How to Build Herb Gardens


Herbs are among the easiest and most rewarding plants you can grow. Because they are often roadside plants that are sometimes considered weeds, many herbs thrive on neglect. They don't need special, rich soil or much fertilizer and will grow in a wide range of conditions. Most types of herbs need plenty of sun, but some need partial sun or some shade. One of the best things about many herbs is that they reseed themselves naturally, creating new plants the following season.

Step 1

Create a growing area in a sunny spot in your garden. The beds in which you grow herbs can be long and narrow, square, or circular. Begin by weeding the area thoroughly. Then mark the area where you want your herb bed by sprinkling white flour on the perimeter of the bed.

Step 2

Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic compost on top of the soil inside the marked area. Then dig it in to a depth of 8 to 12 inches.

Step 3

Water the area well by running a sprinkler for about 20 minutes.

Step 4

Surround your herb garden bed with rocks or bricks, if you want.

Step 5

Plant seeds according to seed packet instructions or buy plants--some herbs, such as rosemary and mint, are not often grown from seed. Dig holes with your trowel that are large enough for the roots of your plants and then set them gently into their planting holes. Cover with additional soil/compost and then pat the soil down firmly with your hands.

Step 6

Water newly planted herbs well by running a sprinkler for about 20 minutes. Keep your eye on your plants and emerging sprouts and water again when the soil surface begins to dry out or when your plants appear to wilt slightly--most herbs don't require a lot of water.

Tips and Warnings

  • Research the needs of each herb you plan to grow because some prefer full sun while others need a bit of shade or filtered sunlight.

Things You'll Need

  • White flour
  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Rocks or bricks (optional)
  • Herb seeds or bedding plants
  • Trowel


  • Gourmet Spot: Grow an Herb Garden
  • Doctor Green Fingers: Creating an Herb Garden
  • A Pinch of...: The Simple, Essential Herb Garden
Keywords: herb gardens, making herb garden, basil parsley chives

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.