How to Start a Culinary Herb Garden


A culinary herb garden is a great way to add fresh flavor to any meal. Herbs have been used for centuries in cooking, and with your own garden you can not only cut a few herbs straight from the garden, but also clip a group of herbs to be dried for later use or to be given as gifts. To start a culinary herb garden you'll need to know what herbs you will use if you grow them.

Step 1

Select a full sun garden site to grow your herbs in and measure out the dimensions needed for your garden. The size of your garden will determine the quantity of herbs you can grow.

Step 2

Trace the outline of your garden on paper to plan the layout of the herbs you want to grow. Take into account the various heights and widths of mature herbs and space the garden out accordingly.

Step 3

Prepare your soil by removing the upper layer of sod if necessary. Dig throughout the garden area to break up the upper 8-to-12-inches of soil, removing as many rocks as necessary to clear the bed.

Step 4

Add soil amendments such as compost, garden soil, rotted manure, sand, or peat to increase or decrease the drainage ability of the garden area. Spread your amendment 2-to-4-inches deep over the soil layer and then work it in by turning the soil multiple times.

Step 5

Plant your seeds or seedlings into your garden following the spacing requirements of the plants and the depth at which they should be planted. Water enough to moisten the soil but not soak it completely.

Step 6

Continue to keep your soil evenly moist and care for your seedlings for the first few months while the roots establish. Water as needed based on the rainfall received in your area once your plants are established.

Step 7

Prune, care for and collect from your herbs as needed by the specific types of herbs you are growing. Many herb-growing practices are guided by performing tasks based on the flowering time of the plant, so knowing when to feed, clip or water deeply can increase your culinary herb quality and production.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Graph paper and pencil
  • Shovel
  • Soil amendments
  • Seeds or seedlings
  • Water


  • The Edible Herb Garden; Rosalind Creasy; 1999
Keywords: how to start a culinary herb garden, starting a culinary herb garden, starting an herb garden

About this Author

Writing from Virginia, Margaret Telsch-Williams specializes in personal finance, money management, gardening, crafts and sewing, cooking, DIY projects and travel. When not writing instructional articles online, she works for the website Widescreen Warrior as a contributor and podcast co-host discussing all things film and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a master's degree in writing.