How to Start Your Herb Garden


Fresh herbs are a cook's best friend adding flavor and zip to any dish. Herbs are full of vitamins. Used as a replacement for salt, herbs can improve your diet. Most herbs are not difficult to grow and many from the Mediterranean climate, such as rosemary, oregano and basil, thrive in drier areas with poor soil. Starting an herb garden can be fun and rewarding as well as tasty. Most herbs may be started from seed.

Step 1

Select the herbs. If you're not familiar with herbs outside of the good old standby, parsley, check out the produce department of the grocery store. Try a selection that is new to you. Chopping the herbs and adding them to scrambled eggs, cream cheese or potatoes is a good way to taste them. There's no sense planting herbs you don't like.

Step 2

Plant the seeds. Start the seeds in small pots or paper cups that have a hole poked in the bottom for drainage. Label with the variety of herb. Fill the pots with fresh new potting soil. Press the seeds into the soil and cover with 1/4 inch of soil. Water. Then cover the tops of the pots with plastic wrap and place in a sunny window until the seeds have sprouted. Remove the plastic wrap. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Pinch out all but the strongest two plants in each pot. Transplant when the seedlings are from 3 to 4 inches high.

Step 3

Dig up the area for the herb garden. It should be in an area that receives from six to eight hours of direct sunlight. Add compost and other soil amendments. Turn over the soil again and rake smooth.

Step 4

Plant tall herbs like dill, fennel, sage, lemon balm and chamomile in the center of the bed. Surround with mid-height herbs like basil, parsley, marjoram, cilantro and creeping rosemary. Finally edge the garden with low-growing herbs such as thyme and oregano.

Step 5

Space the herbs from 6 inches to 1 foot apart. The taller herbs should be farther apart than the shorter herbs.

Step 6

Water well after planting. Fertilizing is usually not necessary with herbs.

Tips and Warnings

  • Pinch out blossoms. Herbs lose flavor when they start to flower.

Things You'll Need

  • Herb seeds
  • Pots or paper cups
  • Potting soil
  • Soil amendments
  • Shovel
  • Rake


  • "The Country Garden;" Charlie Ryrie; 2003

Who Can Help

  • National Gardening Association: Herb Gardening Guide
Keywords: herb gardening, planting herb seeds, herbs in the garden

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.