Beginner Herb Gardening

 Three different types of cilantro

Three different types of cilantro

Do you love the idea of cooking with herbs...but find it frustrating to buy just the right amount from the store?  Or you have limited varieties available?  Colleen McElroy of Colonial Creek Farm in Georgia has an answer for you.  Start a container herb garden near your window.  Then cut the amount you can't get any fresher than that.

Here are some tips from Colleen:

  • If you have never grown herbs before, start with oregano, thyme, chives, and parsley in a container together.  You may also grow sage in the same container...but sage likes to be a little drier, so don't over-water.
  • To arrange the above herbs in a round container, plant the chives, parsley, and perhaps sage, in the middle.  Plant the oregano and thyme around the outside and let them trail over.  
  • To grow these herbs in a window box, grow the chives, parsley, and sage in the back (closest to the window) and the oregano and thyme in the front.
  • Mint is also a great herb to try, but it can be invasive, so consider a separate container for it. Colonial Creek Farm has over 20 varieties of pick your favorite flavor!
  • If you are bit more adventurous, you can also grow rosemary and lavender in a separate container.  These two herbs prefer very well-drained soil, so they would not grow well with your other herbs which prefer more traditional potting soil.
  • Do you love salsa in the summer, but can't get your cilantro to grow in the heat?  Cilantro is a cool weather herb.  However, you can grow Vietnamese cilantro, which prefers the heat.  I look forward to trying mine for the first time this year!
  • Remember that herbs love the sun.  They get "leggy" (lots of stem and few leaves) in the shade.
  • Last, herbs are generally "water it and forget it" plants.  They taste better if you don't fertilize them much.  

So plant the herbs you love in the soil they love.  Keep them in sun and water them.  Cut, eat, and enjoy!

Thank you, Colleen, for chatting with me at the 2016 Nashville Lawn and Garden Show.  Colonial Creek Farm is a mail order nursery with unique herbs I've not seen in other nurseries.  Their web address is

Keep growing your food fresh for a ViREO Life!


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required