My husband and I love to cook. And, we love to cook for our dogs. We also enjoy keeping healthy, active and naturally nourished on the road while living full-time in our RV. We wouldn’t have it any other way, but, one thing I miss about stationary living is gardening! I used to love planting all kinds of organic herbs for us and our dogs. Not only do they add a freshness and pop to any meal, herbs are also highly nutritious for you. I know that what we grow ourselves will taste better than what is on any supermarket shelf!
So when we recently moved into our fifth-wheel, I knew that one of the first things I was going to do was endeavor to grow fresh herbs. I was feeling very inspired in my new kitchen to cook more creatively and to try new recipes. One of my favorite parts about our fifth-wheel is the abundance of windows and sunlight. But with a smaller space, I wondered if it was really possible to have a thriving and functioning herb garden in an RV. Where would be put it? How would we ensure that when we moved our RV that it would not be damaged and secure?
What Do Herbs Need To Grow?
If herbs have drainable potting soil, temperate weather, and sunlight, then they will thrive for you. That’s regardless of if you keep the plants on your windowsill or in an outdoor garden. Since we became full-time travelers, schedules are important and it is no different when taking care of your herb garden. Generally, plan to water your herbs about 2-3 times a week and stick to a schedule so that you remember when you watered them. You don’t want to water too often and have the water runs through the soil and sits. But you don’t want them to dry out completely. Know the moisture level in your home and watch your herbs. Adjust accordingly to the herbs that you choose!
What Do I Do With My Herb Garden When We Move Our RV?
Travel days are extra important for your herb garden. Make sure that it cannot move and that it is protected. We all know how bumpy roads can get. It’s no fun cleaning up dirt in your RV as you are trying to set up camp as well. We like to wrap our herb garden in cushioned pillows and towels. We make sure that it cannot tip over and that it won’t be in the way of any slide-outs.
What Herbs Should I Grow?
Choosing what herbs to plant is just the start of the fun! Rosemary, sage, thyme, cilantro, parsley, basil, and oregano are among the easiest herbs to grow year-round in your RV herb garden. Avoid herbs that can grow too large to keep in small containers. Some of the preferred smaller options are basil, chives, thyme, oregano and rosemary. Don’t limit yourself to herbs you are familiar with. Research and try new flavors. I like to be inspired by the many places we travel to. I often research local favorite recipes, learn about the history, and make my own version. As a dog mom, I cook both a person and a dog friendly version as well.
Can My Dog Eat Fresh Herbs?
For our dogs, we like to use dog-friendly herbs like oregano, basil, parsley, and rosemary. Do your research and keep herbs out of reach of pets that would be harmful to them. Remember, there are different safety factors for cats and dogs.
If you have pets, make sure to keep your herb garden out of reach. Dogs may think it is grass, and well–they may mark their territory. Cats may do the same. Even if herbs are pet friendly, you will want to always be aware of the amount that they eat and supervise. That means if you run an errand and leave your pet alone, it may be a good idea to put your herb garden out of reach.
Where Should I Put My Herb Garden?
I find that having my RV herb garden close to my kitchen work area is key. But with limited counter space, I can’t have them taking up room and in the way. One option is to hang your herb garden on the side of a kitchen island. Just make sure that it will not be in a high traffic area.
The 2 Traveling Dogs RV Herb Garden Favorites
Thyme is a wonderful antiseptic due to a compound called thymol in this herb and can be used to fight off gingivitis. Thyme is full of Vitamin C and strengths the immune system. It also contains minerals, like iron and manganese.
Basil helps to repel insects and reduces the effects of arthritis. It also has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and may help with inflammatory bowel disease. Fresh basil pairs well with our recipe for Vegan Cheese Caprese Hand Pies with Tomato Soup.
Can help dogs with the inflammation that comes from arthritis. Rich in antioxidants, it helps keep the coat and skin healthy.
Parsley is antibacterial and an anti-oxidant. It helps to detox and contains many beneficial vitamins and minerals. Parsley also helps fight bad breath and aids digestion.
Spearmint is a good source of vitamins A and C and contains minerals such as calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin and zinc. It is calming and soothing and can be used to soothe an upset stomach and help ease motion sickness!
Benefits Of Having An RV Herb Garden
- Saves money
- Tastes better
- Brings color to your RV
- Adds a fresh smell to your RV
- Feels like home
After we set up camp, on the following day I like to sit outside and take in a new place and enjoy our patio area. But, having familiar things with me helps me stay grounded. That’s why I take my herb garden outside with me and let it get air, sunlight, and water. At night, weather permitting, I will open up the windows and let my herb garden get fresh air as well. I like a portable herb garden because I can move it around and even put in the kitchen with me as I cook.
Should I Make My Own RV Herb Garden?
Being in an RV, you run out of space quickly. But somehow, we always seem to be cleaning up and clearing out unnecessary items. Look at those items. Could you recycle or reuse them in some way? We took items we were going to throw away and turned them into an RV herb garden. No one will have one exactly like it, and you can make your own herb garden special too! Just make sure to use eco-friendly materials that will not harm plants, animals or people. You wouldn’t want to use pressure treated wood or toxic paint, for example.
I have found that you can do just about anything in an RV if you get creative! Take into consideration what is important to you and what is important in your home that makes you feel comfortable. For me, I will always associate planting vegetables and herbs with home. And although I may not be able to have a full garden like I did in the past, I can certainly put my green thumb to work! Traveling full time does come with sacrifices, but it comes with big rewards. There is nothing like watching something grow and come to life.
And when you realize that your meals will be more flavorful, healthy and beautiful, what other inspiration do you need to have your own RV herb garden? I can think of one–because your pet can benefit from it too. Get to planning, creating and enjoying your RV herb garden. Welcome home.