How to Design an Herb Garden

Hermann Park Herb Garden image by Photo courtesy of CosmoPolitician/Flickr.com

Overview

Having your own herb garden can save you money, make your food taste better or simply make a special outdoor space more aromatic. There are nearly as many potential designs for herb gardens as there are herbs themselves. By taking the time to plan out the details of your herb garden before you plant, you'll ensure your herbs have optimal growing conditions and an overall design that pleases you.

Step 1

Calculate how much time you'll have to tend to your garden. This should help you realistically decide on the size of your new herb garden.

Step 2

Decide on the purpose of your herb garden. Typically herb gardens are planted for three reasons; to grow herbs used in cooking, home medicinal remedies or for fragrance and aesthetics. Your herb garden may have one of these uses or a combination of the three, but deciding what you'll be using your herbs for will help you later on.

Step 3

Choose your herbs. Decide which herbs you want to include in your garden. This will help you tailor your herb garden to the specific needs of your chosen herbs.

Step 4

Read up on your chosen herbs. While most herbs require a lot of sunlight some do better with shade. Know what conditions your chosen herbs need so you can pick the best location for your herb garden.

Step 5

Choose a location. Once you know what sunlight conditions you need, you can choose the best spot for your new herb garden. You may choose to create a new herb garden from scratch or incorporate your herb garden in with an existing flower garden. Whichever you choose, make sure the area has good drainage for your herbs. This is a must.

Step 6

Plan the placement of your herbs. Create a sketch of what your new herb garden will look like. Even a very rough drawing will help you better use your space and make your herb garden more visually appealing.

Step 7

Prep your area. If starting from scratch, stake out your garden using wooden stakes or sticks and tie string from one stake to the other. This will help you visualize your herb garden and make design changes before it's too late. If you're adding to an existing space prep the area by cleaning out any leaf debris or unwanted plants.

Step 8

Dig out your garden. Follow the pattern you created with the stakes and strings to form your new herb garden.

Planting Your Herbs

Step 1

Buy your herbs. Purchase your herbs from a reputable greenhouse to ensure the quality of your young herb plants. Ask about the greenhouse's return policy should you buy a plant that dies shortly after you plant it.

Step 2

Plant your herbs. Refer to your drawn plan and dig the holes for each of your herbs, following the planting directions for each plant in terms of depth and spacing. Place them in to the holes but do not fill them back up. Step back and have a final look at the positioning and placement of your herb plants. Now is the time for changes to the design if they are required.

Step 3

Fill in your holes. Once you are completely happy with the placement of your herb plants fill in the dirt around them and give each plant a generous watering to help them settle into their new homes.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always read up on the types of herbs you are planting and note if there are any other types of plants that they do not coexist well with. Some herbs are best planted far away from each other for best growing results. If you switch the placements of some of your herb plants once they are sitting in their designated holes don't forget to adjust the plant's new hole for the proper depth and spacing before filling it in. Never over water your herbs. While you don't want to deprive them of water entirely, herbs taste and smell more pungent when they are forced to "struggle" a little for life. Water only enough to keep the plants healthy but don't pamper them too much.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden stakes
  • String
  • Shovel
  • Water

References

  • Gardening Know How
  • Super Herbs

Who Can Help

  • A List of Common Herbs and Their Uses
Keywords: designing an herb garden, creating an herb garden, how to grow herbs

About this Author

Sophia Darby is a former professional hairstylist who has spent the last six years writing hair-related articles for both online and print publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine, as well as multiple websites.

Photo by: Photo courtesy of CosmoPolitician/Flickr.com