How to Grow Herbs in the Upper South


The Upper South includes states such as Tennessee, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Like much of the South, these areas are subject to mild winters and warm summers. The majority of soil in these areas of the South tends to be heavy clay, due to these states' proximity to the Appalachian region. Herbs will grow very well in the Upper South climate, although the soil for these regions may need to be amended.

Step 1

Select a site for your herbs that is located in full sun.

Step 2

Test your soil using a soil testing kit available at a garden center. Most herbs prefer well-drained soil that contains little clay content.

Step 3

Insert a spade vertically into the ground to a depth of 8 inches, and work it back and forth to loosen the soil.

Step 4

Spread soil amendments over your soil to improve drainage and nutrient content. Typical soil amendments include organic products such as compost and manure to improve the nutrient structure and drainage. You can also add lime to raise the pH of soil, and a balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer.

Step 5

Mix soil amendments into your soil with a rake.

Step 6

Dig trenches with a hoe for herbs that are twice as deep as the herb seed diameter. Dig planting pockets for herbs that are twice as wide as the root ball but no deeper. Place herb roots into the planting pocket and cover with soil.

Step 7

Check your soil every three days by inserting a finger into the soil up to the second knuckle. Water your plants any time the soil feels dry. Soil should be as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil testing kit
  • Spade
  • Compost
  • Manure
  • Lime
  • Balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer
  • Garden hoe
  • Garden hose


  • The United States National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
  • Mississippi State University: Herbs in the Garden
  • University of Minnesota: Herbs

Who Can Help

  • Texas A&M University Extension: Fall is for Herbs
Keywords: growing herbs, southern gardening, raising herbs

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."