Planting an Herb Garden

The Abundant Garden: Growing Quality Kids Through Gardening by

Image by Matt Montgomery, obtained from public domain at

Planting an herb garden: an activity for children of all ages.  An herb garden is a way to always have fresh herbs available. They add flavor in your cooking and also have medicinal and calming qualities. This activity is the same as when you planted your seedlings. You can either start the seeds indoors or buy seedlings. In this activity children will learn how to plant an herb garden.

  • Supplies: 
    • seedlings (either ones you have grown, or seedlings you have purchased) –  here is a list of common herbs:
      • basil
      • sage
      • oregano
      • common thyme
      • sweet marjoram
      • lavender
      • rosemary
      • parsley
      • chives
      • cilantro
    • containers with fertile soil ready for planting. (Adding well composted manure, compost, or worm castings helps to insure your plants will have sufficient nutrients to do well.)
    • garden trowel
    • a watch or phone with a timer and alarm
    • empty milk jugs or water bottles (optional)
  • When planting seedlings it is important to first “harden them off”. This simply means taking them outside for increasing periods of time each day over one week and exposing them to more and more weather conditions each day. For example:
    • Day 1: place your seedlings in a shady spot protected from wind for two hours (set a timer with an alarm to make sure you don’t forget about them). Bring them back inside after the two hours.
    • Day 2: place your seedlings in the same place for four hours.
    • Day 3: place your seedlings in a place with protected sun such as under a tree for four hours.
    • Day 4: place your seedlings in the same place and increase the time to five hours.
    • Day 5: place your seedlings in a place that gets partial sun for five hours.
    • Day 6: place your seedlings in a the same place for 7 hours.
    • Day 7: place your seedlings in the same place for 9 hours.
    • Make sure that you monitor your plants and adjust care as needed.
    • You are now ready to plant your seedlings in the garden.
  • Using a garden trowel, dig an appropriate sized hole where the seedling will be planted.
  • Remove the seedling from its pot and place it in the hole. If the seeds were planted in compostable pots, you can simply place the seedling along with the pot in the hole.
  • Gently place dirt to fill in the hole and compact it with your hands around the plant. For most plants, fill the dirt to the same level as it was in the pot.
  • After planting, gently water the plants and fill in any holes created by settling with extra dirt.
  • Add garden markers to better identify the herbs.
  • Make sure to monitor the weather closely for the first few weeks after planting.
    • If it may frost, cover each seedling with a milk jug that has the bottom removed to create a mini greenhouse. Then remove it during the day so the plants don’t bake.
    • Water frequently if there is no rain.
  • Bring your containers indoors when the weather gets cooler, place them in the sun and water faithfully, and enjoy your herb garden year round!