The Easiest Herbs to Grow

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

With this list of the easiest herbs to grow, you’ll always have a fresh taste to your food! Even the brownest of thumbs will find these herbs a breeze to grow!

Everything tastes better with fresh herbs added. But, if you’ve priced fresh herbs lately, you know that growing your own can save you a ton of money. (We’re all about being frugal on the homestead!)

That’s why we like to grow our own herbs. We save money, always have fresh herbs to use as ingredients in our cooking, and we can garnish a dish to make it photo worthy. Plus, it’s just good fun!

You could use a fancy herb growing kit in the kitchen, but to be honest, you don’t really need it. (I REALLY want one, though. lol)

With sufficient feeding and watering, a sunny window, and maybe a

So, let’s get you growing some herbs so you can have fun with us and amaze your family with the fresh addition to your dishes!

The Easiest Herbs to Grow: Great for Beginning Gardeners

Growing herbs is pretty simple and a good place to start for beginning gardeners. Typically, they take up little space. They can be planted as companion plants in an existing garden or raised bed, or you can grow them in containers all by themselves.

Many herbs are also quite attractive plants and would even go nicely in your front flower garden. Think of this as a “hack” for those of you with HOAs that won’t let you have a full food garden in your front yard. *wink*

Here’s a list of a few of my favorite and easiest herbs to grow.

Basil

Days to GerminationDays to HarvestIdeal TempsPlanting TimeSpacingLight PreferenceBest Companions
5-745-7050-80Spring12-16″Full to Partial SunPeppers, Tomatoes

basil plant in a containerPlanting Basil

Basil is a warm-weather loving herb that can be planted in containers inside or outside. It can also be directly sown into raised beds or in-ground gardens 2 weeks after the last spring frost. Plant seeds 1/4″ deep spaced 12-16″ apart.

Make sure your soil is fertile and well drained. Add some mulch to keep the soil moist, but not oversaturated.

Growing Basil

Basil likes to stay moist, so keep plants watered approximately 1″ deep every week. It can grow up to 2′ tall and 12″ wide, giving a huge bounty of leaves to harvest. Feed your basil plants an organic 5-5-5 fertilizer every 4-6 weeks for indoor containers and every 2-3 weeks for outside plants.

Keep basil in full to partial sun outdoors. Supplement light indoors with grow lights or in a southern window that gets 6 or more hours of sunlight per day.

Harvesting Basil

Use garden snips to remove branch tips when plants are 4-6″ tall. Always leave a pair of leaves on the stem so new leaves can grow from the buds in the leaf axils. Be sure to pinch off the flower heads so that the plant will keep throwing out new leaves all season.

When you harvest basil, do it before watering when the soil is mostly dry, and plants are more than 6″ tall. Try not to remove more than 1/3 of the plant at a time to allow it to continue to flourish.

Chives

Days to GerminationDays to HarvestIdeal TempsPlanting TimeSpacingLight PreferenceBest Companions
7-1445-7040-85Spring2″Full to Partial SunTomatoes, Squash

chives plant in the gardenPlanting Chives

Chives are grass-like hollow perennial plants that add a mild onion flavor to any dish. They can be planted in containers inside or outside and can be direct-sow plants for your raised beds or in-ground gardens. Plant chive seeds 1/4″ deep spaced 6-12″ apart.

Chives thrive in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.

Growing Chives

These herbs like six to eight hours of direct sunlight but can tolerate partial shade. These perennials can grow 12-18″ tall before forming flower heads.

The good thing about chives is that you don’t need to feed them much. Slower growth leads to healthier plants that have stronger flavor. If plants begin to show signs of weakness from yearly harvesting, simply add a light application of 5-10-5 organic fertilizer once in the spring.

Chives also grow well in containers indoors. Use a grow light to help aid in their maturity while keeping them in a sunny window. Supplement their growth with

Harvesting Chives

Harvest chives before watering when soil is mostly dry.

When plants are 5″tall, cut leaves 2 to 3 inches above soil surface using clean, sharp garden shears. During your seasonal harvesting, snip leaves from the base of the plant about 1/2″ above the soil level.

In spring and summer, chives boast globe-like flowers that are popular as edible garnishes. Cut these flower stalks at the soil line to encourage continued production from the plant.

Cilantro (Coriander)

Days to GerminationDays to HarvestIdeal TempsPlanting TimeSpacingLight PreferenceBest Companions
7-1045-7050-85Spring6-8″Full to Partial SunPeppers, Onions

cilantro plant in a raised bedPlanting Cilantro

Cilantro is one of the easier herbs to start from seed. Plant seeds one-quarter inch deep in containers, raised beds or directly into your in-ground garden in mid-spring immediately after last frost. Sow seeds 6 to 8 inches apart with 1 foot between rows.

Growing Cilantro

Cilantro needs plenty of water and lots of sunlight. Feed with water soluble fertilizer when the plants have grown to 2 inches or more in height. Sowing seeds at 3-week intervals will allow for continuous harvest throughout the season.

Harvesting Cilantro (Coriander)

Harvest the tips of the cilantro plant to encourage continued growth for future harvesting, cutting off only the last one-third of the stems. If allowed to go to seed, cilantro will reseed itself for new plants, or you can harvest coriander seed heads themselves.

Dill

Days to GerminationDays to HarvestIdeal TempsPlanting TimeSpacingLight PreferenceBest Companions
10-1480-9070-80Spring12-18″Full SunCucumbers, Onions

dill plant in the gardenPlanting Dill

Sow dill seeds three-quarters of an inch deep directly into the garden after all danger of frost has passed. Give the plants 12 to 15 inches of space between as they usually grow 2 to 4 feet tall and half as wide.

Growing Dill

Dill needs regular watering throughout the season to ensure they do not dry out. Succession plant every two to three weeks for continued harvest. If dill is allowed to go to seed and the soil isn’t disturbed much, you will likely have more dill early the next season.

Harvesting Dill

Begin harvesting dill when the plant has more than 6 leaves by cutting with sharp scissors. Take no more than half the plant at a time. Let some of your plants go to seed so you can harvest the seed heads, as well as the leaves.

Mint

Days to GerminationDays to HarvestIdeal TempsPlanting TimeSpacingLight PreferenceBest Companions
10-1445-7065-75Spring18-24″Full to Partial SunOregano, Marigolds

mint plant in a containerPlanting Mint

Mint is a fragrant perennial that typically grows to about 1½ feet tall. Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep 18 to 24 inches apart and cover lightly with soil. From my personal experience with mint, I highly recommend container growth as mint is a very invasive plant. You could also plant mint in a small bed as ground cover.

Growing Mint

Mint likes full sun but can be grown inside near a sunny window if supplemented with a grow light. If growing in containers, it is more important to have plenty of surface area than soil depth. Water about 1 inch per week. Mint needs little to no fertilizer.

Harvesting Mint

Begin harvesting when mint has 4 to 5 sets of leaves per stem. Take no more than 1/3 of the plant at one time to allow the plant more growth. Harvest no more than once a month during growing season.

Oregano

Days to GerminationDays to HarvestIdeal TempsPlanting TimeSpacingLight PreferenceBest Companions
7-1475-9060-80Spring8-10″Full SunMarigolds, Mint

oregano plant in the herb gardenPlanting Oregano

Start oregano from seed indoors 3 to 4 weeks prior to last frost. Sprinkle seeds on top of the soil, and then give the seeds a light sprinkle with fresh soil. Water well to keep seeds moist.

Growing Oregano

Oregano can be transplanted into the garden when they reach about 4 inches tall. After the risk of last frost has passed, find a spot in full sun and well-drained soil.

As a drought-tolerant plant, oregano does not need much attention. Water 1 to 2 inches deep during excessively dry spells. No fertilizer is necessary for oregano, either.

Harvesting Oregano

When plants are 6 inches tall or more, begin harvesting leaves in the morning hours after the dew has dried. As a perennial, oregano can be overwintered by cutting the plant back to the crown and covered with a layer of straw. This will ensure many harvests in the coming years.

Parsley

Days to GerminationDays to HarvestIdeal TempsPlanting TimeSpacingLight PreferenceBest Companions
14-3075-9065-80Spring1-2″ / 6-12″ rowsFull SunTomatoes, Chives

parsley plant in a containerPlanting Parsley

It is highly recommended to soak your parsley seeds for an hour or two prior to planting as the germination rate tends to be on the low side. It can take up to 4 weeks for seeds to germinate.

Sow your soaked seeds 1/4 inch deep 6 to 8 inches apart. Keep soil damp but not oversaturated while the seeds germinate.

Growing Parsley

Parsley is a biennial plant which means they’re only viable for about 2 years. Replanting new seeds every year will ensure you never have to go without this bright green addition to any dish. Indoors, use a grow light 2 inches above the plant to help the oregano flourish.

Harvesting Parsley

Parsley is ready to be harvested when the stems have at least three segments. Harvest the outer 1/3 of the leaves no more than every 2 weeks to ensure time for regrowth.

Rosemary

Days to GerminationDays to HarvestIdeal TempsPlanting TimeSpacingLight PreferenceBest Companions
15-2580-12055-80Spring24-36″Full SunSage, Thyme

rosemary plant in a containerPlanting Rosemary

Growing from 2 to a massive 6 feet tall, rosemary is a delicious perennial that is great to add to your garden! Rosemary can live for many years, and often become landscape “shrubs” for many homesteaders. Grow rosemary from seed or propagate from an existing plant.

Growing Rosemary

When your rosemary has reached 6 to 8 inches tall, use pruning shears to snip off branch tips to encourage a fuller plant. Pruning is best done in the spring or summer so there’s ample sunlight to help the plant produce new branches and leaves.

Harvesting Rosemary

While you can harvest rosemary after it has bloomed, it has the best flavor before blooming. Snip the stems taking no more than one-third of the stem at any given time. While you’re harvesting, prune the dead material, and clip off a few twigs to propagate new plants.

Sage

Days to GerminationDays to HarvestIdeal TempsPlanting TimeSpacingLight PreferenceBest Companions
18-2175-9060-75Spring18-24″Full to Partial SunThyme, Rosemary

sage plant in a raised bedPlanting Sage

Thinly scatter sage seeds over the soil where you want them to grow and cover with a light layer of soil (about 1/8 inch). Keep soil damp but not soaked during germination. Thin seedlings to 18 to 24 inches between plants.

Growing Sage

Trim established plants back by 1/3 in early spring to encourage new growth. When flowering has occurred in early July, trim plants back again. This method will keep the plants bushy and compact. Take cuttings to dip in a root hormone powder and replant, as sage grows well from cuttings.

Harvesting Sage

Harvest sage lightly in its first year to ensure the plant grows fully. After that, harvest small sprigs as needed for fresh dishes. Cut back no more than 1/3 of the plant at any time.

Thyme

Days to GerminationDays to HarvestIdeal TempsPlanting TimeSpacingLight PreferenceBest Companions
14-2875-9065-85Spring12-24″Full to Partial SunSage, Rosemary

thyme plant in a containerPlanting Thyme

Space your thyme seeds 12 to 24 inches apart in a sunny location no more than 1/4 inch deep. Seeds can be started indoors and transplanted when the plants are about 4 inches tall. You can also propagate thyme from cuttings, so once you have an established plant, you’ll never need more seed.

Growing Thyme

Thyme thrives in full sun and requires little tending. Since the plant is fairly drought tolerant, deep, infrequent watering does best. When the soil is dry every couple of weeks, water the soil to saturation, and leave it be.

Feed your thyme with a liquid or water-soluble plant food every 6 to 8 weeks.

Harvesting Thyme

Like a lot of its herbaceous cousins, thyme can be harvest before or after plants are in bloom. Cut stem tips or whole stems before plant blooms taking no more than one-third of the plant at a time. After the thyme blooms, take only stem tips to let plant build resources for winter.

Additional Tips for Growing Herbs Indoors

All of these herbs will flourish indoors if treated properly.

  • Be sure to give plants the proper amount of water. Underwatering or overwatering will surely kill them. Luckily, most of these plants are very forgiving.
  • Supplement herb plants with additional water-soluble or liquid fertilizer that has been diluted. Only add plant food to the soil at the base of the plant.
  • Harvesting no more than 1/3 of any indoor herb plant will encourage new growth and a healthier plant.

Have more tips? Let me know. I’ll add them to the list above.

Which of the Easiest Herbs to Grow will you plant?

Which herbs on this list have you planted before? Where do you currently have herbs growing? What will you plant in the future?

Share your experiences! We love to hear what you have going on in your garden.

Pin This for Later!

The Easiest Herbs to Grow - Pinterest Image

12 thoughts on “The Easiest Herbs to Grow”

  1. These are some excellent tips for growing herbs. I have grown a few herbs in my NYC apartment during the warmer seasons. However, during the Winter not do much because the heating radiator unit is by the window where the flood of sunlight comes in; the heat will kill the herbs.

    Do you think planting basil purchased from store will grow if planted in soil and what advice can you give?

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • To be honest, we’ve never tried. However, if it has a stem with multiple leaves on it, there’s a chance. Take the longest stem, remove the leaves from the lower third of the stem and put it in a glass of water (don’t let the leaves get in the water) or directly in a small container of moistened potting soil. It may take a few weeks to establish roots, but it’s worth a try. Let me know if you try it and how it works out for you. Happy gardening!

      Reply
  2. Thank you! This post came just in time. I am starting my herb garden indoors & I needed tips on how to be successful at it. I am planning basil, cilantro, oregano & chives.

    Reply
    • Those are four of the best! So much you can do with them individually and combined… and they’re all easy herbs to grow! Let us know how things progress! 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Comment