Posted on 03 July 2008 by urbangardencasual.com

Creating a Small Herb Garden

By Cindy Haas

Growing herbs is a great way to add a fresh taste to your summer cooking, and even the smallest garden can provide enough room for a few favorites.

Here are some ideas for fitting an herb garden into your city garden:

Strawberry pot

If you have a very small space, growing a selection of herbs in a strawberry pot can be just the thing. Most strawberry pots have room for at least five small plants.

Choose herbs which have similar needs as far as light and water go, and you’ll be rewarded with some tasty herbs all summer long. Some good choices for a strawberry pot include:

  • oregano
  • thyme
  • savory
  • chives
  • sage

Herbs in pots

If you can fit in several pots of herbs, you will have more variety and also greater quantities of each herb. Many of my herbs are grown in 5 large pots and planters. I grow basil in three long planter boxes and produce enough basil to make pesto for my family to eat all summer long and leftovers to freeze for the long winter. Here are some good herbs to grow in pots:

  • lavender
  • rosemary
  • basil
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • mint
  • parsley
  • dill
  • chives

You can also mix herbs if your pot is large enough. Here are some good combos of herbs:

  • lavender and sage
  • dill, parsley and basil
  • thyme and oregano
  • mint and parsley

A separate herb garden

If you have a bit more room in your backyard garden, planting an herb garden is fun, and these can be quite pretty as well. I have a small herb garden in the ground. I added it next to my butterfly garden in order to provide butterflies with additional food, and it was a fun and fairly quick project.

Try to make sure that your herb garden is home to mainly herbs which like hot and dry conditions. Remember, most herbs don’t like a lot of moisture and don’t need rich fertile soil. Instead of adding in manure to the soil, I added in sand, a few handsful of pea gravel and then a small amount of compost.

Adding rocks or bricks to an herb garden will give it more of a formal shape. This can be nice since most herbs are not really decorative. However, adding in stone or brick walkways and lining your herb garden with stones is useful, too. The stones absorb heat during the day, keeping the soil warmer at night. Most of the herbs we commonly use are Mediterranean plants and love the heat. Adding in many stones is like giving these plants a heating pad, and they’ll thrive because of it.

Most of the commonly grown herbs will be hardy, although there are some which are annuals such as basil. There are other herbs which need to be taken indoors during the winter, such as rosemary. Here is a list of herbs I grow in the garden:

  • sage
  • lavender
  • basil
  • oregano
  • thyme (three varieties)
  • rosemary – it grows in a pot but the pot is kept in the middle of the garden
  • dill
  • parsley

Your herb garden will give you a lot of pleasure whether it is in a strawberry pot on your front porch or a decorative knot garden at the edge of your vegetable garden.

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5 Responses to “Creating a Small Herb Garden”

  1. urbangardencasual.com Green Home Hints and Tips Says:

    Most definitely an excellent post. Considering the medical and aromatic benefits of growing your own herbs, I’m surprised more people don’t do this themselves. They take up next to no room at all, especially if you grow them in pots!

    Hopefully your post will inspire some new excitment in people wanting to begin their own herb garden!

    Dave

  2. urbangardencasual.com Cindy Says:

    Dave,

    Thanks so much for your kind words. I would love to think that someone might be inspired to try growing herbs just from reading this post.
    🙂

  3. urbangardencasual.com Toast with pesto and cheese | Daily Breakfast at the House on a Hill Says:

    […] Urban dwellers rarely have large spaces for herb gardens. There is a solution though. Grow herbs in pots. […]

  4. urbangardencasual.com Toast with pesto and cheese — House on a hill Says:

    […] Urban dwellers rarely have large spaces for herb gardens. There is a solution though. Grow herbs in pots. […]

  5. urbangardencasual.com Cross Country Running Shoes  Says:

    oregano is a good additive on pastas and salads, oregano helps to add that tangy flavor;’.

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