A 14-inch-diameter pot is the optimal size for a collection of herbs — large enough to do the job without becoming a major production in weight, cost and soil volume.
Herbs need great drainage — some gardeners place clay shards over the drainage hole, others just line the pot with landscape filter fabric to keep soil from washing out.
Broad, bowl-shaped containers hold moisture longer than regular pots and may drown herbs.
Glazed ceramic, concrete and resin pots tend to be freeze-resistant and can be left outside in the winter, but they should be protected against saturation. Most terra cotta pots are not frost-proof and should be brought into a sheltered and dry location in winter.
Local independent garden centers carry a large selection of attractive glazed and clay pots, many of them mass-produced in Southeast Asia. High-design resin and concrete pots are available from companies such as Campania International, Lunaform and NativeCast.
Here are a few pots that caught our eye; all are approximately 14 inches wide except the tall glazed pot, which is 11 inches.
Blanched terra cotta, rope pattern (unknown maker). $25.99. DeBaggio Herbs.
Blanched terra cotta, fluted (unknown maker). $25.99. DeBaggio Herbs.
Ceramic pot (Patapsco Valley). $24.99. Meadows Farms.
Cement-based composite Rehoboth 14. NativeCast, $150. www.nativecast.com.
Clay “feet” can aid drainage, especially when pots sit directly on paving. You need three for a circular pot, four on a square one. They cost about $2 apiece.