How to Create an Herb Garden

Overview

An herb garden brings fresh seasonings to your recipes straight from your own yard. Many herbs are easy to grow in the home garden---the hardest part may be deciding which ones you want to grow. Choose herbs that you already use in your cooking to start with, and expand your garden to more exotic herbs each year. Most herbs require little space to flourish and are easily incorporated into exiting garden beds throughout your landscaping.

Step 1

Fill seed-starting pots with potting soil. Use a sterilized potting soil or make your own by combining 1 part compost, 1 part peat moss and 1 part vermiculite.

Step 2

Sow three seeds per pot, using a separate pot for each herb variety. Sow the seeds to a soil depth twice that of their circumference. Water the soil until it is evenly moist then cover in plastic wrap.

Step 3

Place the pots in a warm room to germinate, approximately 7 to 21 days depending on herb variety. Remove the plastic wrap once sprouts appear and move the pots to a sunny window sill away from drafts.

Step 4

Keep the soil moist at all times. Thin the seedlings down to the strongest one in each pot once the second set of leaves form. Cut off the other seedlings at soil level with sharp shears.

Step 5

Prepare a garden bed once all danger of frost has passed. Choose a well drained bed that receives full sun for the herb garden. Apply a 3 inch layer of mature compost over the bed and till it in with a hoe to improve drainage and soil nutrition.

Step 6

Harden the herbs prior to transplanting. Place outside in their pots for two hours the first day. Continue placing them outside each day for a week, gradually increasing the time outdoors until they spend the full day outside by the end of the week.

Step 7

Plant the seedlings into the prepared bed. Follow spacing requirements as detailed in each herb's seed envelope. Keep the soil moist at all times by providing approximately 1 inch of water to each plant a week.

Tips and Warnings

  • Mint quickly overtakes and kills other plants. Plant mint in its own container instead of in the garden bed. Herbs rarely require fertilization and fertilization may actually damage them.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Potting soil
  • Compost
  • Peat moss
  • Vermiculite
  • Plastic wrap
  • Hoe

References

  • West Virginia University Extension
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension
Keywords: herb garden, starting herbs indoors, planting herbs outside

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.