First time plant owner here. I'm trying to get some potted herbs growing on an outdoor terrace, zone 6-7. Intermittent full sunlight ~3-4 hours a day, partial shade the rest of the time. Birds have come and eaten my first round of attempts, so I've started covering the herbs with a clear plastic wrap with holes poked in it.

The mint and basil are slowly dying. Growth seems stunted and slowly leaves shrivel and brown. The stems for the mint are not strong either. My basic understanding is the following things should be checked:

  • air circulation within the "greenhouse" : isn't great, but could be improved by poking more holes. Anything else? Is the solution bad enough to warrant trying something different?
  • drainage. Even though the pots have holes in the bottom, there doesn't seem to be much drainage occurring, even though the plants seem overwatered (always damp ~1cm below surface). If drainage is indeed the problem, how can I safely dislodge some soil that is potentially blocking the drainage holes? Just stick my hand in the pot and go along the side?
  • soil quality : used soil for potted plants, not for garden.

Pictures are attached. Any help is greatly appreciated, please let me know if I can provide more info on anything.

Mini greenhouse Basil Mint

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