small herb garden

When we moved into this house I knew I wanted to plant an herb garden.  I’ve never owned a home, much less had an actual yard or plant bed, so I knew I wanted to do some spring planting.

Some herbs do really well in pots and others don’t, but I’ve been so pleased at how much these have grown since I planted them about a month ago.  I actually just planted the cilantro this week and you can see how small it is next to the others.  It’s wild how quickly they can go with a few tips.

So far we have planted:

Parsley
Oregano
Cilantro
Rosemary
Sweet Basil
Thai Basil
Peppermint
Lemon Balm
Thyme

Tip 1 | Don’t over-water!  Most herbs prefer moist, but well-drained soil with plenty of sun. Very wet soils will not produce healthy herbs.

Tip 2 | Keep them close.  Choose a spot that is near enough that you won’t forget about them.  I also think the easier in reach they are, the more likely you are to pull a sprig or leaf here and there for your tea or lemonade.  I was simply walking by the mint the other day and noticed it was wilting.  So I gave it about 6 ounces of water and within 20 minutes it was upright again.

Tip 3 | Start small.  If you’re not sure if you’ll be able to keep them up, try starting with three popular and easy to use herbs like rosemary, basil and mint.  See how they turn out and if after a few months they’re still doing well, expand your garden.

Tip 4 | Don’t over-fertilize.  When reading up about starting an herb garden I read that fertilizing herbs too much can actually affect the flavor of the herbs.

Tip 5 | I originally planted the peppermint in the flower bed with the rest of the herbs and was quickly told on social media that mint can quickly take over your garden.  I did leave the lemon balm in the bed with the rest but moved the mint to a pot to help contain it.  I plan on keeping my eye on the lemon balm, but just a note about mint!

basilparsley herbplanting cilantroplanting lemon balmpotted mintplanting oreganoplanting rosemary

Do you have potted or planted herbs?  My mom usually pots hers and they do well, but she keeps them by the patio door so they’re easy to keep an eye on.

I love to hear what people have planted or projects they’ve done while in quarantine.  I think it’s going to be really special to one day look at a tree or plant and think, “wow, it has grown so much since that spring in 2020!”  Having a few visual projects to remind you of this unusual time is going to be really special.

Would love to hear any tips you have if I missed anything!  Bugs keep eating my sweet basil and I’ve tried a few home remedies but I think I’m going to have to do something more.  Any advice is welcome!

What herb do you cook with most frequently?  I’m considering add chives to the mix… thanks so much for sharing and reading! XO –

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24 thoughts on “5 Tips for a Beginner’s Herb Garden

  1. So excited about this post! We just bought our first house and plan to put an herb garden in the backyard. My husband even got me the cutest labels to stick in the ground. Thanks for the tips!!

  2. Love this! Moving into our first home at the end of the month and have been doing a ton of research on how to start an herb garden immediately after move-in! Great tips 🙂

  3. Kathleen, if you have a spot in your garden that would enjoy a burst of fall color, plant a pineapple sage plant. It will be tiny when it goes in the ground, but WARNING! it will be Huge (about 5 feet tall and wide) by fall. It has the prettiest red flowers, blooms for a long time, and in the sometimes dreary fall landscape it’s a proven winner in my yard! I used to plant it at the end of my driveway so I’d see it every time I came home. And, the leaves Really do smell like pineapple.

  4. Randomly found your blog and I’d like to say that you have amazing design, beautiful photos and interesting posts!

  5. We JUST planted a garden and have several herbs in ours so this came at a perfect time! I’m most excited about the rosemary 🙂 Your herbs are beautiful!!

  6. I’m in Columbus, MS and have all container herb and tomato garden. The rosemary, chives, and mint will come back each year. I hardly have to do anything to the rosemary and it thrives! I have found that Cilantro needs some shade and will only do well until late June in MS, which is about the time the tomatoes are ready so difficult to have it if you want to do salsa with homegrown tomatoes. But you can definitely enjoy it now, especially with the cool spring we are having! I do two sweet basil pots each spring to use with all of my tomato dishes from my container grown tomatoes and it usually lasts into October. So happy for you to have an outdoor space and suitable climate to be able to grow your own herbs!! So much better than grocery store herbs and I like that I know that no pesticides have been used.

    1. Thank you SO much for sharing all of this info! Sounds like your potted basil does really well – this is great to know thank you Leslie!

  7. Hi! We pot our herbs in simple clay pots but then “plant” the pots. This keeps each herb contained in their own pots but allows them to get ground water!

  8. We just started an actual veggie garden for the first time and in super overwhelmed at the thought of fertilizing tomatoes! let’s hope I can keep them alive

  9. Yes be very careful of the mint. Blink of an eye and it has overtaken the entire garden !
    Happy Mother’s Day

  10. We are spending our first spring in our 4th home and planted herbs in the garden outside the kitchen window. We planted rosemary in the ground but kept the mint, basil and cilantro in pots. We use our herbs mostly for cocktails but have recently remembered to grab some for cooking. I would say all have been used equally and now I am going to be careful not to over water. Also, read a couple posts today and your roses are GORGEOUS!! Gardening has become a new hobby during quarantine and I really hope I can keep it up when real life starts back.

  11. Any updates on the bugs attacking your basil? I tried peppermint oil but it was not as effective. So, I ordered the Neem Oil. Yesterday evening, I sprayed my plants and guess what?! Today, I did my morning rounds in the garden and no bugs. Also it gives a nice shine to my plant!!!!

    1. So far the water with peppermint essential oil has definitely been an improvement. Wouldn’t say it’s perfect but a significant improvement. Might be time to try the neem oil!

  12. Looking for the bug spray you used on your herbs- can you send me the link or name, please?

  13. If you want to plant peppermint (or any kind of mint) in your garden, cut the bottom out of a plastic pot and bury it with the plant in the middle. The roots can go down, but not out. Have done this for years – works in the yard with other creeping plants 🙂

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