ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Make an Herb Garden

Updated on October 31, 2015
Small Herb Garden
Small Herb Garden | Source

For Centuries herbs and spices have been used in many aspects of life, from flavorings and food preservatives to medicines for treating illness. Some herbs were not fit for consumption, yet still had special properties that kept them in the kitchen garden, such as fabric dye and keeping the house smelling fresh and pleasant.

In times gone by, nearly every home had a kitchen garden where grew herbs, spices and vegetables for the household. These gardens were very near to the kitchen door so they were readily available. Today, it is rare to find a kitchen garden, though many individuals who love to cook actually have small windowsill herb gardens in their kitchens.

A Beautiful Herb Garden With Bench
A Beautiful Herb Garden With Bench | Source
The Herb Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden
The Herb Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden | Source

Laying Out Garden Space

An outdoor kitchen garden will need a sunny local with enough room to comfortably accommodate the plants. An herb garden can be as small or as large as desired, however, a space of that is about 20’ x 5’ is a great place to start. Each herb should be given at least one square foot of space.

There are several ways to create the garden space, with an option that should be able to suite any area. A few ideas for carving out garden space:

1. Make a container garden. As the name suggests, different herbs are planted in containers such as window boxes, flower pots and even buckets. This style of garden is great for homes without a lot of green space. Containers can be placed along walkways, on decks and porches, virtually anywhere that has sunlight.

2. Plant herbs in borders. Many homes already have borders along the house and walks. These borders can be planted with herbs and still offer the visual interest they were intended for.

3. Make a traditional, in-ground garden. With this type of garden the soil needs to be prepared to allow for proper drainage as well as provide a nice fertile soil. Begin by removing the top 18 inches of soil and laying a bed of small gravel about 1 inch thick. Mix the soil with either sphagnum or compost and then replace it into the garden bed.

4. Add a few herbs to an established vegetable garden.

It is quite common to have a combination of border plantings and containers together. The garden is only limited by space and the gardener’s needs and wants.

When to Plant

It is important to check with a local nursery for planting times in each area. These times will in part depend on the climate. Indoor container gardens and heated green houses are not as affected by the seasons as are outdoor herb gardens. Another thing to consider is that some herbs are perennials and return each spring, while others are annuals that grow one full season and must be replanted each year. For ease in replanting it is a good idea to keep the annuals separate from perennials.

How to Cook With Fresh Herbs

What to Plant

Most cooks already know which types of herbs they already cook with, that is where to start. Beginning herb gardeners who are just learning to cook with herbs may have a harder time making this decision. Here are a few herbs that are pretty good choices for any garden

  • -Rosemary
  • -Thyme
  • -Sage
  • -Savory
  • -Basil
  • -Dill
  • -Marjoram
  • -Tarragon
  • -Parsley
  • -Chives

Once the garden is established, it can be expanded as needed to include wider variety. There may come a time when herbs for other uses, like aroma or pest control, need to be included in the garden. The main idea here is to allow for growth since any style of garden will need to change and grow over time.


Once the plants have become established and have adequate foliage, fresh leaves may be harvested. It is important to keep from picking too many leaves or cutting back too much of the herb at any one time. The best time for harvest is just after the dew before it is overly hot.

To preserve herbs for use in the winter use, it is best to harvest leaves before the flowers bloom, and the seeds just after the plant changes color from green to brown. Wash and dry the leaves and seeds then dry them for later use.

Overwintering Perennials

Many herbs have shallow roots and must be protected from heaving in the spring with the thaw. Apply mulch 4” deep just after the ground has frozen. The mulch should remain on the ground until the plant has green growth in the spring. If the mulch is removed the plant could suffer frost damage.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Vicki99 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Meridian Idaho

      I love using fresh herbs, but they are pretty spendy and harder to find. It is so much easier to grow them, and cheaper too.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      I enjoyed your hub. I love fresh herbs but don't use them often enough. I don't have a green thumb, the time nor the space for gardening. The only fresh herb we've grown was a rosemary plant my husband had a couple years ago and I loved smelling it when I went outside.

    • Vicki99 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Meridian Idaho

      Thank you for votes. I have been to Fairbanks many times. My parents had a home in Willow and we used to camp in Denal all the time. Great fishing out that way too.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Vicki-don't know why you haven't received comments on this hub is wonderful! The info, the photos, everything!

      I rated it up and across (minus funny). I always wanted to have a herb garden and my daughters are great gardners...must have skipped me! LOL

      I notice you are living in Kodiak. I lived in Fairbanks for 3.5 yrs. No comparison to Kodiak-it's dry and dusty and in the middle of nowhere, LOL Best part was the drive to Denali Park.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)