How to Plant an Herb Garden

Overview

Growing herbs at home is easy to do and it is a delicious and healthy way to add flavor to your favorite dishes. A basic herb garden does not need to take up a lot of space. With a small raised bed, a collection of pots or a window box, you can grow a varied and delightful garden full of flavorful herbs. Herbs grow best in full bright sun so choose the brightest place in your garden if you are planting outside, or choose the side of the house that gets the most sun if you are using a window box or pots. For a well-rounded herb garden, there are a few standbys that should be included such as chives, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley and cilantro. The rest depends on space, preferences and taste. Herbs are hardy and can withstand hardships such as poor soil, lack of water and harsh climates.

Step 1

Whether you are using a window box, pots or a plot in your garden, the first step is to prepare the soil. If you are using planting pots or a window box, it is important to make sure that there is sufficient drainage. Fill the area you are going to use for your herb garden with a mixture of good soil and compost or potting soil with fertilizer.

Step 2

Select the herbs you wish to use from a nursery. Plant nurseries sell starter plants that will grow quickly in your herb garden. Remove the plants from the plastic nursery pots and plant them in the soil so that the roots are covered and the stem is exposed.

Step 3

The easiest way to plant herbs is in rows. If you are using pots, you can plant one herb per pot. But there are no rules when it comes to arrangement. Pots can be planted with multiple herbs or in a garden bed. You can arrange herbs to intermingle or clump together.

Step 4

Water your herb garden whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. Pressing gently into the soil is a good way to determine if the soil has dried out. Herbs such as parsley, cilantro and basil need more space and water than the dryer more flavorful and compact herbs like rosemary, thyme and chives.

Step 5

Harvesting herbs can be done whenever you want to use them. Simply clip off the leaves you will need for cooking. Take stems and leaves from the outside of the plant to allow the new inner growth to develop. If you use your herb garden often, you should not need to do additional pruning on the plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Plot of land or planting pots or window box
  • Potting soil
  • Compost
  • Herb starter plants

References

  • West Virginia University Extension Service
  • BBC-Gardening
Keywords: culinary, planting, food garden

About this Author

Pricilla Bell has been a freelance copywriter and journalist for five years. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine with noted herbalist Susan Parker. Pricilla Bell is currently pursuing a degree from Boston University. Bell has been working with Demand Studio since March 2009 writing articles about herbal and alternative medicine.