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Herb Garden Ideas

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Herbs are just so easy to grow! Start your own herb garden at home and fill it with the best herbs for using in your cooking

Why Plant A Herb Garden?

Planting a herb garden is just such a lovely thing – especially if you’re a keen cook – there’s nothing better than gathering handfuls of fresh herbs right from your garden to use in your food.

It just feels so good. 

How To Start A Herb Garden

It’s super simple and you really don’t need that much thought or effort to get things going – you can be as simple or all out fancy as you like! 

tomato tins planted up with basil plants.
  • Pick and area in your garden you want to use – good places to pick are around the door, on the patio or any spot that gets some sunshine during the day. 
  • Prepare the ground ready for planting – if you’re planting directly into the garden – then turn-over the soil with a garden fork and maybe add a top layer of compost.
  • If you’re making a container herb garden – fill the pots with compost and you’re ready to plant. 
  • If you’re growing your herbs from seeds then grab the guide over on RHS website – it tells you when to sow seeds, thin them, plant them outdoors etc. 
  • I tend to use little herb plants from the garden centre as I like an ‘instant’ garden. 
  • Once the herbs are planted – water them and label them.
  • Water the herbs regularly.

Can I Grow Herbs In Containers?

Yes – totally, you can create a gorgeous herb garden using just containers and pots gathered together. Container herb gardens are suitable for balconies, tiny yards and even window boxes.

You can squeeze herbs into even tiny spaces. 

Check out our Garden Bistro Set feature here – lovely ideas for outdoor living!

Which Culinary Herbs Are Good For Planing In The Garden?

Here’s a selection of my favourite herbs to grow in the garden and how to go about planting and caring for them.

Growing Flat Leaf Parsley – Herb Garden Ideas

A lovely all round herb, easy to grow and you can use it scattered over Italian pasta dishes, chopped up finely over buttery new potatoes, scattered over grilled fish with a squeeze of lemon.

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  • Sow – scatter flat leaf parsley seeds thinly into a large compost filled pot outdoors. Cover with a thin layer of compost and lightly water. They can take around 6 weeks to germinate. Sow the flat leaf parsley seeds throughout March, April and May and harvest from Jun – September.
  • Grow – water regularly and don’t let them dry out. Remove any flowers or yellow leaves to help the plant last longer. You can also buy small young flat leaf parsley plants from the garden centre and just plant straight into pots for an instant herb garden.
  • Harvest – just snip off the leaves and stems throughout the season as you need them.

Growing Oregano

Super easy to grow and quickly takes over! Lovely added to tomato sauces for pasta or pizza, delicious scattered onto cheese on toast or stirred into casseroles.

  • Sow – sow seeds indoors from February – April. Start the seeds off in small seed trays, with compost suitable for seeds. And leave on a sunny warm windowsill to germinate. Once they start to grow, thin them out and plant in small pots of compost.
  • Grow – you can plant young oregano plants outdoors from May – August, so if you want an instant herb garden just buy the young oregano plants from the garden centre for direct planting in the garden. Water regularly – but don’t over water!
  • Harvest – harvest from May/June until around October. Just snip off full stems or pick leaves as required.

Growing Thyme

Another easy herb to grow. Delicious with roast chicken or fish. Nice used to flavour risotto or oven baked tomatoes.

  • Sow – to grow from seed – just scatter a thin layer into a seed tray and cover with a thin layer of compost. Leave in a warm sunny place or use a seed propagator tray with a clear plastic lid. Once they start to grow and are big enough to separate without damaging, thin the plants out and plant into small pots of compost.
  • Grow – don’t over water thyme, it likes to be quite dry, but obviously don’t allow it to dry out completely especially if the weather is hot! You can plant young plants outside throughout the spring and summer.
  • Harvest – just snip off what you need throughout the year.

Growing Mint Herb Garden Ideas

Practically a weed – it grows like wildfire! Delicious used in Greek style dishes like tzatziki, perfect with lamb, scattered over buttery new potatoes or used to flavour gin cocktails or strawberry cordial.

  • Grow – I like to plant lots of different types of mint in the garden – although plant them away from each other as the different mint flavours are quite delicate. Buy them as young plants from the garden centre and be sure to plant them in pots not directly into the garden, otherwise they take over!
  • Harvest – just snip off the leaves you need all the way through spring, summer and into autumn.

Growing Basil

A little trickier to grow and needs lots of sun – this one grows best for me on the windowsill inside the conservatory. It’s beautiful alongside fresh tomatoes or used to make pesto.

  • Sow – to grow from seed – just scatter a thin layer into a seed tray and cover with a thin layer of compost. You can sow seeds from February to around June. Leave in a warm sunny place or use a seed propagator tray with a clear plastic lid. Once they start to grow and are big enough to separate without damaging, thin the plants out and plant into small pots of compost.
  • Grow – It’s best to keep basil indoors, it doesn’t do well in the garden in England, it likes to be warm and in a sunny spot.
  • Harvest – just snip off what you need throughout the summer and early autumn.

Growing Coriander

Likes lots of sun and quickly goes to seed so keep using up and scattering new seeds every week. Delicious served sprinkled over curries, chopped and added to salad or used with yogurt to marinate meat.

  • Sow – sow seeds into pots from April – August. I tend to do them in trough style pots and scatter new seeds every 2-3 weeks in the same pots. They usually take around 4-5 weeks to start to germinate and grow so planting every 2 weeks or so, keeps a good supply for the summer.
  • Grow – keep them in a sunny spot and weed free. Water regularly but don’t over water.
  • Harvest – just snip off what you need throughout the summer and early autumn.

Growing Chives

Super easy to grow and tasty snipped into salad, on boiled eggs, omelettes or salmon and scattered over buttery boiled new potatoes.

  • Sow – you can sow seeds March-May in mini seed propagators indoors on a sunny windowsill and then transport to pots once big enough. I tend to buy these as young plants from the garden centre and plant them into hanging baskets by the BBQ.
  • Grow – keep them in a sunny spot and water well, don’t let them dry out, especially if they’re in small pots they’ll dry out quickly.
  • Harvest – just snip off what you need throughout the summer and early autumn.

DIY Herb Garden Plant Markers – Herb Garden Ideas

Add a little personality to your herb garden and create little painted pebble plant markers to decorate it. This is something the kids love to help out with.

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Get more garden inspiration here

Tips For Making The Most Of Your Herb Garden

  • keep the costs low and shop around for your containers – supermarkets, IKEA and shops like The Range, Aldi and Wilkinson all sell low cost garden ranges at this time of year. Or you could repurpose pots or old buckets from around the house. 
  • for instant results buy small herb plants – again shop around try the smaller independent garden centres or nurseries where you often get more for your money. You can even plant up the culinary herbs available from the supermarket especially if they’re sat on your kitchen windowsill looking a little bedraggled.
  • plant herbs you know you like to eat.

Get more home and garden tips here

Herby Recipes To Make With Home Grown Herbs

Get more delicious meal ideas and easy recipes here

NOTE! If you use food cans to plant herbs be sure to line the can properly with an appropriate material to stop any rust/metal contamination.