Planting Herbs

Planting and Growing Herbs -

Most all herbs prefer loose soil. If you have clay or compacted soil, you will need to loosen it by adding in sand mixed with organic matter. They need extremely well drained soil and at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.


Dig holes about twice the width/depth of the container/root system. Space most herbs about 12 to 18 inches apart depending on the mature size of the plant.

Water well at planting and after the plants are established, they will need about 1 inch of water per week by either rainfall or hand watering. The top 6 inches of the ground should be moist after watering. The soil should be moist and not soggy.

Constantly damp soil promotes root rot for herbs. Error on the side of watering less than more to avoid root rot.

Mulch the herbs to cut down on weeds and keep the soil moist. Stray, hay, leaves, compost and peanut hulls work well. Fertilizer should be added sparingly and based on the results of soil testing. Otherwise, aged manure or compost can be added to the top part of the soil.



Note: containers dry out quickly and may need watering more often.


Sage is cold hardy in zones 7 to 11 and can be planted outside in these zones. Zones north of this can either plant them outside as annuals or planted in containers and moved inside during fall/winter. Keeping the tops/blooms pinched back will encourage the plants to develop more branching. As the herbs age an early spring pruning of the woody branches will help to keep them looking healthy especially for sages and thymes. Bay Laurel cannot grow outside in most areas of our country and will need to be potted and moved inside in fall once the temperatures move into the 50’s and can be put back outside as soon as the spring temperatures stabilize.  


Creeping Thymes are excellent in gardens as groundcovers, in rock gardens, growing in containers, planted between stepping stones and draping over low walls.


Lavender and Rosemary plants grow best in loose soil with sand for added drainage, full sun and good air circulation. Water at planting but no regular water schedule as they grow best in drier soil.