These small herb garden ideas are simple and inexpensive to put together. No matter how small of a space you have, follow these ideas to be able to grow thyme, rosemary, sage, and other delicious herbs this spring.
Growing herbs is simple but it can feel impossible if you live in a small space like us. We live in a Victorian-era apartment in the UK and our outdoor (and indoor) space is limited. But this spring I’m determined to make the most of the space we do have to grow herbs and vegetables.
We have a very small (4×4 foot) plot of soil, but if you watched my small backyard clean up video, you will know that the soil is very poor quality. This means that most of our gardening will be done in containers this year.
As springtime fast approaches, I’ve decided to get a head start on our herb bed. A small herb garden that grows vertically seemed like a good option for us and today I wanted to share how I will create this.
Watch the video
Tools you might need
- An old pallet or some sort of vertical structure that you can nail into
- Small pots or containers
- Metal wire to hang the pots
- Wire cutters
- Compost and soil
- Gardening gloves
- Herbs of your choice
- Optional – washable sharpie for labelling herbs
These small herb garden ideas are straight forward and have a similar theme: find a structure, put some nails into it, and hang up your herbs. You can customise the basic idea to whatever kind of space you have. Here’s what I did for our small space.
How To Build A Small Hanging Herb Garden
Find your vertical structure
For my vertical structure, I used a fence that lines one side of our yard.
If you don’t have a fence, you could use a pallet, old ladder, or even plank of wood. Next time you’re walking around your neighbourhood, keep an eye out for old pallets or other materials. They most important thing is that you have to be able to nail into the structure.
You could also call your local hardware store and ask for a couple of their old pallets or imperfect planks.
Buy or find your supplies
For this herb garden, it’s easier to use pots that are light-weight. I used medium-sized clear plastic pots because they were light and durable. The clear pots will also give my children a chance to see the root systems develop in the herbs, which I thought would be fun for them.
For the wiring, I found light-weight wiring that was easy to bend and shape around the pot.
If you’re not sure of your soil quality or don’t have access to soil, make sure to pick up some peat-free compost. I grabbed a large bag to replant mine into.
And finally you need to pick up either herb seeds or starter herbs. You could also grow your herbs from clippings in your kitchen already!
Make a strategy
Next, decide how you want to arrange your herbs on your structure. You could arrange your pots in layered rows or offset from each other.
I had planned to have multiple rows of herbs but then worried that the sun would be blocked by the upper rows. I opted instead to start my herb garden with one row of herbs, and see how they do before adding more.
If you’re using light-weight pots, you can use tape to stick the empty pots up onto the structure. This is helpful to better visualise what it will look like and is easy to rearrange.
Add your nails
Once you’re happy with your planned set up, hammer the nails into your structure.
Plant your herbs
Next, plant your seeds, clipping, or replant your herbs into your pots.
Get the pots ready to hang
Wrap the metal wiring around each pot 3-4 times. Make a small loop at the back of each to hang on a nail in your structure.
It took me a few attempts to figure out how much support each pot would need so you just have to play around with your own set up. If you’re using heavier pots for example, you’ll need to wrap the wire around the pot more times.
Hang your herbs
Finally, hang your herbs up. Hopefully the spacing your envisioned works well and you like the look of it. If not, simply remove the nails and rearrange.
I had to rearrange a few times and it was fun!
Optional – label the pots
This is optional but you may want to use a washable sharpie to label your pots. If you’re new to gardening like me, I find it helpful to have the herbs labeled. Washable sharpies are good because you can wash it off and can keep reusing your pots.
Then, just sit back and let the sun do it’s thing.
Which herbs should I plant this spring?
Here are a few great options, especially if you’re growing herbs in pots or containers this year.
Lemon balm smells delicious and makes a nutritious tea that is said to help with anxiety, improve sleep, and much more. It likes full sun and you just need to make sure to keep it watered.
Parsley like partial shade. If you’re building a vertical herb garden like me, consider putting parsley closer to the ground so the subsequent herbs provide some shade.
Mint likes sun and is extremely easy to grow. You can even grow it from a clipping by placing the stem in a glass of water. Within a few weeks you will see roots grow, and can plant it!
Rosemary likes full sun and well-drained soil. It will do great in containers or pots if you keep the soil drained and provide it lots of sunshine. It’s a good option for a higher-up spot in your vertical herb garden!
Thyme is another herb that likes full sunshine and well-drained soil. You could place it high up next to the rosemary and lemon balm in your vertical herb garden!
Sage also likes full sun and drained soil. The sunshine helps to bring out the flavour in the plant’s leaves so make sure to keep it high up in the vertical herb garden!
Basil likes to be in well-drained, partial shaded soil, and out of direct midday sunshine. I’m planning to keep it in the middle of our vertical herb garden for these reasons.
I hope these small herb garden ideas were useful. Are you planting a small herb garden this spring? Tell me what you’re growing in the comments!
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