How to Grow & Cook Herbs


Herbs are an interesting and useful addition to the home garden.They add flavor to vegetables, fruits and meats. Herbs are easy to grow, don't require much attention and are attractive to look at. Add herbs to your flower garden or vegetable bed. Use them as edgings to borders. Or grow them in pots.

Growing Herbs

Step 1

Place the coffee filter in the pot to cover drainage holes. Plants in pots dry out more quickly than when planted in the ground. The coffee filter slows down the drainage of water in a pot until the soil has had a chance to absorb it.

Step 2

Fill the pot with potting soil to within six inches of the top. Mix in half the slow release fertilizer per package directions. Fill the pot to the top, and add in the other half of the fertilizer. Mix well.

Step 3

Plant the herbs, each in its own pot, or all together in a large pot. Cover the top of the herb's soil with half an inch of the soil in the container. That way the old soil isn't exposed to the elements but covered with fresh soil. If all three plants are in one pot, plant them equidistant from each other. Plant basil at 12 o'clock, thyme at 4 o'clock and the oregano at 8 o'clock. Water well after planting so the potting soil is thoroughly drenched.

Step 4

Grow in an area that receives direct sunlight for at least eight hours a day.

Step 5

Pinch back the tips of the herbs to keep them leggy. Use the removed leaves in cooking.

Cooking With Herbs

Step 1

Cut four-inch stems of the basil, thyme and oregano. Wash under running water to remove soil and any bugs. Tie the stems together with butcher's twine. Use the bouquet to flavor soups and stews. Add it about an hour before the dish is finished. Remove before serving.

Step 2

Chop about a tablespoon of each of the herbs. Chop three cloves of garlic. Add the ingredients to half a cup of white wine or, if you prefer, apple cider vinegar. Use the liquid as a marinade for chicken or fish. A fresh batch may also be used as a basting liquid for grilling or roasting.

Step 3

Chop the herbs and add them to mashed potatoes right before serving. The residual heat of the potatoes will slightly cook the herbs.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use an organic fertilizer and pesticide on herbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Basil, oregano and thyme plants
  • Pot
  • Coffee filters
  • Potting soil
  • Slow release fertilizer
  • String
  • Wine
  • Garlic
  • Black pepper


  • "The Country Garden"; Charlie Ryrie; 2003
Keywords: grow herbs, cooking with herbs, herbs in recipes

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.