on the poor lemon tree! I vow we'll do better! Best of luck with the move

  4. I love your planter! I had a go at growing herbs a couple of years ago..and failed! I'm useless! If I was to grow anything now if would be coriander (for curries). I'm with you on pesto – I can't stand the stuff anymore!

    1. Oh wow, we can not be friends! CORIANDER ekkK!

      I hope I don't fail at this little spot of green thumbing – I did ok with a vegie patch a few years back, so here's hoping

  5. This is such a cute idea! I'd love to have a herb garden someday. I don't really have a green thumb to plant much else or have a full blown garden. I don't really have anywhere to put one now. I think your choices of herbs are good! I like basil, rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano. I hope everything turns out well!

    1. Oregano seems to be popular, and I didn't even consider it! Pots are an easy way to go – sure they get heavy, but it does mean you can move them from home to home at the very least. Give it a try if you get a chance – something hardly like basil in a small pot might work on an indoor window sill even.

  6. Nice! The planter is lovely 🙂 Hopefully everything will do well growing together. I second Dar – mint grows like crazy, so harvest often or pinch off the flowers to make sure it doesn't take over your whole pot! And I have a funny mint story – a neighbor at our old place thought she was transplanting regular mint into her garden, but it was catnip! It didn't take long for all the surrounding cats to start visiting, haha. She had to rip it all out to get the cats out of her yard!

    1. Thanks – I want crazy mint!! Fingers crosses it comes through.

      Oh here I was thinking catnip deterred cats! That's a funny story though – did she try eating any of it?

      1. Catnip is the one that makes some cats act silly. Mine will roll around in it, jump around me when I'm holding the bag of it, play with the leaves, and eventually eat it. My parents are kind enough to be the keeper of our catnip plants because it wouldn't survive a day at my house. 🙂 I don't think our neighbor tried eating it but that probably would've been an awful surprise!

      2. You thought the plant deterred because it nips cats? 😉

        Catnip has this weird chemical that cats love rolling in because it makes them high – its a bit like giving them LSD or something. We often come home to find our catnip bush flattened with the imprint of a cat's bottom :/

        Cat grass on the other hand is great for cats because they love chewing on it and spitting it out – helps them with their digestion.

  7. Love your planter!! Careful with the mint as it has a tendency to spread and choke out everything else. I plan to grow mint in the garden this year but am going to keep it very far away from the rest of the beds and build a raised bed to hopefully contain it.

    1. Thanks Lois – whilst you're an avid gardener, my options are limited whilst living in apartments. But the other day on my walk I drafted a list (aka a post) about all the plants and trees I'd want in my dream garden. I know you'd enjoy reading that!

      I can't wait for mint to take over, then it can have it's own pot – I just love mint tea and mojitos, so I'll get it used up!!

      1. I'm glad you won't be disappointed if the mint spreads and overtakes the rest of your herbs. We had mint one time that not even weed barriers could keep from spreading into my other garden beds. It was crazy but my neighbors were thrilled and would take all the mint I didn't want off my hands as we pulled it.

        I am looking forward to reading your post on all the plants and trees you want to have in your dream garden. I have a list of my own but am holding off waiting to see what the new owners plan to do, when and if the apartment building sells.

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