enter valid email address

Home Buying Help – Money Management Tools – Home Decorating Ideas – Free Recipes

How to Start Your Own Herb Garden

Believe it or not, herb gardening is incredibly hard to mess up.

Photo: Jim Franco

Steps to a Starter Garden

  1. Use containers that are at least six to eight inches deep and six to eight inches across for individual plants. To group multiple plants in a larger container, pick a pot big enough to allow at least six inches between plants.
  2. Spread a three-inch layer of potting mix along the bottom of the pot. Place the plants on top of it and surround them with potting mix at the same depth in which they were originally planted. Don’t pack them in too tight; use just enough so they’re steady. Leave a little space between the top of the soil and the top of the pot.
  3. Water the herbs until water comes out of the bottom of the pot. Once it has drained, empty out the pot’s tray or coaster so the plant doesn’t sit in water.
  4. Once the herb plants have settled into their new pots and new growths appear, you can clip them to use in the kitchen. Just never take off more than a third of the plant’s leaves at any one time or it might stop growing well.

Tool Kit

  • Several small herb plants (Oregano, sage, thyme, basil, rosemary, etc.)
  • Terra cotta pot A ceramic planter or a number of small pots if you're planting each herb individually will also work. Make sure your pots have drainage holes at the bottom.
  • Potting soil Use a light potting soil or a soil-free potting mix that will allow water to drain easily.
    Try: Pro-Mix for containers: It retains moisture better.
  • Fertilizer: Make sure it’s labeled safe for edible plants.
    Try: Espoma Garden-tone. It’s organic and contains plant nutrients. And keep in mind that a small watering can makes for more precise watering.

Indoors vs. Outdoors
It’s possible to grow most herbs either indoors or outdoors as long as they get enough light and don’t get too cold.

  • Indoor Pick a spot that gets six or more hours of direct sunlight. Keep plants out of the paths of heating and cooling vents and away from the oven and stove. If the air in your pad is dry, you should mist your herb plants occasionally.
  • Outdoor Leave potted herbs out during the warm months and move them inside once the temperature drops into the 40s. By covering shallow rooted herbs with mulch, you can help combat the outside cold.

We've also got great tips on how to grow your own vegetable garden.

See More: Cooking Q&A