Graf Growers

How to Grow Herbs in Containers and Vegetable Gardens + Herb Uses and Cooking Tips

Tomatoes and Herbs

How to Grow Herbs in Containers and Vegetable Gardens + Herb Uses and Cooking Tips

Do you consider yourself a foodie or do you just enjoy the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables in season? Do you add a little zip to your summer meals and cocktails with fresh herbs? Growing fresh herbs can be so rewarding and economical as well. Each year, I plant a few pots of basil, parsley, rosemary and dill in a small space in my landscape as I do not have a designated garden for them. Whether herbs are a part of your vegetable garden or planted in containers on your patio, their great flavor is only a few snips away.

To plant in a container, I would recommend a pot 12” in diameter or larger so they have room to grow. You can grow 3 – 5 herb plants in a 12” pot depending on the herbs. You might want to repurpose another container such as a basket or old washtub.  Either way, be sure there are drainage holes before planting and use potting soil intended for vegetable gardening so that the soil is loose, porous and well drained.  If you are planting them in a garden bed, we recommend that you add both organic Sweet Peet® for a soil amendment and Plant-Tone fertilizer by Espoma. The cost of an herb is usually about the same price as a package of cut herbs from the grocery store. If you invest in herbs at the beginning of summer, you can harvest them all summer with minimal care, but lots of savings in your pocket.

Herb Uses and Cooking Tips

  • Basil is our best-selling herb and the most talked about as it can be used for in tomato salads and bruschetta as well as pasta and other dishes. It is easy to grow and likes being snipped often so it stays full and bushy.
  • Dill is always delicious in salads and with fresh vegetables such as carrots. In addition, it is often used with seafood.
  • Cilantro is popular for Mexican flavored cuisine
  • Rosemary is particularly scrumptious when used in breads, as a skewer for grilling, and sprinkled on pork and chicken.
  • Lemon Grass is excellent to use in teas, asian cuisine and to keep the mosquitos away!
  • Lemon Thyme is excellent with grilled fish and fresh vegetables as it is very aromatic and fantastic lemon flavor.
  • You might also consider adding a few edible flowers such as nasturtium for a little color in your garden and in your salads. I once made a clear gelatin glaze to garnish a cheese ball with nasturtium flowers. Their peppery flavor along with colorful blooms made them the hit of the party.
  • Don’t forget to plant spearmint for delicious mojitos and mint juleps. If you are planting mint in the garden it can be invasive. It is best to bury a pot in the ground to keep them contained.

Now it is time to plant them- let the fun begin!

Growing Tips:

If you are planting herbs in your vegetable garden, keep them watered and protect from frost on chilly nights. If you are growing them in containers, check the watering every day and bring into the garage when there is a danger of frost. Remember to keep pruning and cutting back your herbs to keep them full and producing!

For more information, view our care sheet at Thanks for reading!

-Lisa Graf, Owner

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *