5 Easy Herbs To Grow Outside

Growing herbs outside in your garden can be a rewarding experience. Not only do they add beauty to your outdoor space, but they also provide fresh ingredients for your culinary adventures and wellness routines. Whether you’re a novice gardener or an experienced horticulturist, cultivating herbs outside offers numerous benefits. In this article, we’ll explore the essential aspects of growing herbs outdoors, from planting seeds to choosing the best herbs for your garden.

Starting Your Outdoor Herb Garden

Planting an outdoor herb garden starts with choosing the right location. Herbs, generally, thrive in well-drained soil and require full sun to grow their best. Most herbs are easy to grow and require minimal lawn care, making them perfect for both beginners and seasoned gardeners.

Begin by selecting a sunny spot in your garden that receives at least six to eight hours of full sun each day. Herbs like basil, thyme, and rosemary flourish under these conditions. Ensure the soil is well-drained. If the soil in your garden is heavy and clay-like, consider adding organic matter such as compost to improve drainage. Peat-free potting soil or purpose compost can also be mixed in to enhance soil quality.

You can start herbs from seeds or buy young plants. Seeds are generally more economical but take longer to mature. When choosing seeds, check the packet for information about the best planting time and specific growing requirements. For instance, certain herbs grow better in cooler climates, while others need warmer conditions. Plant the seeds following the depth and spacing instructions on the packet.

If you prefer a quicker start, purchasing young plants is an excellent option. They’re often available at garden centers or for sale online. Transplant them into your garden, ensuring they’re spaced correctly to allow for growth. Water them well after planting to help establish their roots.

Choosing the Best Herbs to Grow Outside

Selecting the right herbs for your outdoor garden will depend on several factors, including your climate, the available space, and your culinary preferences. Here are some popular herbs that are well-suited for outdoor growth:


Basil is a favorite among gardeners and chefs alike. This annual herb thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. Basil is perfect for summer gardens, adding vibrant green foliage and a wonderful aroma. It’s an essential ingredient in many dishes, from pesto to salads.


Rosemary is a perennial herb known for its resilience and aromatic leaves. It prefers full sun and can tolerate drought once established. Its needle-like leaves are a staple in Mediterranean cuisine and also make a delightful addition to roasted meats and vegetables.


Thyme is another perennial herb that’s easy to grow and requires minimal care. It enjoys full sun and well-drained soil. Thyme’s tiny, aromatic leaves add a unique flavor to soups, stews, and marinades.


Mint is a hardy perennial herb that can become invasive if not contained. It thrives in full sun to partial shade and likes moist, well-drained soil. Mint’s refreshing leaves are perfect for teas, desserts, and cocktails.


Parsley is a biennial herb often grown as an annual. It prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Parsley’s flat or curly leaves are commonly used as a garnish or in salads, soups, and sauces.

Caring for Your Outdoor Herb Garden

Once your herbs are planted, caring for them is straightforward. Regular lawn care, suitable watering, and occasional fertilizing will keep your plants healthy and productive.


Water your herbs regularly, especially during dry spells. Most herbs prefer the soil to be kept moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can lead to root rot, particularly in herbs like rosemary and thyme. A good rule of thumb is to water deeply and less frequently to encourage the roots to grow down into the soil.


Herbs generally don’t require heavy feeding, but they will benefit from a slow-release fertiliser or an occasional dose of plant food. Organic options, such as compost or seaweed extract, are excellent choices. Be cautious with synthetic fertilizers, as they can lead to excessive growth that diminishes the flavor of the herbs.

Pruning and Harvesting

Regular pruning encourages bushier growth and prevents herbs from becoming leggy. It also provides you with fresh herbs throughout the growing season. For annual herbs like basil, pinch off the flower buds to keep the plants producing leaves. Harvest perennial herbs like rosemary and thyme by cutting sprigs as needed, ensuring you don’t take more than one-third of the plant at a time.

Pest and Disease Management

Herbs are generally resilient to pests and diseases, but occasional problems can arise. Keep an eye out for common issues such as aphids, spider mites, and fungal diseases. Using natural pest control methods, like neem oil or insecticidal soap, can help manage these problems without harming beneficial insects.

Maximizing Your Herb Garden’s Potential

To make the most of your herb garden, consider companion planting, succession planting, and extending the growing season.

Companion Planting

Certain herbs grow well together and can even benefit each other. For instance, basil planted alongside tomatoes can enhance their growth and flavor. Rosemary and sage enjoy similar growing conditions and can be planted together. Avoid planting herbs that compete for the same resources, like mint and parsley.

Succession Planting

Succession planting involves planting new seeds or seedlings at intervals throughout the growing season. This technique ensures a continuous harvest of fresh herbs. For example, sowing basil seeds every few weeks will provide a steady supply of leaves all summer long.

Extending the Growing Season

To extend the growing season, consider using cloches, row covers, or cold frames. These tools protect your herbs from frost and allow you to harvest fresh herbs well into the fall. In milder climates, some herbs like parsley and thyme can be harvested year-round.

Growing herbs outside in your garden is a delightful and rewarding endeavor. With the right choice of location, soil, and herbs, you can create a lush and productive herb garden. Proper care, including watering, fertilizing, and pruning, will ensure your herbs thrive. By utilizing techniques like companion planting and succession planting, you can maximize your garden’s potential and enjoy fresh herbs throughout the growing season. Whether you’re growing basil for your culinary creations or mint for refreshing summer drinks, an outdoor herb garden brings beauty, flavor, and a touch of nature to your home. So, roll up your sleeves, plant those seeds, and watch your herb garden flourish!




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