How to Grow Your Own Herbs

How to Grow Your Own Herbs
How to Grow Your Own Herbs

Herbs enrich our lives in so many ways. They brighten and enrich meals, provide aromatherapeutic benefits, support our wellness, and look beautiful in a garden or planted in a pot on your porch. Some of us are big lavender lovers, while others prefer the benefits of basil. Whatever your herb preferences are, you can enjoy their beauty and benefits all year round — and you don’t have to resort to grocery store bottled herbs, either! 

Whether you’re working with a windowbox or growing a garden plot, discover some of our best tips for planting, caring for, and harvesting herbs.

Planting 101

Planting herbs is similar to many of your favorite garden plants and veggies; they need sun, water, and weeding or pruning to thrive. If you’re planting herbs in pots, make sure they have good drainage. 

Some herbs don’t play nice together, so keep that in mind when you’re setting up your garden space. Mint in particular can grow wildly and overtake other plants, so make sure to give it adequate space when planting or keep it in its own container. Sage and basil need space, and if you’re planting herbs alongside veggies, keep cucumbers away from rosemary and sage and dill away from lavender. 

If you’re trying to grow herbs year round, choose your varieties carefully. Basil does best in warm weather so probably won’t thrive indoors in winter, even if you keep your house fairly warm. It’s also important to recognize which herbs are annuals (which means they do not come back each year) and which are perennials, plants that come back year after year. Many herbs are perennials, so they’ll need some special care before the growing season ends to ensure a strong comeback.

Indoor herbs do best near a sunny window where they can enjoy the rays and grow at their best. 

Caring for Your Crop

When you’re caring for your herbs, try to water them in the morning, especially in the hot summer months when they’re in danger of being burned by the sun. Just make sure you don’t overdo it — just a small amount each day is fine. 

“Woody” herbs like rosemary and lavender should be pruned once a year; try to implement this practice in the fall. 

If you’re trying to winterize your herb garden, you can consider potting them and bringing them inside. Otherwise, cover them with mulch until the next spring.

Harvesting Herbs

If you’re cutting and storing herbs in the fridge for cooking, wash them and wrap them gently in a damp paper towel. Then place them in a container or plastic zip bag in the crisper drawer to keep them cool and moist.

Excess herbs can be used in pesto, frozen for later use, or shared with friends and neighbors. Boil down basil or rosemary into a simple syrup you can use in cooking and cocktails, or try infusing your own vodka or herb water.

Your herbs can be used in so many ways outside of cooking. Dry lavender and use it for aromatic sachets around your home, freeze rosemary or lavender in ice cubes with lemon to deodorize the kitchen sink, or make hydrosols as a refreshing spritz for your skin on a hot day. The possibilities are truly endless!

We don’t recommend trying your hand at creating your own supplements; that’s what we’re here for! Our formulations have the power of science and expertise on their side, so if you’re curious about how we formulate our herbal supplements, get the details on the Gaia farm and lab here.