Start your garden off right by planting these easy to grow herbs that don’t require much work and will add lots of flavor to your summer meals.
Easy To Grow Herbs
One of my favorite things about summer is all of the fresh produce that is available.
Although I love growing vegetables in my garden, I don’t always get around to planting them. But I always make sure that I have fresh herbs.
The great thing about most herbs is that they are really easy to grow and don’t require much maintenance…and I’m all about having a garden that doesn’t require a lot of work!
A lot of people start herbs from seeds but for me it’s just easier to head over to the local nursery or big box store in the spring and stock up on the plants I need (they’re not very expensive).
Once I get them home, I only have 3 requirements for a good herb planting spot:
- It needs to get sun (most herbs grow best in the sun)
- I want it close to the back door so I don’t have to trek far to pick the herbs when I need them.
- It needs to be somewhere where Winston (my dog) isn’t going to pee on them (important consideration if you have a dog!)
Other than that, I plant them wherever I have room for them. Some go in my herb box. Some in planter boxes. Some in my raised beds with the vegetables and some in the garden.
Then I enjoy cooking with fresh herbs all summer!
So here are my favorite easy to grow herbs.
Basil is one of my all time favorite easy herbs to grow because it’s one of the spices that tastes SOOO much better when it’s fresh. Which makes it a “must have” for my garden.
It needs plenty of water and should be pinched back to keep it growing leaves and not flowers. Basil is an annual so if you let it go to seed, the plant is pretty much done.
However, if you cook with basil as often as I do, keeping it deadheaded isn’t really the problem.
Running out of leaves is! Which is why I look for pots that have more than one plant.
Then I split them apart before putting them in the ground.
That way the plants grow much bigger, and I get more of them.
Parsley is another one of the easy to grow herbs that I love to have in the garden.
I usually get at least 2 plants – a flat leaf variety and a curly leaf variety. I find that the flat leaf ones generally have more flavor, but the curly leaf varieties look prettier as garnish.
Parsley is a biennial so theoretically you can get 2 years out of one plant, but I have never been very successful in getting them to grow the second year. So I treat it like an annual and plant new ones every year.
Rosemary is a woody, perennial (in zone 8 and above) with evergreen leaves that is one of my favorites on my easy to grow herbs list.
Unlike some other fresh herbs, you don’t need much rosemary to provide lots of flavor, so one plant is usually plenty for all of your cooking needs.
I put a small big-box store rosemary plant in one of my herb boxes a few years ago and I now have a rosemary bush! (so much so that the lawn guy thought it needed a trim and took the weed eater to it…hence all the missing leaves)
However, if you live in the Northern parts of the country, rosemary won’t survive the winter. So you can either plant it annually. Or put it in a pot that you can bring in for the cold months.
Besides being good for cooking, rosemary is also a mosquito deterrent, so I use it regularly to make my own citronella candles.
- Slightly Spicy Rosemary Lemon Chicken
- Soy Lemon Pork Chops
- One Pot Spaghetti Sauce (if you grow your own tomatoes, this is a great recipe for using them up, too)
Thyme is the next herb on my list of best herbs to grow. It is a low growing perennial plant that has many different varieties.
I usually buy German thyme which is perennial in zones 5 to 9, but lemon thyme is also really good (zones 7 to 9).
Although it is a perennial, I always seem to have trouble keeping it alive for more than a year or two so it’s a regular new addition to my garden.
Since Thyme prefers alkaline soil (which doesn’t exist in my neck of the woods) I always grow it in planters. Adding a little lime to the soil when you’re planting it helps to keep it happy.
In my garden, oregano is one of the easiest herbs to grow.
In fact, I think it’s pretty much impossible to kill! It survives drought, will grow in the shade, and doesn’t need to be fertilized.
Which all adds up to sometimes being a little too easy to grow…and that is why it lives in my herb box. There’s no where for it to spread, but I still get to have it fresh from the garden.
Mint is another one of the perennial easy to grow herbs on my list. In fact, it is so easy to grow it should probably be on my invasive plant list.
I would definitely recommend planting it in a pot rather than a garden bed.
As you can see, it even tries to take over my herb box!
However, I really like using mint in drinks, and you usually need quite a few leaves to make an impact…so having a large sized plant works out pretty well!
Cilantro is the last entry on my easy to grow herbs list. It is an annual plant that I use in all kinds of different recipes.
It should be planted in the ground if your summers are hot. Soil that reaches 75F will cause it to bolt and go to seed.
Like Basil, frequent deadheading is required to prevent it from going to seed too fast. And even then, it only seems to last a few weeks. So I usually put in a new plant every few weeks in order to have a fresh supply all summer. Occasionally I get lucky and it reseeds itself.
There you have it, my list of the best easy to grow herbs for your garden.