Since it's Spring and Earth Day is in a few days, I thought I'd share some tips on planting herbs for small pets. Many people are out gardening right now, so why not plant something for your furry little friends to snack on? You can even use the herbs for your own human recipes every now and then, that is if you can get your pet to share with you.
First of all, you are going to need to decide which herbs you want to plant and grow. Many herbs do well indoors, so if you don't have a yard or live in an apartment you'll still be able to manage growing some herbs fairly easy.
So, what kind of herbs can small mammals eat? Here's a list of a few common ones:
|Gus is helping to till up the soil.|
My pet rats have not tried all of these herbs yet, but some of their favorites from the list include parsley, cilantro, and basil. Funny considering those are also my favorites...
|Herbs in 4" pots.|
I live on the same property as my family's garden center, so it's easy to walk outside and just grab some herbs from the greenhouse any time I need or want to. I realize that this is definitely not everyone's situation. To make things easier, I decided to plant a variety of herbs in an old planter for my patio. And you can too!
After you've picked your herbs to plant and the container in which you are going to plant them, you are ready to get to work. Make sure you don't over fill your container, because the plants will need some room to grow. Fill the bottom of the container with a couple of inches of dirt as shown below.
|Just an old dingy plastic planter for our herbs.|
Next, remove your herbs from the containers you bought them in. I'd recommend doing this by holding the plant upside down and gently squeezing the plastic pot until you're able to work them out. You can carefully "squeeze" out some of the excess dirt so that more roots are exposed. Then, you just add them to their new container.
It's time to start adding more dirt now! I called upon the assistance of my daughter. This is a great activity to include your children in. Fill your herb container up until it's almost full. I like to pat my dirt down a little bit afterwards.
|Fun for kids too!|
I placed my miniature herb garden on my lawn table (pictured at the top), but may move it over to the patio later on. After planting, you should water the herbs well soaking all of the dirt until moist. A good tip is to water until you see water seeping out through the holes of the bottom of the container.
I know they don't look like much now, but they will grow! For larger small mammals like rabbits and guinea pigs, you may want to plant more herbs at once. They can go through A LOT of greens in one sitting.
|Gus is sampling his parsley. Yummy!|
Gus and Jack have already enjoyed some of their parsley and basil. They gobbled it right up! I'm waiting for the dill I planted to grow a little more before I give them some of it.
Does your small pet enjoy eating herbs? Which ones are their favorites? Let us know in the comments!