How to Create a Budget-Friendly Herb Terrarium

Have you ever found yourself wandering through a store and stumbling upon an unexpected source of inspiration? This happened to me recently when I was at a Wal-Mart with my daughters. As we meandered through the aisles, I came across a large glass jar. But in that moment, I didn’t just see an empty jar; I envisioned a thriving terrarium.

Intrigued by this newfound idea, I decided to purchase the jar along with a couple of herbs available at the store. While the selection was limited to herbs and annuals, it sparked my creativity. Determined to create the most beautiful terrarium I had ever made, I embarked on a mission to turn my vision into reality.

Gathering Your Materials

To begin your own terrarium project, you’ll need a few key materials. Firstly, find a big glass jar or bowl – something that is open at the top. I discovered a perfect $7 jar at Wal-Mart, located in the floral crafts section. It’s important to choose a container that allows for easy access and creative freedom.

Next, select your plants. I opted for two herbs: rosemary and lemon verbena. These choices were not only based on their pleasing fragrance but also the complementary way they interacted with each other. Each herb cost me $3 at Wal-Mart, and as an added bonus, I received a free parsley plant from a recent community event.

Gravel is an essential ingredient for your terrarium. I found mine in the garden shed, although it emitted a rather unpleasant odor. If you have a gravel driveway, that could serve as a convenient source. Alternatively, you can purchase gravel from a pet store or any large retailer that sells fish supplies.

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To prevent soil from falling into the gravel layer, you’ll need some material to act as a barrier. While sphagnum moss is often recommended, I devised a budget-friendly solution by repurposing the mesh bags that came with the rocks I had obtained. If you don’t have these bags, consider alternatives like onion bags or even pantyhose. The purpose is to allow water to pass through while keeping most of the soil in place.

Lastly, gather some moss to add a vibrant touch to your terrarium. Instead of purchasing moss, I utilized some that I had previously bought for my hermit crabs. If you’re up for an adventure, you can easily find moss in the woods. Just dig up a handful and bring a piece of nature into your creation.

For decorative elements, allocate a small portion of your budget. With only $15 remaining from my allowance, I managed to find two bags of black river stones at a dollar store. Additionally, I repurposed a few seashells that were part of my hermit crab supplies, giving them a new purpose in the terrarium.

Assembling Your Terrarium

Now that you have gathered your materials, let’s move on to the fun part – assembling your terrarium. Follow these steps to create a beautiful and thriving mini-garden:

  1. Begin by adding approximately 2 inches of gravel to the bottom of your container. This layer is crucial for drainage, preventing the roots of your plants from becoming waterlogged.

  2. Place the rocks in a separate container and use the mesh bags to cover the gravel layer in your jar. Whether you choose to use the bags, moss, or an alternative material, ensure the soil stays above the gravel while allowing water to pass through.

  3. Carefully arrange your chosen plants on top of the mesh. I selected lemon verbena for its delightful scent and rosemary for its unique appearance and fragrance. To complete the composition, I added the free parsley plant. Feel free to experiment with different arrangements until you find the perfect combination.

  4. Add extra soil to fill the jar, making sure to firm it gently around the roots of the plants. Smooth the surface to create an even appearance.

  5. Next, it’s time to incorporate the moss. Simply place it on top of the soil where you want it to grow. I had to tear my moss in half to avoid disturbing the delicate parsley.

  6. If desired, include decorative elements to enhance the overall aesthetic of your terrarium. I used black river stones to cover the soil between the plants and moss, and my daughter insisted on adding seashells for a touch of whimsy.

  7. Before completing your project, remember to water your plants. This initial watering helps settle the soil around the roots, encouraging healthy growth in their new environment.

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And there you have it – your very own budget-friendly herb terrarium. Now you can sit back and enjoy the beauty of nature captured within a glass jar.

Discover the Joy of Terrarium Making

Creating a terrarium is not only a delightful activity but also a wonderful way to bring a touch of nature indoors. Whether you have limited space, a tight budget, or simply a desire to add a unique element to your home, terrarium making offers endless possibilities for creativity and self-expression.

So why not embark on a terrarium adventure yourself? Gather your materials, let your imagination run wild, and watch as your miniature garden comes to life. Before you know it, you’ll be proudly displaying a captivating piece of natural art in your home.

For further inspiration and assistance, visit the Ames Farm Center – your ultimate guide to terrarium creation and gardening. Happy terrarium making!