I get a bit peeved when I watch some gardening shows or read gardening books that tell people that they should pot lots of herbs or vegies into one pot. I think this is a fast track to disappointment.
Sure, the pot will look fantastic for the first few weeks with lots of leafy greens hanging over the side and perhaps a few taller growing seedlings reaching to the sky but this is only short lived. To start off, the seedlings do really well because they have nice fresh potting mix with lots of fertiliser and the roots have room to grow. But, as the plants get bigger and more roots establish, they soon start getting in each others’ way until there is not enough room for them all and certainly not enough food.
Let me ask you a question. Would you buy shoes for kids that are a bit too small? Of course not. They would have no room to grow into and they wouldn’t thrive. Plants are just the same; they need to have space to grow into.
It might be tempting to buy those lovely little pots to put on the window sill or the patio that are not much bigger than a coffee cup but when you consider that a basil plant might grow to 60 or 70cm tall or a dwarf cherry tomato might produce dozens of fruit you have to wonder how they are going to do this with only the tiny space in one of these pots. After all, a plant in a pot only gets what is in that pot. It can’t go out and get food and water from anywhere else. So, the pot has to be a decent size with premium potting mix which has a long lasting fertiliser in it so that the plant can get enough food and have enough space to thrive for many months.
My advice. Choose pots that are at least 30cm deep and, because all herbs and vegies are a bit different, read the plant labels carefully to see how closely the seedlings can be planted together. The plants will grow much faster and there will be a much better harvest if they are spread across several decent sized pots or, if they are going to planted together, they are in a very large tub with lots of room to move.