You’re going to love this tutorial, if you’ve been looking for a fool-proof way to have a small herb garden.

I am lucky enough to have my own garden. I usually have cucumbers and tomatoes on demand. (Except for now…. our yard got flooded because of a huge water main break. The garden didn’t recover.) However, I can get lazy sometimes and I don’t want to walk out to the garden when it’s dark and I’m in the middle of making dinner. So I decided to make a little box filled with the herbs I use the most often in my cooking — basil, Italian Parsley & American Parsley. This box is attached to our tiny back landing, which serves as my potting shed of sorts.


I also added marigolds for their vibrant colors, bug repelling abilities and they look pretty in salads!

Pick your herbs based upon what you use the most in the kitchen. If you’re going to use any sort of mint, thyme or oregano, keep in mind that they’re crawlers and will take over. Those would be better to plant alone in 6″+ terracotta pots.

Use a 24″ planter. You can attach it to a rail with an adjustable flower box holder (this is similar to what I used). Next fill it two-thirds of the way Mel’s Mix (1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 compost [organic & from as many sources as possible]).

I bought the small herb starters in the 4″ pots and the marigolds in the tiny starter pots. The tiny ones usually have 6 starters in the same tray.


If your plants are root bound, like the image above, you’re going to have to loosen the root ball and gently pull the roots apart. This plant was so badly bound that I had to cut into the roots vertically (bottom to top) and squished the root ball to soften it. Don’t worry about killing your plant! If you’re gentle, your plant should live. I’ve done this more times than I can count.


The marigolds were root bound as well but not nearly as bad. If your plants look like this, gently squish the roots and dirt and direct the roots down.

Fill in all the extra spaces with Mel’s Mix and firmly pat down the soil. Water your planter and voila! You now have a mini herb garden.


What are your favorite herbs to cook with?