How to Grow an Herb Garden
By: Julie Day
If you’re new to gardening, one of the easiest and most satisfying ways to get started is by growing herbs. Herbs are easy to grow, and you can grow everything from culinary herbs to aromatic or medicinal. Here are some tips for planning and growing an herb garden.
Planning an Herb Garden
- Herb Planting Options: Many herbs are easy to grow from seed, and you can also buy already growing plants in a variety of sizes. Garden centers and farmer’s markets even have pre-planted herb containers, ready to water and enjoy!
Like other garden plants and edibles, each herb has its own specific planting, tending, and harvesting requirements. However, most common herbs in home gardens do quite well under the following growing conditions:
- Fertilizer: Herbs like nutritious soil, but it’s important not to overdo it. An overdose of nutrients might make plants grow faster, but they won’t have as good a flavor as herbs allowed to grow in a more moderate environment. Good compost is often all you need, or feed herbs lightly with a balanced, slow release fertilizer.
Herbs in Containers
Herbs are perfect for containers – they have lovely colors and textures and spill out beautifully over the edges of the pot. Any herb will do well in containers, and they’re particularly useful for invasive herbs – like mint – that can take over your garden.
Try planting a mix of herbs in a large planter or barrel, or make a collection of small pots. Add flowers for color if you like. You can move the pots around, and even bring them indoors over the winter, where the smaller plants make great centerpieces.
Herb Growing Tips
Follow these tips when caring for herbs:
- Diseases: Herbs are also generally pretty resistant to diseases, although fungal diseases and other problems can arise on occasion.
- Growing Herbs in Your Garden (video)
- How to Grow Basil (article)
- Annual and Perennial Herbs for Your Garden (article)
- Herb Gardening Basics 101 (National Gardening Association)