10 Indoor and Outdoor Herb Garden Ideas That Guarantee Fresh Basil, Parsley, and More All Year Round (2024)

One of the most rewarding aspects of having a culinary garden is getting to enjoy the fruits of your labor. From snipping off some fresh rosemary for a co*cktail garnish to using home grown lavender in your flower arrangements, growing herbs is one of the most low maintenance ways to start a kitchen garden. The best part? You can grow herbs even if your square footage is limited, both inside and out. Whether you set up a windowsill growing station or plant a dedicated bed in your big backyard, our herb garden ideas will ensure you have access to fresh basil, parsley, thyme and more all year round.

10 Indoor and Outdoor Herb Garden Ideas That Guarantee Fresh Basil, Parsley, and More All Year Round (1)

Your Comprehensive Guide to Starting and Cultivating a Vegetable Garden

Create a Border With Herbs

Blending form and function, herbs can be used to create beautiful edging for your garden. "Herbs can create a lovely border that smells fantastic," says Carrie Spoonemore of Park Seed. "Using herbs as a border can also deter pests away from plants in the center of the raised bed."

One variety that's a particularly great border plant is Anouk Lavender, which makes for a uniform edging that can repel bugs and deter rabbits and deer. Simply plant it around the greenery you want to protect or use it to enclose your entire garden.

10 Indoor and Outdoor Herb Garden Ideas That Guarantee Fresh Basil, Parsley, and More All Year Round (2)

Plant Herbs in Window Boxes

Many herbs grow well in confined spaces because of their fairly shallow root systems, which makes window boxes an ideal place for them. Additionally, window boxes offer good drainage—a necessity for a handful of herb varieties. "Herbs like spearmint, oregano, rosemary, and thyme all work well in window box planters," says Joe Raboine, director of residential hardscapes, Belgard. "Window boxes are perfect if you don't have ample space or are looking for a convenient option to grow culinary herbs."

Go Vertical With a Canvas Shoe Organizer

If you're running out of places to put your plants, consider going vertical with your herbs. "Growing herbs in a vertical garden can be a great space-saver and a beautiful backdrop for any space indoors, on an exterior wall, or in your yard," says Spoonemore. One way to do this indoors is to hang a canvas shoe organizer on the back of a door that receives ample sunlight. "Herbs can remain in the pots from the store, and a small plant tray can be placed inside each pocket to collect drainage," says Spoonemore. Place tall herbs like rosemary on the top rows, bushy herbs like thyme in the center, and basil and mint on the bottom.

10 Indoor and Outdoor Herb Garden Ideas That Guarantee Fresh Basil, Parsley, and More All Year Round (3)

Grow Herbs in Raised Garden Beds

Many gardeners use raised garden beds to grow herbs, flowers, vegetables, and more as they allow for more soil control and have excellent drainage. "Raised garden beds are a great option for herbs," says Kayla Fell, creative director of Refugia Design. "We like to add a mixture of warm weather favorites such as basil, oregano, and thyme alongside varieties of lettuce and tomatoes in our raised beds." If you go this route, it's important to have a system in place to protect your plants from four legged friends, like deer, squirrels, and even your family pet who may scavenge your supply.

10 Indoor and Outdoor Herb Garden Ideas That Guarantee Fresh Basil, Parsley, and More All Year Round (4)

Grow Windowsill Herbs

Want your herbs right where you can see them? Grow the plants on your windowsill. "Growing herbs indoors can be especially convenient for cooking," says Spoonemore. Alternatively, if you don't have optimal lighting in your home, you can invest in an herb garden kit with fluorescent light. "Herbs will need at least six hours of sun or 14 to 16 hours under a grow light," says Raboine.

Keep your herbs in containers that offer proper drainage so the roots don't stay wet—typically, the best size pot for windowsill herbs is 4 to 6 inches deep. "You can get creative and add style to your herb garden by using old tea cups or bowls," says Spoonemore. "Place small rocks in the bottom of containers without a drainage hole." If your vessels do have drainage holes, make sure to use plant saucers or trays to protect your windowsill from water damage.

Xeriscape With Herbs

Ideal for areas where droughts are common, xeriscaping is a garden system that depends on annual rainfall for irrigation and requires little to no supplemental water. These landscapes utilize what the natural climate provides in order for plants to thrive. A handful of herbs are drought tolerant, meaning they are great for xeriscaping. "Lavender, rosemary, and sage are Mediterranean herbs that love the heat and drier soil," says Spoonemore. "This makes them a perfect choice for xeriscaping."

10 Indoor and Outdoor Herb Garden Ideas That Guarantee Fresh Basil, Parsley, and More All Year Round (5)

Attract Pollinators With Flowering Herbs

Welcome pollinators like bees and butterflies into your garden by planting flowering herbs. "Bees are especially attracted to those with more nectar, such as thyme, oregano, rosemary, lavender, and lemon balm," says Raboine. On the other hand, calendula and sage will attract butterflies. Keep in mind that allowing some herbs to flower can change their flavor. "If you plant more than you need and let some go to seed, our pollinator friends will be very appreciative," says Fell.

Combine Herbs With Flowers

Planting herbs alongside flowers is visually impactful, but also beneficial for your garden. "Biodiversity in the garden adds interest by infusing a variety of colors and textures," says Spoonemore. "Having a mix of plants of different heights will add an aesthetic that is pleasing to the eye." Additionally, pairing a pest repellent flower next to your herbs can keep the edible plants safe from predators. "Some combinations that work well together are pansies and rosemary, thyme and zinnias, and roses and chives," says Raboine.

10 Indoor and Outdoor Herb Garden Ideas That Guarantee Fresh Basil, Parsley, and More All Year Round (6)

Plant Herbs in Hanging Baskets

Another way to save space while still creating a beautiful display of herbs is to grow them in hanging baskets. "Herbs in hanging baskets are convenient and eye-catching," says Spoonemore. "They can provide a pop of color and flavor to your outdoor area while helping keep pests away." Any herb that grows well in a potted environment can be kept in a hanging basket. "Some common choices are dill, parsley, marjoram, and basil," says Raboine.

Grow Cascading Herbs

Decorate a pergola or fence by placing cascading herbs close by the structure for the plants to drape over and grow around. "Lemon balm, chamomile, and oregano are herbs that will spill beautifully and will have charming tiny blooms, as well," says Spoonemore. "Creeping thyme is also great to spill over the edge and will shade the soil, slowing evaporation."

10 Indoor and Outdoor Herb Garden Ideas That Guarantee Fresh Basil, Parsley, and More All Year Round (2024)

FAQs

10 Indoor and Outdoor Herb Garden Ideas That Guarantee Fresh Basil, Parsley, and More All Year Round? ›

Many cooks grow herbs indoors during the winter when it's too cold outside or too wet to dig in the dirt, but you can grow herbs inside any time of year. Indoor herbs prefer the same temperatures that most people do—around 65 to 70 degrees F—so if you're comfortable, they probably are.

Can you start an indoor herb garden any time of year? ›

Many cooks grow herbs indoors during the winter when it's too cold outside or too wet to dig in the dirt, but you can grow herbs inside any time of year. Indoor herbs prefer the same temperatures that most people do—around 65 to 70 degrees F—so if you're comfortable, they probably are.

What herb comes back every year? ›

Perennial herbs like sage, thyme, lavender, chives and mint do not need to be replanted each year. But annuals like basil and cilantro will not survive an Iowa winter – so they must be replanted each spring. To make matters more confusing, dill, fennel, and a few other annual herbs reseed each year.

Can you grow herbs all year-round outside? ›

If you are in a year-round warm climate your options are a little more diverse than if you have snow for several months every year. But outdoor herb gardens for most of us are possible for at least 7 months of every year. And if your herb garden is in a container, you can move it out of harms way when necessary.

Can you grow basil indoors all year round? ›

Sure, you could purchase potted basil plants from your local garden center or grocery store in spring and summer. But with just a few dollars of seeds and a little bit of your time, you can learn how to grow basil indoors year-round.

How can I have herbs all year long? ›

6 Tips to Successfully Grow Herbs Inside Year-Round
  1. Get your seedlings off to a good start. ...
  2. Make sure you have enough sunlight. ...
  3. Avoid overwatering your herbs as they grow. ...
  4. Give your herbs a boost. ...
  5. Pinch back your herbs when they are a few inches tall. ...
  6. Take advantage of warm days.

What month should you start a herb garden? ›

If you plan to grow and maintain your kitchen herb garden indoors, you can start at any time of the year. But if you're thinking about creating a little herb corner in your garden or outdoor planter, then the best time to start planting herbs is spring, once the danger of frost has passed.

Will an outdoor herb garden survive winter? ›

Herbs That Can Grow Outside in the Winter

The list includes sage, common thyme, oregano, chives, chamomile, mints, lavender and tarragon. Even in Zone 5, if you toss a frost blanket over some of the hardiest herbs, like thyme, oregano, and mints, you can sneak beneath the cover and harvest when weather permits.

Are basil and parsley perennials? ›

Basil is related to thyme, marjoram, mint, lemon balm, westringia, lavender, rosemary and so on. Labiatae. No, they are as different as an apple or an orange. Parsley can be a perennial and basil is not.

What is the most universal herb? ›

Despite this reputation, cilantro is one of the most widely used herbs worldwide. Both the leaves and tender stems are edible; some cooks use cilantro root to flavor curry pastes and other flavor starters.

Does parsley grow back every year? ›

Parsley is a biennial, not a perennial. What that means is that it grows into a plant one season, and after winter's cold temperatures, it blooms, sets seeds, and dies. The better idea may be to replant in spring, letting it grow all summer and winter. Then, next spring, don't wait for it to bloom.

Is it better to grow herbs in a greenhouse or outside? ›

In their natural habitat herbs thrive in hot and dry conditions so they grow amazingly well in a summer greenhouse. Many summer greenhouses sit empty once summer is underway. Utilize that empty space by growing herbs. With a greenhouse you can enjoy your fresh thriving herbs throughout the year.

Is it worth growing your own herbs? ›

Even if you do use up store-bought herbs the second you bring them home, they still won't taste as good as homegrown ones. Plus, if a recipe calls for a certain herb, it's a lot easier to pop out to your backyard herb garden to cut some sprigs than it is to run to the grocery store.

What herbs can I grow indoors in winter? ›

Answer: Many herbs can be successfully grown indoors during the winter months. The best herbs to grow indoors include basil, cilantro, parsley, chervil, rosemary, bay laurel, mint, chives, oregano, thyme, sage, and lemongrass. Light is often the most limiting factor when growing herbs indoors.

Which herb is easiest to grow inside? ›

Herbs that can tolerate indirect sunlight include mint (Mentha spp.), bay (Laurus nobilis), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), and thyme (Thymus spp.). Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) will even grow well in very low light conditions.

How do you keep herbs alive indoors in the winter? ›

Set pots of herbs on a boot tray filled with river rocks or gravel, then add water to the tray. Use a humidifier in the room. Mist herb plants regularly—except for rosemary, which is prone to mildew. Group similar plants together, so they create their own little micro-climate in the room.

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