Easy Container Gardening with Herbs

Container gardening is a great way to get your garden started or keep you fingers in the pot all year long. Using easy to grow herbs in your containers adds the benefit of having fresh seasonings for your social distancing culinary explorations. Here are a few ideas for easy to grow herbs for your window sill, porch, or patio. 

For your window sill garden, you can plant multiple herbs in one large pot, or spring for smaller containers with an herb in each. Just be aware that a mix of plants with different moisture requirements in one container can be difficult to maintain. Depending on your decor and the size of your window sill, there are a wide range of container options including classic terra cotta, old tool boxes, recycled wine bottles and tin cans (a fun painting project). Any waterproof container that has holes at the base for drainage will work for indoor gardens!

Getting Started with Container Gardening

To get started with container gardening you need potting soil, potting containers, and drainage saucers/tray.

Some popular and easy herbs for container gardening:


Good for: fragrance, tea, garnishing lamb, mixing with rice, sorbet
Planting: light soil, good drainage, can grow without full sun
Watering: Often (keep soil moist)
Harvesting: Clip often, as it spreads quickly
Notes: Perennial


Good for: fragrance, cooking with chicken
Planting: Sandy/gravely soil for drainage, propagate from cutting, 1 per large pot, need full sun
Watering: Less often (allow soil to dry before watering again)
Harvesting: Strip needles, chop needles (if cooking), or dry needles
Notes: Perennial


Good for: salad dressing, olive oil
Planting: Soil-tolerant, full sun
Watering: Be careful not to over water
Harvesting: Harvest often, especially just before bloom
Note: Perennial, less bitter and more flavorful when dried


Good for: Pesto,anything involving tomato

Planting: full sun, in rich, well-draining compost, 1 per large pot, warm location
Watering: Often
Harvesting: Cut a few inches from the top of a branch, air dry or blend, add water and freeze into ice cubes
Note: Annual, pinch often, pinch flowers, be sure to get smaller variety


Good for: Fragrance, pasta/pizza sauce, soups, eggs, generally versatile
Planting: Great drainage (gravelly soil), full sun
Watering: Less often
Harvesting: at the top, up to half plant, when leafiest, then dry in shade, strip leaves and keep them somewhere dark
Note: Perennial, pinch often

Two keys to success for container gardening with herbs
-Pinch often to prevent legginess and encourage fullness
-Pay attention to sun requirements when selecting your herbs

-JE Forbes

Photo Credit: Flickr/Anthony Cramp, Flickr/Rebecca Siegel, Flickr/cyclonebill, Flickr/Christoph Zurnieden, Flickr/poppet with a camera

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