Growing Culinary Herbs

For untold centuries people have been growing culinary herbs in kitchen herb gardens and even mixed into flower borders. Kitchen herb gardening is intimately woven into the life, times, and customs of all generations.



This is a kitchen herb garden on display in Colonial Williamsburg, VA.

Books on growing culinary herbs are sometimes too technical about the soil and moisture requirements for growing herbs. This needlessly intimidates many would-be herb gardeners.

Most common kitchen herbs will grow very easily from seed or cuttings as long as they are planted in soil that drains well. The majority of culinary herbs prefer bright light and dryish soil.

The two notable exceptions to this are mint and parsley which prefer shade and constant moisture.

Growing cooking herbs requires very little space. If you have a balcony, a terrace, or even just a wide window with a deep sill; you can grow enough herbs to flavor your family's meals.

Aromatic herbs  (Window Decal)
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A row of pots lined up along a sunny walkway will suffice as will a single large pot placed on a bright patio. If you have no other space, try planting herbs for the kitchen at the front of a sunny flower border.

Wherever you decide to plant your culinary herb garden, make sure it's close to the kitchen door. You won't want to make a long trek to fetch a few leaves at dinner time.

Herb Pots

Buy a 16" Ravello Self-watering Planter Here

Tender herbs used in cooking are often planted in herb pots. Either a large strawberry pot or any large container can be pressed into service.

A self-watering planter will save you time and worry during hot, dry weather.

Start with small plants and good potting soil. In a strawberry pot, place a plant into each hole. Place the smallest plants at the bottom. Add any trailers to the top holes. Put the tallest growing herb in the top.

In a pot which is only open at the top, place the tallest plant (basil or rosemary) in the center. Surround this with the small shrubby ones (thymes)and plant any trailers (chives, oregano)around the edge.

When growing culinary herbs in this fashion, extra attention will need to be paid to watering and feeding.

Growing Culinary Herbs in Old Tins

Kitchen Herbs: Oregano
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  • Make sure your old tin is not a valuable collectible that would be ruined by being turned into an herb pot!
  • If you are willing to poke holes in the tin, use an old-fashioned can opener or a hammer and awl to do so.
  • If you are not willing to poke holes in your tin, place some gravel in the bottom for drainage or grow the plant in a plain plastic pot and just use the tin as a cache pot.
  • Scouring flea markets and thrift stores for suitable tins will be as much fun as growing and harvesting the herbs.

    Herbs for Cooking

    Herb Collection

    Order an Herb Collection

    Get your culinary herb garden off to a quick start with this collection of seeds for 18 popular kitchen herbs. Grow an entire varied and delicious herb garden from seed for the cost of just 2 or 3 plants.

    The following links will take you to pages of growing information about these types of herbs:

  • Growing Basil
  • Lemon Balm
  • Growing Rosemary
  • Provence Lavender
  • Texas Tarragon
  • Russian Tarragon

  • Summer Savory
  • Winter Savory
  • Scented Geraniums
  • Cayenne Peppers
  • Rose Hips



  • Questions About Growing Culinary Herbs

    Click below to see questions some of our other visitors have asked.

    Outdoor Basil Problems ... Not rated yet
    I have a friend of mine who has basil planted in a pot on his lanai. The soil stays moist (waters once a week) and consists of Black Cow mixed with top-soil. …

    Rosemary Infestation? Not rated yet
    Three weeks ago I bought two rosemary plants from the local nursery. They have both remained in my kitchen, at a window that gets excellent light and they …

    Harvesting Parsley Seeds Not rated yet
    How do I harvest seeds from my parsley for next years crop?

    Botanical Journeys Plant Guides

    Parsley is a biennial so it will not flower until its …

    Tannins in Rose Hips Tea Not rated yet
    I have osteoarthritis, but tannins in tea make me hurt worse. Although, I want to drink rose hip tea, I am afraid it will give me a flare-up like other …

    Insects on Rosemary
    What insects are attracted to rosemary? Also, on my rosemary plant there are little brown seed like pods on the stems. Are these insects or seeds?

    Pests of Cilantro Not rated yet
    I found some small white insects in my cilantro. They are also in the petunias that I have . How can I get rid of them?

    What Is Lemon Balm Used For? Not rated yet
    I'm growing lemon balm in my new herb garden. It doesn't look like much. What do I do with it?

    Plant Guides Answer

    Lemon balm is not a showy …

    Parsley Side Effects Not rated yet
    I currently have a lot of parsley growing in my yard. I'm using it as an edging around a vegetable garden. The weather here is cool and damp right now …

    Propagating Rosemary By Rooting Not rated yet
    A friend of mine has a beautiful, fragrant rosemary plant growing in a pot. I would like to grow one just like it for myself. She gave me some cuttings. …



    Related Pages:

    A List of Annual Herbs for Cooking and Healing

    Make This Easy, No-Cook Rose Hip Jam

    Return from Growing Culinary Herbs to Plant Guides Home Page


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