Fresh herbs are easy to grow in your own garden. Most varieties can be started from seeds sown directly in the ground where they are to grow. Herbs thrive in unimproved soil and produce more volatile oils when grown this way, which means that they will have more scent and flavor than herbs grown in rich garden soil.
Prepare the seedbed. Turn the soil over with a garden spade to loosen it and make it easier for the seedlings to put out roots. Rake the surface of the soil smooth.
Sow the tiny herb seeds as thinly as possible in rows that are 12 to 18 inches apart. Do not bury the seeds; cover lightly with a 1/8- to 1/4-inch layer of vermiculite.
Mist the seedbed with a hose end sprayer set to a fine mist. Check the seedbed daily and mist as needed to keep it moist until the herb seeds germinate in seven to 28 days, depending on the variety of the herbs.
Thin the herb seedlings when they are approximately two to three inches high so they stand six to 12 inches apart.
Put down a two- to four-inch layer of organic mulch, such as buckwheat hulls or shredded autumn leaves. Keep the mulch an inch or two away from the seedlings so they are not buried with the mulch.
Feed herb plants by side dressing with finished compost in early spring. Pull back the mulch and spread a 1/2-inch layer of compost around the herb plants. Replace mulch.