Planting herbs is perfect for those tight on space or new to gardening
Planting herbs that you use in your kitchen all the time are incredibly useful, add wonderful flavor to many dishes and are easy to grow. They smell amazing, in fact, harvesting kitchen herbs is a true delight! When they flower they’re not only pretty but the bees love them. Herbs can make great ornamentals as edible landscaping and are perfect choices for companion planting.
What is a kitchen herb garden?
To some people planting herbs for a kitchen herb garden means actually growing herbs inside in your kitchen. To others, it means planting a herb garden close to your kitchen and growing herbs that you use often so they’re quick and easy to harvest during cooking.
Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor herb garden, planting a kitchen herb garden means having culinary herbs close to you for quick harvesting.
Kitchen Herb Garden from the Gardeners Supply Company
How to Plant a Kitchen Herb Garden
Depending on what kind of kitchen garden you’d like to grow, you’ll either be using pots inside, outside or in a raised bed or garden space. I’ve shared many different ways to grow herbs in containers which you can see for inspiration. You can also buy indoor herb garden kits is you’re looking for something easy.
What you’ll need to plant a herb garden:
- Location with good sun exposure (although some herbs like mints can handle partial shade)
- Garden beds or containers for growing herbs (see lots of cute herb container gardens) + decent soil
- Herb seeds and/or plants from a nursery
What kitchen herbs you plant will depend on the ones you use the most in your kitchen
When planting herbs you can either grow your own herbs from seed or buy larger plants from a local garden center
You can even divide basil from the grocery store and plant them! If you want to grow herbs from seed (here’s a list of seed companies), some are easier than others. Many of the woody-stemmed herbs can take many weeks to germinate and grow into a large enough plant to transplant into your garden (12-16 weeks+). Unless you have the time and patience, these are better to buy. Many of the medicinal herbs like echinacea need to be 3 years old before harvesting.
Easy herbs to grow from seed:
- Mint family
- Lemon balm
Herbs take a long time to grow from seed
- Winter & summer savory
- Most of the medicinal herbs (although some like bee balm or licorcine mint can be sown outside)
Keep in mind certain herbs like mints or crops that self-sow easily like lemon balm take over areas quickly
Some herbs are perennials, other herbs are annuals
In general, the ‘woody stemmed’ herbs tend to be perennials, whereas the softer stemmed ones like basil and cilantro are annuals. Your seed packet still specify. Some of the annual herbs like dill or cilantro will self-sow depending on your climate. Every year we have borage and calendula that shows up all over the garden from natural wind pollination.
Many flowering herbs are excellent for medicinal purposes & companion planting
Herbs like chamomile, mints, and lemon bee balm make great choices for a tea herb garden
Bees absolutely love herbs in flower too
Below is licorice mint flowering (Agastache)
What are your favorite herbs to grow?
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.