How To Make A Tabletop Herb Garden

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Today I'm going to show you how to make an herb garden in a container. These mini herb gardens are so handy to keep on your door step or outdoor table, if you're lucky enough to have a place to eat outside when it's warm. They also make great gifts--this one was actually for my Mom for Mother's Day.  I love the idea of giving these as an unexpected hostess gift.

The total cost of this project was: $12

Materials needed:
  • Basket, planting pot, or other container
  • Soil
  • Moisture crystals (optional)
  • An assortment of herbs
  • Landscape fabric or water-permeable shopping bag

You will need an assortment of herbs. I am using flat leaf parsley, tarragon, variegated thyme, and purple sage. These herbs are intensely flavored so you often need just a pinch which makes them well-suited to a small herb garden. If you use a ton of basil or mint, you will likely want to have those potted separately.

For my container I'm using this pretty little basket from the Dollar Tree. It's a good tabletop size but you can easily make your garden larger and and choose a wooden wine crate, ceramic pot, or larger basket for planting. 
 If you're using a basket you will want to line it with landscape fabric so the soil doesn't wash out OR you can cut up a water-permeable shopping tote and use that as a liner like I've done here.

It's a good idea to choose a potting soil with coco fiber which helps with water-retention.

You can also add a small amount of water crystals to the soil (I like Quench which is made of food-safe cornstarch) which swell with water and release it back into the soil slowly over time allowing you to skip waterings.

Once you've prepared your soil and filled your container half way up, you can put your plants into position before topping off with a final layer of soil.

And voila! Give it a good drink and you're done. These herbs like sun, so make sure it gets a bright spot for its home. It would be fun to add some cute little plant tags too, especially if you're giving it away as a gift.

You can see I have my mint planted in the pot behind--it has a tendency to be invasive so I don't plant it in the ground and it's nice to have a good-sized pot always at the ready for Thai salads, mojitos, and iced tea.


I've created a Snapguide for this project which you can find here. If you've enjoyed this post you might also like the guide on making a tiny garden. You can find the Snapguide for that project here.


  1. Pretty much an ingenious use of reusable grocery bags!

  2. Ha ha, thanks! Yeah, this post really reveals how cheap I can be with my Dollar Tree baskets and the Whole Foods bag. But I'm pleased with myself because I have more money plants!

  3. lovely! I will be taking on this project. Since in our apartment we have very limited space and limited outdoor space, this is perfect.


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