Gardening: How to Grow Herbs - The Best Herbs to Grow in Your Kitchen

In comparison to other plants, herbs don’t need that much care. It is necessary to spray roses and trim orchids, but herbs can grow in poor soil and don‘t need any trimming or special care. As long as there is sunlight and a water, they can thrive, therefore learning how to build an herb garden is quite easy.

However, it’s not quite as easy as just tossing seeds on the ground and leaving them there so you do need to have a few herb garden plans in mind if you want to grow these plants successfully.

How To Build An Herb Garden
How To Build An Herb Garden

How To Build An Herb Garden

Since herbs can do well in not so great conditions, they can overtake your yard quite easily. Lavender is known to spread and Yarrow may take control of large areas. Chives can even become bushy and dense. Be sure to leave enough space in your garden or pot for the amount of plants that you deem appropriate.

Most herbs will do great as long as you give them at least a foot of space between your major sections. For example, chives prefer to grow in a bunch so keep that in mind for your herb garden plans. However, it is important to remember that their roots will need both water and nutrients because other nearby plants will try to compete with them.

The need to prepare soil for herbs is minimal, however that does not mean that it doesn’t have to be done. To support a wide variety of herbs, a good compost or mix of clay and sandy loam will suffice. Also, adequate drainage is necessary when you learn how to build an herb garden. Since many herbs are native to the Mediterranean area, they will grow well in rocky, relatively dry soil. Drainage was perfect where they evolved. All herbs have the need for some water. It has a need to be moist and not soaked.

Rosemary - Mediterranean
Rosemary - Mediterranean - Container Herb Garden

Two herbs that can usually get by without manually watering them are lavender and sage. Any occasional rain will suffice. Peppermint, however, will need more which can be given by an automatic drip system.

By putting down some landscape fabric, you should be able to limit the amount of weeds. This will help avoid pulling up weeds later or resorting to the use of herbicides. Herbicides will possibly kill the biological similar herbs along with the weeds and also spraying them onto your food does not bode well.

Herbs stand up well to bugs, however you may want to use some to sacrifice for the good of the others. Dill is used as a 'trap crop', which attracts insects away from more important crops such as tomatoes. However, if your desire is to grow dill, using insecticide should be a part of your herb garden plans.

When learning how to build an herb garden, it‘s important to know when each herb should be planted. Some herbs can be planted at anytime, however others should be sown at 4 week intervals and others even as soon as the snow finishes melting.

How To Grow Herbs Indoors

Many herbs are versatile enough to thrive equally well indoors or outdoor. As long as they get adequate care, you’ll find a lot of overlap between indoor and outdoor herbs. When beginning an indoor herb garden, just remember that containers dry out quickly and you should check moisture levels frequently for healthy herbs. Other than that, learning how to grow herbs indoors is basically the same as starting an outdoor herb garden.

Luckily, herbs are one of the easiest plants to grow. They require almost no care if they are planted in the proper soil. They also do well in soil not suitable for other plants. Other advantages to growing herbs are that they hardly ever need fertilized, are drought tolerant, and come back annually. The only thing you need to be careful to watch for is the amount of sunlight they need. Always be sure to place your herbs in places where they can get the exact amount of sunlight they need.

How To Grow Herbs Indoors
How To Grow Herbs Indoors

So what herbs do you choose for an indoor herb garden as opposed to an outdoor one?

As a Mediterranean native, Bay laurel requires arid conditions and a good amount of sunshine. But if you want to learn how to grow herb indoors, it can be a good plant for that too. If you plant Bay Laurel in a pot, make sure that you pick one with drainage holes. Let it grow in a spot with plenty of sunshine. Plant it is pre-dampened potting soil and make sure there is lots of room for roots to expand and grow inside the pot without becoming tangled. Allow it a minimum of 6 hours of daily sun exposure, and it will need to be replanted in a bigger container within the year.

Chives grow well in pots, but they really flourish in outdoor gardens. They absorb heat and will grow up to or over a foot with gorgeous purple flowers. They thrive in bunches and can do so for many years, even weathering the cold seasons with little difficulty. Prune leaves near the bottom instead of at the top.

When choosing an herb to grow, parsley is one of the best picks. It is best to grow inside. If you choose to plant your parsley seeds outside, you will have to replant each season. If you grow this herb indoors it will last as long as you take care of it. Once you plant your seeds and it begins to grow, remember that the new leaves grown from the center of the plant. When you trim, always remove from the outside first. These plants are lovers of sunshine. It is important to place them where they will receive southern expose (in the Northern Hemisphere).

When choosing an herb to grow, parsley is one of the best picks.
When choosing an herb to grow, parsley is one of the best picks

It is best to keep the Lavender outside until you are ready to prepare it for potpourri or a perfume sachet. Not only does it make for great ground cover, but it also makes your garden smell great and provides outdoor beauty.

Learning how to grow herbs indoors will guarantee you a fresh supply all year. Make sure the soil is a good mixture of sandy loam and clay to allow some water retention. Whether from an indoor herb garden or an outdoor one, they are a pleasure to behold and smell and will add some zest to your cooking as seasonings.

Kitchen Herbs That Love To Grow Indoors

If you like use herbs for cooking, then you probably love having indoor herbs growing right in your kitchen window sill. But how do you know which ones grow easily indoors? Here are my favorite kitchen herbs that love to grow indoors:


Basil is a favorite for cooking and it grows quite well in the kitchen because it likes the heat. You can start them from seed or use a starter plant. Keep the herb bushy by pinching off the top set of leaves on each stem. You can grow three or four basil plants in the same container and they will do quite well and provide you with enough basil for seasoning and salads. If you want seeds for the next year, put your plants back out in the garden in spring.


Dill is great for pickling, but it also tastes wonderful on eggs especially if you can snip off a few fresh sprigs of dill from your very own plants growing on your kitchen windowsill. Sow the seeds in a large pot and don’t bother to thin them out. Dill makes a great looking plant and even produce yellow flowers.


Mint is another one of my favorite kitchen herbs, however it doesn’t like the heat so much and it needs to be kept at around 65° and not so much in the hot sun. So you want to keep it away from the stove and not right in the window sill as it prefers filtered sun for part of the day. Nothing beats using fresh mint leaves to garnish desserts or to drop into your tea.


Another standard cooking herb, Parsley is actually the oldest herb known to man. It loves to grow in a sunny window but you must make sure that the roots do not dry out so water carefully and check the soil often. Parsley prefers a cooler temperature and doesn’t do well if the soil is fertilized.


Well, you can’t talk about growing Parsley indoors without talking about Thyme and this herb will thrive growing on your windowsill. You can start from seed, and stick it in a sunny window as this herb likes a lot of sun.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is one of the most fragrant herbs and would be wonderful in the kitchen as it will make your work area smell good and the leaves themselves are great to use in a tea. When grown in pots indoors, the stems hang down over the sides for an interesting effect.

Lemon balm
Lemon balm

Growing kitchen herbs indoors is a great way to have fresh herbs on hand for your cooking as well as medicinal purposes. Just make sure you water carefully and don’t let the pots get to dried out and you’re sure to be successful!

Making A Potted Herb Garden

Making a potted herb garden offers a number of benefits that outweigh those of outdoor gardening. It will let you bring plants indoors for the winter, or grow plants in your house all year long. When growing an herb garden in pots you have complete control over the soil quality, amount of water and sunlight.

There is a lot more to growing an herb garden in a pot than just throwing in the seeds and watering. You need to do your research on moisture, soil and nutrients before you begin because in a controlled environment Mother Nature isn’t going to do it for you. With a little research you will find that many herbs, including sage, mint, dill and basil will do well in pots with the proper care.

potted herb garden
Potted herb garden

Make sure your seeds are of the highest quality, because seeds can spoil just like food. Check the dates on the packages, and make sure you avoid using any that got wet. Air has spores that will invade the seeds and oxygen will react with them as well.

Just because you making a potted herb garden rather than a backyard garden doesn’t mean your plants can’t grow outside. Since your herb garden in pots is portable, they can be moved from inside to outside when they would benefit more from the sunlight if needed. Try to plant groups together in the same pots according to how much shade and sunshine each group needs.

Properly maintaining the soil is a big key for your plants to prosper. The moisture content needs to be consistent to meet the plants requirements. Although lavender needs a lot of sunlight, the soil needs to be kept dry. Using clay chips in the pot can help hold the moisture in, but it needs to be monitored or it will stay too wet. Mixing in some sandy soil with it will help make the soil content the best.

Rotting roots is a very common problem for plants in containers. Some plants can tolerate being wet a lot of the time, but most of the herbs out there will want dryer soil. You can check the soil to see if it’s moist - not too wet, not too dry - by pressing your thumb on the soil surface. When it’s moist, it will be springy, and if it’s dry, it will be hard. To check the soil beneath the surface, use a toothpick or a moisture gauge to see whether the soil is dry or moist.

Making a potted herb garden will allow for fresh herbs year round. Herbs for cooking, for example, will get use even out of season. In the summer the pots can stay outside, and in the winter your herb garden in pots can decorate your kitchen windowsill.

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