One thing I’ve noticed since getting into cooking is that a ton of recipes call for herbs, and those herbs are usually what makes the food taste extra delicious. But I was always so lazy and cheap, did I really need to buy an entire bunch of parsley or basil just to use it as a garnish? Ugh, so wasteful. But once I gave in and stopped foregoing the herbs (read: got a real job after college), I realized what I was missing.
To be honest, I still hate buying herbs at the store just to use a little and toss the rest in a few days once it goes bad. I feel like it’s a waste of money AND food. So my solution: create a cute little herb garden that sits right on my front patio.
This project took all of about an hour to make, and that includes painting the little table which was an extra side project. So if you’re ready to get that green thumb going, save money and have delicious herbs at your full disposal at all times, read on! And please ignore the fact that I have paint all over my hands from spraypainting. #messyaf
Step 1: Set Up Your Herb Garden Space
I’ve had this cute little metal table for almost four years, and it’s been about six different colors since I picked it up at an antique store in Austin, TX. I knew I wanted to paint it a shiny black finish to match the black metal on my patio set from IKEA. I picked up some lacquer finish spray paint and got to work on it. Anything from a little table, hanging planter, however you want to set up your mini herb garden area!
I picked up the plain clay pots at Walmart for under a dollar each, but they also have a wide selection at The Home Depot including plastic and pots finished in pretty colors. I knew I wanted something to tie all of the pots together and also catch any excess water or dirt runoff, so I picked up this ceramic tray at HomeGoods for easy cleaning.
I attempted to paint each pot in a different way to add a little flair to my herb garden. Using painters tape, I taped them off at different angles and styles. If you are going to do this step, I highlyyyy recommend using acrylic paint and a paintbrush, because honestly spray painting them was a pain. By the time I was done, they all had overspray everywhere and just did not look cute 🙁 But if you’re going to paint the entire pot, spray paint will definitely do the trick!
Step 2: Grab Your Supplies & Pick Your Herbs
As for the herbs, head to the nearest Home Depot and get to picking out which varieties you’ll use most. I went with parsley because it adds a little bit of subtle green flavor to everything, two types of mint for mojitos, oregano because I love to cook Italian, and basil because that’s my all time favorite. I also picked up some lime basil, which I’ve never heard of before, but it smelled too good to pass up. (Side note: I added some chopped lime basil to Jasmin rice the other day and it was aaaamazing.) Plus, Home Depot has herbs 3 for $12! Talk about saving money!
Once you’ve picked out your herbs, make sure you grab a bag of dirt and some small rocks. I chose Miracle Bro Natures Care Organic & Natural Potting Mix, but there are like a million kinds and I honestly just liked the sounds of this one the best. So don’t overthink it. You’ll use the small rocks for drainage at the bottom of the pot.
Step 3: Planting
- First, you will want to add a layer of rocks to the bottom of your pot for drainage.
- Hold the plant upside down and gently squeeze the plastic temporary pot.
- The dirt/roots should all come out in one big piece, which you will then set into the pot and loosen up a bit.
- Add some dirt to fill the empty space left in the pot, and pack it all into place. You want to make sure it’s packed down pretty tightly and stable.
- Add a little water to set the combined dirt.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Tada! You now have delicious, fresh herbs right at your fingertips for everyday cooking (or cocktails). Each herb tag will tell you how much sun and water it needs, but I typically just water them daily since it’s friggin’ HOT here in Florida. The first week with my garden, I tried to use it as much as possible – adding some parsley to scrambled eggs, throwing some chopped basil on mozzarella and tomatoes, and making a few mojitos of course!
Don’t be fooled, Harley looks innocent but he tries to steal a nibble of mint or basil when I’m not looking. If you have any questions or attempt your own DIY herb garden, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below, or mention me on social media if you share it! And be sure to save the Pinterest photo below to refer back to these instructions!