Planting Culinary Herbs


Culinary herbs are very useful to the avid chef and enjoyable for the gardener, when grown at home. Some of the more popular basic herbs include basil, chives, oregano and mint. These can be incorporated into dishes from appetizers to desserts. Start with the best quality transplants or seed available, and grow them indoors in order to control the climate.

Step 1

Choose what herbs you want to plant. Basil, bay, oregano, parsley, chives, mint, lavender, lemon grass, dill, rosemary and thyme are popular and common. Choose herbs that have similar needs so you can grow them in small spaces.

Step 2

Lay small pieces of screen mesh that you trimmed to fit over the draining holes in the planting containers. Sprinkle a 1-inch layer of gravel over the screens at the bottom. Combine equal parts potting soil, soil and mushroom compost. Layer this mixture into the planter pot about halfway full.

Step 3

Sprinkle water on the soil to make it damp for the herb transplants. Carefully turn the current container the herb is in upside down and slide out the herb by the base. Set the plant carefully into the new pot.

Step 4

Water the herbs to let soil settle around the root ball, than add more of the soil mixture on top of this. Even it out to the top of the planter.

Step 5

Keep the planter herb pots in an area where they will receive four to six hours of direct sunlight per day. You can also use grow lights for larger crops. Do not keep them by heating or air conditioning units, as these will dry them out.

Step 6

Water the herbs one or two times per week so the water soaks through the roots. The goal is to keep the soil moist but not over-saturated.

Step 7

Fertilize the herbs every week during the growing season with a fish emulsion. Although herbs really don't need a lot of fertilizer, fish emulsion helps by providing slow feeding that allows the herbs to produce the most oils and develop a strong consistent flavor. The amount depends on the herb variety. Wearing gloves, work the emulsion into the soil around the base of the herb plant, making sure it doesn't touch the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Flower pots
  • Planting containers, 8 inches by 8 inches
  • Potting soil, well-draining, organic
  • Sand
  • Mushroom compost
  • Screen mesh
  • Scissors
  • Fish emulsion


  • West Virginia University: Growing Herbs in the Home Garden
  • Wilson Bros Nursery: How To Fertilize Herbs
  • Savvy Gardener: Growing Herbs at Home
  • Culinary Herb Guide: Complete Guide to Growing Culinary Herbs
Keywords: growing herb, planting culinary herbs, planting herbs

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.