How to Grow Herbs & Thin Seedlings


Growing herbs for your own kitchen allows you have your favorite seasonings always on hand. You can grow herbs in pots indoors or seed them directly in the garden after all danger of frost has passed. If you are new to growing herbs, plant two or three of your favorites than add a few more each year as you become more comfortable with caring for the garden. Most herbs have the same basic care requirements, but you will want to check the seed packet to verify the exact needs of the varieties you plant

Step 1

Fill a 6 to 8 inch pot with potting mix. Alternately, loosen the soil in a full-sun garden bed that isn't prone to standing water.

Step 2

Sprinkle five to 10 herb seeds on top the potting mix in the pot then cover them with 1/4 inch of soil. When planting in a garden bed, make 1/4 inch deep furrows along each plating row then sprinkle the herb seeds into the furrow and cover with soil. Space the furrows about 12 inches apart.

Step 3

Water the soil in either the bed or the pot until it is evenly moist. Place pots in a warm room to germinate. The seeds should sprout within seven to 14 days.

Step 4

Water both the bed or the pot as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Place pots in an area that receives at least six hours of sunlight once sprouts appear.

Step 5

Thin the herb seedlings once they produce their second set of leaves. Pluck out all but the strongest one to two plants in pots. In beds, thin the herbs so they are about 12 inches apart in the row, plucking out the extra seedlings.

Step 6

Fertilize potted herbs once a month with a liquid plant food, following package application instructions. Fertilize garden herbs at midseason with a general purpose fertilizer.

Step 7

Harvest herb leaves once the plants are at least 6 inches tall. Pluck off the outer leaves on the plant and use them fresh or dry them for later use.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid disturbing the roots of the seedlings you are keeping when thinning the herbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Potting mix
  • Seeds
  • Fertilizer


  • Alabama Cooperative Extension: Growing Herbs
Keywords: growing herbs, thinning herb seedlings, herbal garden

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." 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.