How to Make an Herb Garden (Indoor & Outdoor) & 5 Best Herb Kits

According to Greg Pongetti, curator of Living Collections at California State University Fullerton Arboretum, herbs need rich, well-drained soil to grow well. “Herbs don’t like their roots to be constantly wet, so if your soil drains poorly, they may die,” he says.

You can test the drainage of your outdoor soil by digging a hole about 1 foot deep and 1 foot in diameter. Fill the hole with water, wait 12 hours, then fill it again with water. This time, set a timer and see how long it takes for the ground to absorb the water.

Well-drained soil should absorb it less than two to three hours. If yours doesn’t drain quickly, you may want to bring bagged soil made specifically for herbs and vegetables to your garden.

If you’re growing directly in your garden soil, Pongetti adds that it’s a good idea to “modify” the soil by mixing 1 to 2 inches of compost into its top layer before planting to help ensure your herbs will thrive.

If you don’t have a spacious yard or patio and are limited to a porch or balcony, you may prefer to plant your herb garden in pots. It is also a better choice if your garden does not get enough sunlight.

“Use a high-quality potting soil to fill your containers,” recommends Enfield.

Most herbs can grow in a limited space, making it easy to experiment and have a variety of herbs on hand. “An 18-inch container has enough growing space for about five herbs, and a 14-inch container can successfully hold about three plants,” says Enfield.

Terri S. Tomasini