How to Start a Small Space Herb Garden [+5 Easy Herbs to Grow]

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small space herb garden

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A small space herb garden is a great way to get fresh herbs in the kitchen. It can save time and money while allowing you to grow your own herbs and use them for cooking.

Before beginning a herb garden, it is essential to find a suitable space and know how much sunlight the plants need. The best place for an herb garden is somewhere that gets a good amount of sunlight and has easy access to the kitchen.

This way, you can start using your herbs as soon as they start growing.


Considerations before starting an herb garden in a small space

small space herb garden considerations

Let’s face it, not all of us have sprawling backyards we can use for gardening. But, that shouldn’t stop you from exploring options to grow fresh herbs.

Creative use of the available space, including balconies and window sills, can guarantee a constant supply of fresh herbs for your kitchen. Before you get started on your small space herb garden, consider the following four factors:

1. Location: Where will you plant your herb garden? Ideally, pick an area that gets at least six hours of sunlight. A small, brick patio with good southern exposure is perfect.

2. Soil: What kind of Plants grown in containers need a well-draining potting mix with plenty of organic material such as peat.

3. Plants: What kind of plants can you grow in small spaces? Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage do well in small spaces. Adding a small pot of basil to your small garden space will allow you to add fresh basil leaves to many dishes without traveling too far from the kitchen.

4. Set up: Are you going to plant outside in your backyard or in containers? What kind of containers can you use?

If you have a small space, find an old wooden box that you don’t use anymore and drill holes in the bottom for drainage or buy small pots that you can stack upon each other.

If you have a small outdoor space or porch that doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight, try using a hanging basket that can be left outside during the warmer months and moved inside during the winter.


Small space herb gardens: Creative use of space

You’d be amazed at what you can grow in a very tiny space. In most cases, you only need a little bit of creativity and imagination. Rethink your space. Here are a few ideas:

1. Grow vertically

vertical gardening

Vertical herb gardens allow for more space in small gardens and can even be placed inside or on a porch.

Growing herbs vertically minimizes the space you need compared to traditional herb gardens. Before starting a vertical garden, consider where you’ll place it for maximum sunlight.

Indeed, the best small space for a vertical herb garden is somewhere that gets a good amount of sunlight and has easy access to the kitchen. This way, you can start using your herbs as soon as they start growing.

You must also think about drainage. Herbs require well-draining soil to prevent the roots from rotting.

When selecting plants, choose small plants that do not grow too quickly. Parsley, chives, and thyme are good choices for small vertical herb gardens because they stay small when planted together in small spaces. They also have a lot of uses in cooking.


2. Grow in pots

Growing herbs in pots is perhaps the easiest way to maximize a small space. You can get pots in a size that works for your space. The pots can also be moved around as needed or allow the plants to get enough sunshine.

You can grow different kinds of herbs in a single container. However, keep in mind that they might require different moisture and sunlight levels. For instance, rosemary grows better in hot and dry conditions, while parsley needs more moisture.

These two wouldn’t work well in the same container.

Additionally, do not over-fertilize your container herbs. Most herbs need very little fertilizer and may die if over-fertilized. Indeed, some herbs grow and taste better if “ignored.” These include thyme and oregano.


3. Polyculture gardening and margin planting

small backyard garden

Assuming you have a backyard or outdoor space, you can use for a garden, consider margin planting. This is the practice of planting herbs alongside other plants. For instance, you can throw in a few herbs alongside your cabbage or spinach or plant them on garden edges.

Annual herbs can grow alongside other crops within a crop rotation plan. For example, basil works exceptionally well alongside tomatoes.

You can plant perennial herbs as bed edging or within the garden border to attract pollinators and repel pests.

Plant hardy herbs such as rosemary on the edges or cracks of a pathway leading to the kitchen. (Yes, they’ll grow just alright.)


Additional tips

  • If you’re not sure what small herbs to buy in the first place, ask your friends and family for recommendations! They might have small herb growing experiences that they can share with you. Many people find that small herb gardening is often a group effort, so if you like working with others, it could be an excellent option for you.
  • If you want your small herb garden to look nice all year round, small herb plants like small rosemary bushes, small lavender bushes, or small marjoram are excellent choices because they can withstand some cold weather without dying.
  • When you’re finished with your small herb garden, it’s time to harvest! Cut down small branches of small herbs (use small scissors), and make sure not to cut small roots accidentally. Make small bundles of small herbs, small enough for your small kitchen counter or small herb pot.


5 Easy herbs to grow in small spaces for beginners

small space herb garden in a container

Not all herbs can grow in small spaces. Opt for small herbs that don’t require much space even when they’ve fully matured. Some of the best small space herbs include:

1. Rosemary

Rosemary is a hardy herb that can grow just about anywhere and requires minimal care. Ideally, plant it outside if you have the space.

It grows into an aromatic woody bush which you can use to flavor potatoes, rosemary chicken, and other dishes. However, keep in mind that it may not grow well during winter.

Extreme cold may kill it, so move it into a protected space until spring.

2. Basil

Give your dishes a taste of Italy with a few fresh basil leaves. The herb tastes good in almost everything, including desserts, savory dishes, and even cocktails!

Basil grows well indoors and outdoors as long as it’s in a sunny spot.

3. Mint

Mint is one of the most versatile and easy to grow herbs on the planet. You can also use it in various dishes and drinks, including baked delights, teas, and cocktails.

The herb comes in several varieties, such as chocolate mint, ginger mint, and apple mint.

4. Parsley

Parsley gives most dishes a uniquely delicious aroma. It’s a biennial herb that requires ample sunshine and moisture.

It’s usually slow to germinate, but you can speed up the process by soaking the seeds overnight.

5. Chives

Chives are closely related to the onion family. They typically appear slender with pointed leaves and produce pink or purple fuzzy flowers.

The herb best grows in sunny spots in rich, moist soils.



Herbs are pretty easy to grow and have the added benefit of being easy to care for. Usually, they can survive drought conditions, but they need light (sunlight makes them stronger). Herbs often suffer from too much water, so ensure your herbs get enough sunlight. Then they should be fine.

Do you grow any herbs in or around your kitchen? What additional tips would you include in this list?

  • Greener Ideal Staff

    Greener Ideal helps you live your life in more sustainable ways with green living tips and commentary on the latest environment news. We want to protect the planet and reduce our collective carbon footprint.

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