Even if you’re not a gardener, and even if you don’t have a lot of gardening space, you should really think about growing herbs. It takes just a few minutes to create an attractive planter filled with fragrant, delicious herbs–and a small space on the patio or windowsill to show it off. Every summer I plant a container garden of herbs which sits on the deck right outside my kitchen door. It’s so easy to pick a few leaves for a pizza, salsa, or salad, and once you try this I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, too!

You’ll need a large container, potting soil, and 3 or 4 herb plants from your local garden store. I’ve picked four plants that have similar growing requirements so I can put them all into one pot. You’ll want to read about the herbs you’re selecting to know that they’ll all be happy together, or plant into several pots if they have different needs.

If your container is particularly large or deep, you may also want some styrofoam packing peanuts and a piece of landscape fabric (or another small piece of cloth that will let water through).

The containers I use are quite deep, so I start by putting a layer of the packing peanuts on the bottom of the container. 

Then I cover the packing peanuts with a piece of landscape fabric…
…and cover the fabric with my potting soil. (I mix a little composted manure into the soil, too.) This layer of packing peanuts reduces the amount of soil you need to use, allows the pot to drain, and makes the whole thing much lighter and easier to move around.

Add soil to within about 2 inches of the top of your planter, then gently remove each herb from its pot and arrange it in the planter. When you’re happy with your arrangement, loosen the roots of each plant, scoop out a bit of soil in each spot, and set each plant, firming soil around them. You may need to add more soil to even up the surface, but you’ll want to leave at least an inch of space between the soil surface and the edge of the pot (so the water doesn’t run out over the edge).

Speaking of water…you’ll want to water everything well before you  place your planter in a convenient spot. My planter has cilantro, thyme, oregano, and basil, all of which like well-drained soil and full sun, so it sits in a sunny spot on the deck right within reach. The plants look pretty puny now, but in a month or so they will fill the container with gorgeous (delicious) foliage!

This summer I’ll be sharing some recipes that include these fresh herbs and talking about how to harvest and store them. I’d love for you to plant yours so you can join me in trying them! I think you’ll find that there’s nothing quite as easy (or delicious) as an herb garden!

What will you plant in yours?

Kitchen Container Potager + Outdoor Extravaganza Link Party