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What to Grow in an Herb Garden

Whether you have a tiny yard or a few acres, you can always tuck a few pots of herbs in a corner somewhere.

What to grow in an herb garden.

Herbs are well-adapted to growing in containers. You can customize the potting soil you're using so that each plant has what it likes best, and give it the right amount of water to keep it happy.

You aren't limited to containers though; if you have the space go ahead and plant them in the ground. They'll have more room to spread out and grow large, and it's easier to overwinter the perennials too.

What kinds of herbs can you grow in garden or container? The sky is the limit, but you might want to consider your purpose for growing them. You could grow medicinal or culinary herbs, but there are other reasons to choose too. I grow a few herbs just because they smell wonderful when you brush against them, and another one or two that are simply pretty.

Why not grow the herbs that you use most often. Or grow a couple that are hard to find in the grocery store; that's the reason I grow tarragon. Maybe you want a "pizza garden" or a "French herb garden".


A French herb garden could include thyme, rosemary, sage, tarragon and marjoram, among others.


Some common Italian culinary herbs are basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme. Cumin, cilantro, oregano, thyme and marjoram are staples in Mexican dishes.


If you're interested in medicinal herbs, you might want to grow yarrow, comfrey, lemon balm, echinacea, and others you use often.  Any herb that you purchase often, whether at the grocery store, the health food store or online, is one you should consider growing yourself if it's suited to your location.

Catnip for herbal tea

How about an herbal tea garden? Peppermint, chamomile, catnip, lemon balm and echinacea are easily grown and are popular as herbal teas. The Garden Know How website has a good post on how to prepare herbal tea.

Lemon balm, a fragrant herb
Lemon balm

If you'd like to grow some fragrant herbs, try lavender, lemon balm, sage, any variety of mint, rosemary, and more. I love brushing my hand along the plants to release their marvelous scents.

What to grow in an herb garden

No matter what kind of herb garden you grow, include a couple of herbs that attract pollinators to the garden. I've read that bees prefer flowers with a single layer of petals because it's easier for them to get to the nectar. Lemon balm, lavender, borage, chamomile and dill are good choices.

These lists aren't all-inclusive by any means, so once you define your purpose you can do some research and decide what plants you'd like to grow. I'm sure you noticed that many are dual-purpose. Lemon balm is medicinal, it's used in tea, is fragrant and attracts bees. Basil is fragrant, attracts pollinators, and is used in both French and Italian cooking. Consider what kind of soil each one likes, the size they will be when mature, and if they are a good match for your climate.

I like to grow herbs that I use often and regularly as well as some that simply make me happy because they're pretty or fragrant. Growing our own herbs is sustainable and money-saving. The experience I've gained from growing herbs - which seem to be easier for me to grow than vegetables - has given me confidence to try other plants.

Leave a comment and tell us what you're growing or would like to grow.

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