How to Grow Herbs in a Garden

Overview

Herbs make excellent plants for any kind of garden. An indoor countertop or windowsill herb garden is quite a conversation piece, and it provides fresh herbs at your fingertips for cooking. A small bed of herbs near the kitchen door also keeps them handy to snip and use, or you might want to incorporate herbs with pretty flowers and interesting foliage into a flower garden. Many herbs have properties that make them useful for companion planting in the vegetable garden, where they can repel insect pests.

Step 1

Select the planting area for your herbs. Herbs like well-drained soil, and most herbs prefer full sun. Plan your garden with the mature plants in mind, and allow plenty of room for them to grow. Many herbs tend to be "weedy" with tough, spreading growth habits once they are established. Plant herbs in containers, and you can move them to meet light requirements. Containers allow you to rearrange your herb garden so that you can feature different plants as the season progresses.

Step 2

Prepare the planting area. Dig or till the soil at least 6 to 8 inches deep, and work in compost or humus to improve the soil condition. Rake the area smooth. Plant seeds according to packet instructions. Give some herbs a head start indoors, and plant others directly outdoors where you want them to grow. The quickest route to an established herb garden is to set out plants from the nursery.

Step 3

Water herbs regularly, but don't allow soil to become soggy. Mulch herbs to retain soil moisture and to keep down weeds. Use a balanced organic fertilizer. Water-soluble fish fertilizer will not burn seedlings, and it provides nutrients in a dissolved form that plants can use immediately. Fertilize herbs immediately after pruning or harvesting, and it will help them quickly regrow.

Step 4

Trim or prune herbs plants to keep them within bounds. Use the trimmings fresh, or dry them for later use. Pruning herb plants keeps them growing vigorously.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Tiller, optional
  • Rake
  • Herb seeds
  • Herb plants

References

  • Wvu.edu: Growing Herbs in the Home Garden
  • Gourmetspot.com: Grow an Herb Garden
  • Herbkits.com: Indoor Garden, herb kits

Who Can Help

  • Mountainvalleygrowers.com: The Culinary Herb Garden
Keywords: how to grow herbs, plant herbs, grow an herb garden, herbs in a garden

About this Author

Fern Fischer writes about quilting and sewing, and she professionally restores antique quilts to preserve these historical pieces of women's art. She also covers topics of organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family. For over 35 years, her work has been published in print and online.