How to Start Your Herb Garden

Starting an herb garden is an excellent way to ensure your family enjoys a reliable supply of the best herbs throughout the year. Besides preparing teas, cocktails, and herbal remedies, herbs have beautiful flowers and foliage which beautify homes and attract pollinators. Moreover, growing herbs from seedlings or seeds in your home garden is more economical than buying them from a supermarket. This blog article shares practical tips to help you start your kitchen herb garden.

Herb Garden Ideas for Beginners

Growing herbs is relatively easy, even for beginners. You can get significant returns from a tiny investment of your time and effort. Additionally, some herbs can thrive even in tiny spaces, such as windowsills or in a backyard garden. Here are herb garden ideas to help you establish yours.

1.    Choose a Spot

Your herb garden should be near the kitchen to make picking them straightforward when cooking. However, most herbs do well in sunny, sheltered spots, although some grow in the shade. Also, you can grow herbs near the seating or entertaining areas to enjoy the aroma of their leaves and flowers while relaxing.

2.    Choose the Herbs to Grow in Your Garden

There’s a wide array of herbs you can grow in your garden. Here are the primary categories of herbs you can grow at home.

Biennial and Annual Herbs

Biennial and annual herbs include coriander, basil, dill, parsley, and purslane. These thrive in gardens with moist, rich soil. They may bolt when hot and dry. You can grow these herbs from seeds, meaning you can sow them and pick them frequently until the first frosts.

Mediterranean Herbs

Most perennial herbs, including sage, rosemary, oregano, and thyme originate from the Mediterranean. These plants thrive in poor soil and sunny spots. Hence, you need a spot with sufficient light, sunshine, and well-drained soil to grow them. If your garden has heavy clay, you need sufficient horticultural grit and organic matter to loosen it up. While they are mostly evergreen, some of them come back annually.

Tender Perennials

Some herbs are relatively delicate. Hence, gardeners grow them in pots and move them to frost-free areas during winter. These include lemon verbena, lemongrass, and African blue basil.

Invasive Herbs

Invasive herbs spread quickly when growing on the ground. They include lemon balm and mint. When growing them, ensure your herb garden is in a dedicated area where they can spread freely without interfering with other plants. Alternatively, grow invasive herbs in large containers.

Shade Lovers

Do you want to establish an herb garden in a place with limited sunlight? If so, choose shade lovers. These are herbs that tolerate shade. They include dill, parsley, and chervil.

3.    Design Your Herb Garden

When designing an herb garden, ensure you can easily harvest the crop. For instance, ensure the herb garden design allows you to reach and pick herbs without damaging anything. If you have a wide plot, install stepping stones for easier access to the herbs at the center. An oval or round garden lets you walk through or around it faster. You can also set up a triangular herb garden at the corner if you have a small area. Additionally, divide the garden into several areas depending on the herbs you want to grow and their requirements. You can use bark chippings, gravel, or bricks, to try a chessboard or cartwheel layout.

Raised herb beds allow gardeners to influence their soil composition by adjusting it to suit the herbs they want to grow. Also, it makes harvesting the herbs easier by adding another level. For better outcomes, plant taller herbs line bronze fennel near the center of your bed. Also, contrast leaf colors and shapes to enhance beauty. For example, you can plant dark-leafed herbs near golden-leafed ones. Also, you can have great edged plants by growing chives and curly-leafed parsley.

4.    Plant the Herbs

Research the herb requirements, including their growth height and appropriate spacing before planting. Most kitchen herbs require well-drained soil. When growing annual herbs, add well-rotted compost before adding horticultural grit. That way, you can grow Mediterranean herbs in your garden. For a raised bed garden herb, use horticultural grit and topsoil.

When growing herbs in pots, use multipurpose, peat-free compost and crocks at the bottom. Also, add perlite or horticultural grit for better drainage. Before planting the plants, place them to ensure they at the right position.

5.    Care for Your Herbs

After planting, water the herbs regularly until they are established, especially during hot weather. For a steady supply of fresh, annual herbs, sow a new batch when the current one is halfway through its life cycle. When growing herbs in pots, scrap away the compost and replace it in spring. Alternatively, re-pot the herbs in fresh compost. Tarragon and chives require dividing each second spring. Additionally, remember to re-pot or top dress woody Mediterranean herbs like rosemary.

Some herbs, such as chives and mint, die down during winter. Therefore, cut them into the ground towards the end of autumn. Also, evergreen, woody herbs like sage and rosemary get straggly as they age. Therefore, prune them in spring or after flowering.

6.    Harvest the Herbs

After establishing an herb garden, growing plants, and caring for them, it’s finally time to enjoy the results. Culinary herbs require regular picking. For instance, annual herbs require regular picking to prevent them from developing seeds. Learn how to pick herbs to ensure their longevity. Please check our articles on how to harvest mint without killing the plant and how to harvest lettuce without killing the plant for more details.

Once you harvest the herbs, feed and water them so that they can continue growing. Comfrey feed or seaweed are ideal for most herbs. High-potash feed can toughen Mediterranean herbs to withstand dry spells.

Tips for Buying and Growing Herbs for Your Garden

You want to take your cooking to a new level by growing the best herbs in your garden. When shopping, you can buy annual or perennial herbs. Annual herbs, such as basil, grow and die within a year. Perennial herbs, like rosemary, are woody shrubs that can thrive for years.

Annual herbs thrive during specific seasons. Gardeners establish them from seedlings in Autumn or Spring and harvest them until they flower. Upon flowering, they produce seeds and die. Nevertheless, you can harvest and preserve the entire plant at the end of its lifetime.

Perennial herbs can be a staple in your garden. You can use them any time to flavor your soup, casserole, or stock, whenever you need a leaf or spring. However, they require annual applications of fertilizer in autumn and spring and pruning.

Since there’s a wide array of herbs you can grow in your garden, choose only what you need or use in your kitchen. The most popular varieties you can find in almost every herb garden include basil, thyme, Oregon, and rosemary. Once you have these, you can buy other herbs you may need to add to your food pantry.

Additionally, ensure your herb garden meets the needs of all plants when companion-planting the crops. Moreover, ensure they have similar growing needs, including sunlight, water, and soil requirements. For instance, cilantro, parsley, and basil like moist, well-draining soil, and sufficient direct light. Also, they require frequent harvesting, meaning you can plant them in the same garden bed or vessel.

Kitchen herbs like thyme, sage, and rosemary thrive in sandy soils that may dry out between watering. Therefore, avoid planting them where you previously planted similar herbs.


Establishing an herb garden is straightforward when you know what you’re doing. Besides ensuring a reliable supply of fresh herbs for your kitchen, you can harvest and dry the seeds and leaves for use in winter. You can also blend basil with a little olive oil or water and freeze it in ice-cube trays. So, go ahead and start your herb garden now!


When should you start an herb garden?

When to start growing herbs in your garden depends on the plant you want to grow. However, most people plant herbs outside in spring in gardens with free-draining, fertile soil. You can plant biennial and annual herbs outdoors from March to August.

Which herbs are best for a garden?

There are many herbs you can grow in your kitchen garden. The best among them include basil, anise hyssop, mint, chives, bay laurel, chamomile, calendula, dill, coriander, fennel, echinacea, feverfew, lemon balm, lavender, cumin, marigold, oregano, marjoram, parsley, thyme, tarragon, winter savory, summer savory, stevia, sage, and rosemary. These have excellent beauty, flavor, and nutritional benefits.

How do you start an herb garden?

To make an herb garden, choose a stop with the right conditions for growing herbs. Choose the herbs to grow and design your garden. Plant and care for the plants accordingly. Proceed to harvest them when ready.

How do you arrange plants in an herb garden?

Plant shade-tolerant and short herbs beneath bushy, taller ones. When mixing sun-loving herbs, ensure the tall ones are at the north end of the garden and the smaller ones at the south end. Grow herbs throughout the garden. However, avoid combining dill and carrots.

Henry Mugambi

Henry Mugambi

Take a look at this guy. He's almost in his 40s, but he looks like he could be in his 20s. That's because he's a gardener—and a damn good one, too. He's been gardening since he was a little kid, and he loves nothing more than sharing his tips with others. He started blogging a few years ago, and his blog has since become a go-to source for gardening information. His audience trusts him because he knows his stuff, and he always offers sound advice that helps people get the most out of their gardens.

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