How to Plant Your Own Herb Container Garden

Grow some of your favorite herbs in a container so you can just step outside the kitchen door and pick leaves fresh off the plant.

Do you like to use fresh herbs in your cooking?  Me too. Especially basil.

What I don’t like is having to pay for them in my local supermarket.  It can be hard to find fresh herbs in that look good, and they can be awfully expensive for a small amount.

So this year, I decided to grow some of my favorite herbs in a container.  That way, I can just step outside my kitchen door and pick my herbs fresh off the plant.

It is very easy to create your own herb container. Just follow these steps.

Container of Herbs

Pick a Sunny Spot

Place your container in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sun a day. Herbs love the sun and won’t grow as well in shade.


Fill Containers

Once you choose a container (make sure it has drainage holes!) fill it with a planting mix that is specially formulated for growing plants in containers. It is light in texture, sterile and holds just the right amount of water, helping to keep plants from becoming waterlogged. Do not use garden soil.


Fertilize Lightly

Add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil mixture before planting your herbs. The fertilizer will slowly release nutrients over 3 to 4 months.  You don’t need to apply any fertilizer after this.  Herbs do not like to too much fertilizer—it causes them to grow larger leaves with less oils, making them less flavorful.


Plant Your Herbs

Now that your container is ready, it’s time to plant. Some herbs, like basil, are easy to grow from seed. You can also choose seedings from your garden center. Choose herbs that you like to cook with for a kitchen garden, such as sage, thyme and oregano. Some herbs may even help repel mosquitoes.

Purple Basil

Water Deeply

After planting, water your new herbs. But don’t over-do it. Herbs don’t like to be over-watered. To check when they need water, simply stick your finger into the soil to a depth of one inch.  If the soil is moist, then you don’t need to water. If the soil is dry, then you need to water your container deeply.  Take care when watering to keep the leaves dry.


Enjoy Your Fresh Herbs

That’s it! Now just watch them grow and get ready to savor your harvest. If you would like fresh herbs as close as your back door, create your own herb container today.

Noelle Johnson
Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist, writer and certified arborist who lives and gardens in the desert Southwest. She is the CEO and owner of 'AZ Plant Lady,' an education company that aims to help people garden successfully in the desert climate. She is the author of the book, Dry Climate Gardening, and her byline has appeared in publications such as Birds & Blooms and Phoenix Home & Garden magazine. She is an instructor at the Desert Botanical garden and Tucson Botanical Gardens.