10-Step Beginner's Guide to a Home Herb Garden
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Choose the right location for your garden
  2. Select your herbs
  3. Gather the necessary supplies
  4. Prepare your soil
  5. Plant your herbs
  6. Provide adequate water
  7. Mulch and weed your garden
  8. Monitor for pests
  9. Harvest your herbs
  10. Store and use your herbs

Picture this: a home herb garden setup that's both simple and rewarding. Yes, it's possible! You can cultivate your own personal oasis, filled with fragrant herbs right next to your kitchen window or on your patio. Not only does it add a touch of green to your home, but it also provides you with fresh herbs for your culinary exploits. This 10-step beginner's guide will lead you through the process, making your home herb garden setup a rewarding reality.

Choose the right location for your garden

First things first, location, location, location! It's the golden rule of real estate, and it applies to your home herb garden setup, too. Choosing the right location for your herb garden can make all the difference.

Herbs love the sun, so find a spot in your home that gets at least six hours of sunlight each day. A south or west-facing window is often a good bet. If indoor space is a bit scarce or sunlight is limited, don't fret—outdoor patios, balconies, and even a sunny spot in the yard can work wonders.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right location:

  • Light: As already mentioned, herbs need about six hours of sunlight. If sunlight is less than adequate, you may want to consider investing in a grow light.
  • Temperature: Most herbs enjoy temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It's advisable to keep them away from heating vents or drafty windows.
  • Humidity: Herbs aren't fans of overly dry or overly humid conditions. Too much humidity can encourage mold growth, whereas too little can dry out the plants. Strive for a balance.
  • Space: Give your herbs some room to grow. Overcrowding can lead to stunted growth and disease.

Remember, it's okay to move things around if your first choice doesn't work out. The key is to observe your plants and make adjustments as needed. A successful home herb garden setup requires a little patience and a lot of love—but trust me, the end result is worth it!

Select your herbs

With the location of your home herb garden setup decided, the next step is to select the herbs you'll grow. This can be as exciting as picking out a new outfit or choosing a movie to watch on a Friday night. But where do you start?

Firstly, think about the herbs you use most often in your cooking. Is there a pot of basil that's a staple in your pasta dishes? Or how about some refreshing mint for your homemade lemonade? Starting with herbs that you regularly use can add a dash of excitement to your cooking and also ensure they won't just sit there looking pretty.

However, don't be afraid to try something new. Growing your own herbs can open up a world of flavors that you might not usually buy from the store. For instance, have you ever tried cooking with fresh marjoram or savory? Your home herb garden setup could be the perfect opportunity to broaden your culinary horizons.

Here are a few easy-to-grow herbs that are perfect for beginners:

  • Basil: This versatile herb thrives in warm, sunny locations and is a great addition to salads, pasta, and pizzas.
  • Parsley: Parsley is relatively hardy and can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups and sauces.
  • Mint: Mint can be a bit of a garden bully, quickly spreading if not contained. However, its fresh flavor is a wonderful addition to drinks, salads, and even desserts.
  • Chives: Chives are another hardy herb that can be used to add a mild onion flavor to many dishes.
  • Rosemary: With its preference for sunny spots and well-drained soil, rosemary is a great herb for beginners. Plus, it's a perfect match for potatoes, chicken, lamb, and more.

Whether you're sticking to the classics or venturing into the unknown, growing your own herbs can be a fun and rewarding part of your home herb garden setup. So, what are you going to grow?

Gather the necessary supplies

With your herbs selected, it's time to gather the essential tools and materials for your home herb garden setup. Think of it like preparing for a picnic. You wouldn't want to get to your perfect picnic spot and realize you've forgotten the sandwiches, right? The same goes for gardening. Having the right supplies on hand makes the process smoother and more enjoyable.

So, let's break it down:

  1. Pots or containers: If you're planning an indoor garden or don't have a lot of outdoor space, pots are your best friend. They come in all shapes and sizes, so choose ones that will comfortably fit the herbs you've selected. Also, ensure they have drainage holes to prevent overwatering.
  2. Gardening soil: A good-quality potting mix is key for any home herb garden setup. This type of soil is specially formulated to hold moisture and nutrients, helping your herbs to grow strong and healthy.
  3. Hand trowel: This is a small handheld tool used for digging. It's particularly handy when planting in pots, making it easier to transfer your herbs from their nursery pots to their new homes.
  4. Watering can: While any old jug can do the trick, a watering can with a long spout helps distribute water evenly and gently to your herbs.
  5. Fertilizer: Herbs, like other plants, need food to grow. A slow-release organic fertilizer can provide your herbs with the nutrients they need to flourish.

Remember, gardening is a journey, not a race. It's perfectly fine to start with the basics and add to your tool collection as you go along. After all, part of the fun is learning and growing—both as a gardener and in your home herb garden setup. So, are you ready to get your hands dirty?

Prepare your soil

Now that you've got your supplies ready, let's move on to the next step in your home herb garden setup: soil preparation. Your herbs need a comfy bed to lie in, right? And that's exactly what good soil preparation does—it creates a nurturing environment for your herbs to grow.

Here's a simple way to get your soil ready:

  1. Check the soil type: If you're planting directly in your garden, you'll need to know your soil type. Some herbs love sandy soil, while others prefer clay. Don't worry if you're not sure, a quick internet search can help you figure it out.
  2. Use the right soil mix: For pot planting, a light, well-draining potting mix works best. It's like giving your herbs a fluffy pillow to rest on.
  3. Add compost: Whether in pots or ground, compost is like a vitamin boost for your herbs. It adds nutrients to the soil and helps improve its structure. You can make your own compost at home or buy it from a garden center.
  4. Test and adjust the pH: Most herbs prefer a slightly acidic to neutral pH (6.0 - 7.0). You can test your soil using a pH test kit. If the pH is off, don't fret. Adding lime or sulfur can help adjust it.

By now, you're probably starting to see that setting up a home herb garden involves more than just sticking a plant in the ground. But don't let that intimidate you. Each step you take brings you closer to a flourishing garden and the satisfaction of picking fresh herbs from your own backyard. Now, doesn't that sound exciting?

Plant your herbs

Alright, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty—literally. This is the moment you've been prepping for: planting your herbs. Whether you've chosen basil, rosemary, or thyme, your home herb garden setup is about to get real.

Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Plan the layout: Before you start planting, draw a rough map of your garden on paper. Remember, some herbs like mint can be a little too friendly and take over the whole garden, so you might want to give them their own pots.
  2. Dig the hole: The hole should be twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball of your herb. This gives the roots plenty of room to stretch out and settle in.
  3. Place the herb: Gently place your herb in the hole, making sure that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. This helps the plant absorb water and nutrients efficiently.
  4. Fill and firm: Fill the hole with soil, lightly pressing down to remove any air pockets. But don't press too hard – you don't want to compact the soil and make it hard for the roots to grow.
  5. Water well: Give your newly planted herb a good drink of water. This helps settle the soil and hydrates your plant after its big move.

And just like that, you've planted your first herb! Give yourself a pat on the back. You're one step closer to becoming a seasoned gardener in your home herb garden setup.

Provide adequate water

Now that your herbs are snug in their new home, let's talk about watering. One of the most common mistakes in a home herb garden setup is overwatering. Unlike your favorite houseplants, most herbs prefer to stay on the dry side. But don't worry, getting the balance right is easier than you might think.

Here's what you need to do:

  1. Check the soil: Before you even grab your watering can, stick your finger about an inch into the soil. If the soil feels dry at that depth, it's time to water. If it's still moist, wait for another day.
  2. Water deeply: When you do water, make sure to water thoroughly. This encourages the roots to grow deeper and stronger, making your herbs more resilient.
  3. Be mindful of the weather: Remember, the sun can dry out your soil faster. So, during those hot summer months, your herbs might need a little extra hydration.
  4. Ensure good drainage: This is key in preventing waterlogged roots. If your pots don't have drainage holes, it's time to get the drill out.

Remember, every herb is unique, just like us. Some might need more water, others less. But with these tips, you're well on your way to becoming a savvy waterer in your home herb garden setup. So go ahead, show your herbs some love and watch them thrive!

Mulch and weed your garden

Now, let's shift gears and discuss an aspect of your home herb garden setup that might not sound glamorous, but trust me, it's super important: mulching and weeding.

Let's break it down:

  1. Mulch: Mulch is like a cozy blanket for your garden. It helps retain moisture, keeps the soil cool, and even discourages those pesky weeds. Straw, wood chips, or even shredded newspaper can serve as budget-friendly mulching options. Spread a 2-3 inch layer around your plants, but be careful not to smother them.
  2. Weed: Weeds can be a real party pooper in your herb garden, hogging the nutrients and sunlight your herbs need. The trick to managing weeds is to get them early—when they're small, they're much easier to pull out.

Remember, a little elbow grease goes a long way. And the satisfaction you'll feel when you see your well-tended, weed-free home herb garden is worth every minute spent on mulching and weeding. So roll up your sleeves and give your herbs the VIP treatment they deserve!

Monitor for pests

One of the more challenging aspects of a home herb garden setup is keeping those pesky pests at bay. They might be small, but they can cause big problems if left unchecked.

Here's a simple two-step process to help you tackle this:

  1. Keep a close eye: Regularly check your herbs for any signs of pests. These could include holes in the leaves, a sticky residue, or the pests themselves. Early morning is the best time for this, as many pests are most active then.
  2. Act quickly: If you spot any pests, it's time to spring into action. You can pick larger pests off by hand, and for smaller pests, a blast of water from a hose often does the trick. For a more stubborn infestation, consider using a homemade or store-bought organic pesticide.

With a bit of vigilance and quick action when needed, you can keep your home herb garden setup healthy and pest-free. So, remember to keep your garden tools close and your garden enemies closer!

Harvest your herbs

Now comes the moment you've been waiting for in your home herb garden setup journey: harvesting your herbs! This means you're about to enjoy the fruits—or, in this case, the leaves—of your labor. But how do you know when it's the right time to harvest?

Here are a few pointers:

  1. Look for Mature Leaves: Generally, herbs are ready to harvest when the leaves are fully grown but the plant hasn't yet flowered. This is when the flavors are most intense.
  2. Timing is Key: The best time to pick your herbs is in the morning, right after the dew has evaporated. This is when the herbs' essential oils, which give them their flavor, are at their peak.
  3. Be Gentle: When picking your herbs, be gentle. You want to avoid damaging the plant or any remaining leaves.

And there you have it! With these tips, you'll be able to harvest your herbs at the perfect time, ensuring the best flavor for your culinary creations. And remember, the more you harvest, the more your herbs will grow, so don't be shy—get out there and start picking!

Store and use your herbs

After you've harvested your herbs, the next step in your home herb garden setup journey is to store and use them. Proper storage ensures that your herbs retain their flavor for as long as possible, meaning you can enjoy the taste of your home-grown herbs all year round.

Here are some simple steps to store your herbs:

  1. Drying: This is a popular method of preserving herbs. Simply tie sprigs of herbs into small bundles and hang them upside down in a warm, dry, and well-ventilated place. Once the herbs are dry, you can crumble them and store them in airtight containers.
  2. Freezing: Another great way to preserve your herbs is by freezing them. You can freeze herbs whole or chop them up and freeze them in ice cube trays with a little water or olive oil. This way, you have individual portions ready to add to your recipes.

Now, on to the fun part—using your herbs. The possibilities are endless! You can use fresh herbs in salads, soups, and sauces, or use dried herbs to season your dishes. Not to mention, herbs can also make fantastic teas or infused oils. What's better than a cup of home-grown mint tea or pasta tossed in homemade basil oil?

So, with these tips, you're all set to make the most out of your home herb garden setup. Go ahead, get creative, and let your home-grown herbs elevate your culinary creations to a whole new level!

If you're excited about starting your home herb garden and want to explore more creative ideas for your living space, check out Celina Rodriguez's workshop, 'ART MOM PRESENTS: SHOW AND TELL - PART 1.' This workshop will not only inspire you with artistic ideas for your home but also help you create a more nurturing environment for your home herb garden.