Forum home Tools and techniques

Soil recipe for herbs/Med plants

Good morning folks

I've got a new blockwork planter -  I intend to use it 50/50 - one half for herbs, the other for Mediterranean plants.  The planter faces South West The inside measurements are 6ft long, 2 feet wide and 3.5 ft deep.  I've filled the planter with rubble, soil and perlite so that I am now about 10-12cm from the rim.

I 've read that whereas herbs/med plants both need sharp drainage, they have typically different requirements with regard to nutrients, so I will subtly divide the planter in half.  

This is where I'm a bit stuck - obviously I need good drainage but I've never grown these plants before so don't want to go overboard and make it too sharp.  I'd add that I live on the West coast of southern Scotland, so typically wet all winter, hence a lot of perlite.

So I'm looking for a good recipe for the top 10cm or so - I've got branded topsoil and compost, along with sharp sand and horticultural grit.  From reading about this over the winter I was fairly confident about how to proceed, but then had a brainwave at the garden centre - can I just add a certain type of John Innes eg. to get that ready-made ideal mix?

Any advice is welcome.


  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,426
    Mediterranean herbs like rosemary, thyme etc and plants like lavender prefer impoverished soil and good drainage.  I use a 50/50 mix of topsoil and grit which seems to suit them.  For other plants in containers I usually mix equal quantities of MPC and John Innes no 3, plus a few handfuls of grit.  I also use an organic liquid general fertiliser if necessary and, later on, tomato food to encourage flowering.
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • Thanks, I'm going to need a lot more grit in that case...
Sign In or Register to comment.