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Beginner Herb Garden | Tips for Success

Sharing how to create a beginner herb garden along with my best tips for success to get you started right.

Why Grow Herbs

The reason is probably pretty obvious but bear with me here on this. Growing herbs will of course allow you access to delicious fresh herbs that you can use in the kitchen for cooking, making homemade soaps, or using for medicinal purposes.

Choosing to grow your herbs saves money, and allows you to enhance your experience in the kitchen. All while giving the magical effect of garden-to-table eating that comes with any sort of edible garden. Cutting fresh herbs either for bouquets or for dinner is a sweet experience all its own. Don’t believe me? Join me in the kitchen as I share the Romance of Herbs.

herbs in a box

Steps for Starting an Herb Garden

If you are a beginner here are some simple steps you will want to consider when starting an herb garden.

1. Pick a Growing Area

If you are planting your herbs outside, find a sunny location. Most culinary herbs like ample amounts of sunshine to grow. This isn’t to say they need an entire day of full sunlight as many herbs will benefit from filtered sunlight. But the spot chosen should be sufficiently sunny for the particular herbs you are growing.

Herbs that can benefit from filtered sunlight are basil, cilantro, and parsley which are more tender herbs. Many herbs are happy with 4-5 hours of sunlight. Do your research on the particular herbs you want to grow before deciding on the area as this help you in picking the perfect spot to place them.

2. Select the herbs

Once you do your research on the particular herbs you want to grow, it is time to not just select them but choose how you want them to start their new lives. Seed or plant starts? Cost is something to consider as starting from seed is much more cost-effective. If time is the major factor, then purchasing plant starts from a local nursery might be the best option. Below I have listed the herbs that grow easily from seed to help you decide.

3. Soil

Soil is an important factor for anything you want to grow. Don’t just get dirt from your backyard, get good quality potting soil for your herbs. This will ensure proper drainage and nutrients for them to thrive.

4. Containers

Keep in mind that herbs in larger containers tend to dry out more quickly. Choose pots that offer good drainage. You want the soil moist but not waterlogged after watering.

5. Water

Water is vital for herbs. Too much will drown them and too little will dry them out. So be sure to water consistently. Many herbs like their soil moist but not waterlogged and need to be regularly watered. Be sure to note the water needs before planting herbs together. For example, Rosemary does not require lots of water or even daily watering whereas basil should be watered daily. It is important to consider watering needs prior to planting.

6. Pruning

Once your plants are established, it is time to begin enjoying them. To keep them healthy and growing abundantly, clip off any dead growth you see. Use kitchen scissors or pinch off at the nod to clip off the herbs. Pruning will naturally occur as you begin cooking with your herbs and this will help encourage new growth.

Herbs That Easily Grow From Seed

Growing herbs from seeds might seem impossible however, you would be surprised at just how easy many can grow from seed. With the right location, regular watering, and good soil, these herbs will grow easily from seed.

  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Chamomile
  • Dill
  • Calendula
  • Lemon Balm
  • Mint
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Thyme
  • Chives

Easy Herbs To Care For

Some of the easiest herbs to care for are also vigorous growers. Mint, calendula, lemon balm, and lemon verbena spread in the areas they are grown as they drop seeds at the end of their lives. So if you plant them into the ground, make sure it is a place where it is ok to spread or that can be contained. If you are a beginner gardener, a list of the easiest herbs to care for is so that you can set yourself up for success. Below are 5 of the easiest herbs to care for and what they require.


Mint will spread easily even with neglect so a word to wise, plant it where it can spread or be contained.

Growing Zones: 3 to 11 (depending on species)

Sun Exposure: Full, partial

Soil Needs: Moist, rich, and well-draining soil.


Chives are hardy perennials that can survive through cold winters and be divided easily as they grow in clumps.

Growing Zones: 3 to 9

Sun Exposure: Full, partial

Soil Needs: Loamy, sandy, medium moisture, well-draining soil


A wonderful aromatic herb that grows quickly in either a container or the ground.

Growing Zones: 2 to 11

Sun Exposure: Full

Soil Needs: Rich, medium moisture, and well-draining.


Hardy plants that grow quickly in both containers and in the ground.

Growing Zones: 4 to 10

Sun Exposure: Full, partial

Soil Needs: Loamy, sandy, dry to medium moisture, and well-draining.


Cold hardy and resistant to most diseases. This plant is easy to start from seed and should sow directly in the garden or container.

Growing Zones: 2 to 11

Sun Exposure: Full

Soil Needs: Rich, medium moisture and well-draining.

Good Companion Herbs

Understanding how plants interact with one another is one of the most useful gardening tips to consider. Whether planted in containers or straight into the ground many herbs tend to do better when planted near companion herbs. Some factors to consider are watering requirements, soil conditions, and access to sunlight. Below you will find a list of herbs and great companions to save you the trouble of researching.

  • Basil- Grows well with parsley and oregano
  • Bay- Grows well with rosemary, sage, parsley, and thyme
  • Chives- Grows well with dill, marjoram, tarragon, and parsley
  • Dill- Grows well with chives, lemon balm, lemon thyme and lovage
  • Marjoram- Grows well with basil, chives, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme and lavender
  • Mint- oregano but NOT parsley (Mint is a vigorous spreader so be sure to plant it in its own container or an area it can be contained)
  • Oregano- grows well with parsley, basil, chives, rosemary, sage, savory, and thyme.
  • Parsley- grows well with basil, chives, dill, fennel, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, sage, rosemary, oregano, savory, and thyme.
  • Rosemary- Grows well with bay, basil, chives, fennel, lavender, lemon verbena, marjoram, oregano, parsley, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme
  • Sage- Grows well with fennel, lavender, lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, lovage, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, thyme, and tarragon.
  • Tarragon- Grows well with chives, lemon balm, lemon thyme, parsley, rosemary, and sage.
  • Thyme- Grows well with bay, basil, chives, lavender, fennel, dill, lemon verbena, lovage, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and savory.

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