Grow Your Own
Sustainable, Healthy, & Organic
Growing Herb Gardens
Herbs are a fragrant and delicious part of any garden, but they are also helpful plants that aid the over all health of your garden as well as the body. Flowering herbs can be excellent sources of nectar for pollinators. Different varieties of herbs are packed with essential nutrients that provide a myriad of health benefits. Herbs can be used fresh from the garden for recipes or clipped directly from the plant and dried in order to be enjoyed year round.
Growing an Herb Garden
Click on each step to see how to make your own herb garden:
Choose what varieties of herbs you would like to grow in your garden. Most herbs enjoy full-sun exposure though there are few varieties that can handle shade and cooler temps. Depending on planting zone, some herbs are hardy through the year like thyme, oregano, rosemary and peppermint--they will die back in the cooler months and reemerge as it warms up. Other herbs like basil and cilantro are more frost tender.
Decide what herbs will work best in your garden and with your light requirements and also what herbs sound tastiest to you.
Most herbs aren't very picky about soil, so standard garden soil and vegetable soil can be great choices to grow herbs as long as there is good drainage and adequate sunlight.
Herbs do great in garden beds, raised beds, as well as containers. When planting herbs in containers, use potting soil to provide the best drainage possible. You can group herbs and grow them together, but be mindful of the varieties. Some herbs like thyme, oregano and peppermint tend to trail and fill in the area, whereas some herbs like basil and varieties of rosemary bush outward and upward. Finding a combination of herbs that won't compete for space and sunlight is ideal.
Co-planting herbs near other vegetable plants is also an excellent way to deter pests. Planting basil by your tomato plants can help prevent pests and squirrels.
Watering and Fertilizing
A general rule of thumb is woodier herbs (like rosemary, oregano, and thyme, etc.) like to dry out between waterings while leafier, softer varieties like basil like an evenly moist soil. Consider the rainfall your garden experiences and the overall temperature. Hot, dry weeks will require more frequent watering whereas with consistent rainfall, you may not need to water at all that week. If you grow your herbs in containers, they will require more frequent waterings because the soil dries out faster.
Fertilize your herbs lightly. If you feed them too often, it can cause them to grow at very rapid rates and in doing so, the essential oils that flavor and add smell to your herbs will dissipate some. Fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer monthly is recommended. Herbs grown in containers will require more fertilizer because once the soil is leeched of nutrients, it won't have anymore unless it is added back in manually through a fertilizer.
Depending on how strong the branches of the herbs are, you can pinch the stem with your fingers or use snips to cut off pieces of your herbs as needed. Keep any leftover herbs in your fridge or hang them upside down by the bunch in a warm, dry place and wait for them to dry. Enjoy!
- herbs (started plants or seeds)
- soil (potting soil for container)
- a plot of land or container