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How to Plant a Container Herb Garden

Updated on April 2, 2017
Rosie writes profile image

Rosie is a library media specialist. An avid reader and life-long learner, Rosie enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise in many areas.

Container Gardening


Container Herb Garden


Reasons to Plant a Container Garden

There are many reasons why creating a container herb garden might be the best choice for you. It could be an issue of space and sunlight. Your yard may be very small and offer little sunlight, which is necessary for your herb garden to be successful. You may have rabbits and deer, like I do, who will eat practically any edible plant you put in your yard. You may be unable to walk around your yard to gather your herbs and care for your garden for physical reasons. Or you might want the convenience and really just want to be able to take a few steps outside your kitchen to grab the herbs you need, while in the middle of cooking something delicious; fresh herbs always take recipes to the next level. Herb container gardeners satisfy the senses as well. They are beautiful to look at, they smell absolutely wonderful, and they create a relaxing zen-like, outdoor atmosphere for you and others to enjoy.

Instructions for Planting Your Own Herb Container Garden

  1. Choose a container that is suitable for the plant you want to grow. Consider its depth and width, so that when your plant is mature, it will have plenty of room to expand. If you are using a large container for several plants, be sure to give them ample space to grow.
  2. If your container does not have holes in its base, you will need to drill a few to allow water to drain well. It is easy to drill a few holes in a plastic container and takes only a few seconds.
  3. Place your container in a sunny spot and fill the base with 1-2 inches of gravel. This layer will keep the roots from sitting in water and will also help to give weight to the container, which will prevent it from turning over as the plant gets taller or from the force of the wind. If you want to save money, use crushed pinecones in the base of the container to provide drainage.
  4. Fill your container with potting soil, leaving about an inch of space below the rim of the container. This space will leave room for watering your plant, without it running over. I like to use MiracleGro potting soil and have found it provides much fuller and healthier plants.
  5. Make a hole in the soil and place the roots of your plant below the soil. Pat the soil down firmly around the stem of the plant. Place a layer of shredded mulch on top of soil, keeping it a couple of inches away from the stem of the plant. This will hold moisture in the soil, and will give eye-appeal.
  6. Water your plant thoroughly on the first day. After that, depending on the weather, you will need to water container plants at least weekly, and during dry periods, more often.

An Already-Made Container System: The Earth Box

The Earth Box caught my eye when a neighbor showed me his deck. He had four of these large containers filled with enormous tomato plants that he grew from seed. I was very surprised at how healthy they were and at the amount of fruit they were capable of producing. I went ahead and purchased an Earth Box for my deck. That summer I had delicious tomatoes and it was wonderful. The container has a built in reservoir at its base that holds water. This can be filled via a funnel tube that your watering hose will fit into. Your plants will never be underwatered with this system as long as it is filled on a regular basis. I filled mine once a week. The system also comes with a black fabric cover for the top part of the container, meant to cover everything but the plants themselves. This cover allows water to seep through but is meant to protest the plant and to provide extra warmth from the sun.

After using it, I realized I could make my own version of the Earth Box and spend a little less. There was no secret to this product. However, if you do not feel like creating your own, now offers the Earth Box at half the price that I paid for it. They now also offer several options to choose from, such as a mini-garden stacking containers, and a junior Earth Box kit. They also have several accessories such as a trellis, stand, and staking system.

Do you have a container herb garden?

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Indoor Herb Garden

Depending on your circumstances, you might want to consider an indoor herb garden. Initially the cost will be more, but the items needed will last for years to come. The convenience of having an indoor herb garden is a huge advantage. Trending now, it is easy to find the materials needed to have a successful group of useful herbs. Most importantly, lighting must be provided for your plants to grow. This requires a well-suited space.

The Indoor Click and Grow Smart Herb Garden is a great place to start for beginners. It can be placed right on a countertop for easy maintenance. Although it comes with Basil plants (cartridges), other plants can be substituted. I love the video that shows the actual growth of the basil plants over a 20 day period of time! Many other refill cartridges are available:

"From Mini Tomato and Chili Pepper to Lemon Balm and Thyme - just pick a plant that excites you and start enjoying it in the Smart herb garden. Plus, we offer you cool tips and tricks about your plant and its stats through our Click & Grow app!"


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    • Written Up profile image

      Written Up 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      Great hub! I love my herb garden and just some new plants (chives) to expand. I'll be planting tomorrow.

    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      7 years ago from Virginia

      Unlike most of my neighbors, I love seeing the deer. However, there are not many plants that they won't eat, so I've had to adapt. Thanks for reading eHealer!

    • eHealer profile image


      7 years ago from Las Vegas

      You have rabbits and deer? How cool is that! I would love to plant a herb garden. Thanks for the detailed and organized information. Voted up!


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