Planter of your choosing (clay, plastic, wood… anything will work) | Good quality potting mix | Rocks or mulch to layer in the bottom of a deep planter | Herbs of your choosing | Trowel | Gardening gloves | Garden labels (to remind you which herb is where) | Organic fertilizer | Water
1. Choose your planter
Anything will work: clay, plastic, wood or even a window box. Just make sure it has plenty of holes in the bottom for water to drain. Keep in mind, the larger the planter, the bigger your herbs will grow and the more space you’ll have for a variety of plants.
2. Select good quality potting mix
Mark Wheeler, with Wheeler Gardens and Florists, says the soil is one of the most important components in any type of planting but especially when it comes to container plants. Unlike soil, which is dense, potting mixes are lightweight and loose, which helps ensure good drainage. Mark recommends choosing a mix that contains a slow-release fertilizer. (If it doesn’t contain fertilizer you can add in some on your own. Herbs require very little fertilizer, so you won’t need much.)
3. Choose the herbs you want to plant
The combinations are endless. (See suggested pairings below!) Whatever combo you choose, make sure they all like the same sort of growing conditions and have similar needs, such as how much sunlight and water they need to thrive. Wheeler says most herbs will take full sun, which means six to eight hours of sunlight a day. And they’ll need to be watered frequently, so it’s a good idea to place your pot near a garden hose or another water source. Wheeler says just about any combo will work, but be careful with mints. They tend to prefer more shade than other herbs and can also take over and affect the aroma and flavor of other plants.
4. Start planting
Decide where the planter will sit before you fill it, since it will become heavy once it’s full. If your planter is deep, you can layer rocks or mulch in the bottom to take up space and also to help with drainage. Then fill your planter half to three-quarters full with the potting mix. Using a trowel or your hands, carve out a space for each plant. You might consider planting the taller herbs in the back and shorter ones in front for aesthetic purposes. Once the plants are in place, add more potting mix to finish filling in the planter, and leave a couple of inches at the top. Gently pack the potting mix down around the plants. Finally, add labels if you’d like, and water the plants liberally.