JoAnne Skelly: Herb kit is a great present from a creative gifter |

JoAnne Skelly: Herb kit is a great present from a creative gifter

JoAnne Skelly

My Christmas was special this year. Both my brothers were able to spend it with my husband and me. Nothing makes Christmas better than being with family (other than being in Hawaii! No, just kidding).

My brother Chris gives creative presents. Sometimes this is a good thing, and other times, I’m not sure what to do with my present. This year he gave me an herb kit. It comes with a beautiful box made of recycled wood with a plastic drain tray. Inside are two peat soil pods that when soaked should fill the 15-inch-by-4-inch box and seeds of rosemary, basil, dill and parsley. The directions about each plant’s needs are typed on green paper and laminated, so the grower can keep them handy and clean. The entire package was nicely done.

My brother is not a gardener, but he was quite thoughtful giving a green present to his “flower child” sister, as mom used to call me. And, while thoughtful, he has no clue what plants need. I am looking forward to planting this present and examining its usefulness from a plant-health perspective. It’s hard to believe that the two peat pods that measure 4 inches across and a half-inch deep will expand enough to fill the entire box or provide enough support for plants. Consider the size of the plants included with the lovely box. Rosemary and dill plants can get to 3 feet tall. How will they manage sharing a 4-inch-by-4-inch root space not only with each other but also with parsley and basil? How will they stay upright with such a little root area?

However, I’m more than willing to give this attractive herb kit a try. For one reason, Chris gave it to me. For another reason, I’m curious. I have seen kits like this before and wondered how in the world the plants could grow. Now, I get to find out. I have visions of looking at this beautiful planter on my kitchen windowsill, watching the plants grow and eventually harvesting leaves for cooking. Isn’t that a nice picture? Each time I look at my herb garden, I will remember the lovely few days my brothers and I were together again. It doesn’t happen very often.

And, if the herbs don’t last long the first time, I can always replant the box later and keep the memories alive.

Have a happy gardening new year!

JoAnne Skelly is the Carson City/Storey County Extension educator for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.