:grow: kitchen herb garden

herb jars

They say necessity is the mother of invention and I’ve found since living in a small apartment I’ve had to come up with new ways to indulge my green thumb! I’ve always grown herbs in the garden and can’t bear not to have fresh ones on hand for cooking, so I came up with this little indoor potted herb garden. These are kind of a cross between a potted plant and a terrarium and should be ok indoors as long as they get a fair bit of sun.

If you add some cute little flag labels they make a lovely present, too! I gave these ones to my friend Rick for Christmas.

Here’s how to make your own!

You will need:

  • potted herbs – get the smallest possible so that their root mass won’t be too big. I used mint, thyme and parsley but you could choose any combination you liked. The hardier the better, though!
  • three matching jars – I simply bought three jars of the cheapest jam I could find, washed and dried them thoroughly and soaked them to remove the labels. You could use nice antique mason jars instead, though.
  • pebbles (available from Bunnings)
  • charcoal pieces (available from pet supply stores)
  • a little extra potting mix
  • wooden kitchen skewers
  • the names of your herbs printed onto a sheet of kraft paper
  • glue



Thoroughly wash and dry your jars. Add a layer of pebbles to the bottom of each, about 2cm deep. This will allow for drainage.

IMG_0304Take a pinch of charcoal and sprinkle over the pebbles. Repeat for each jar. The charcoal helps to freshen the air in the jar and prevent the roots from rotting.

IMG_0308 IMG_0309

Remove your plants from their containers and loosen the roots with your hands, removing any excess soil. Remove any really long, straggly roots and reshape the root mass with your hands so that it will fit into your jar.

Add a thin layer of potting mix on top of the pebbles in your jar. Squeeze in your plant on top, making sure all the roots are inside and jiggling it around so that the roots are all sitting as nicely and evenly as possible. It shouldn’t be too tight a fit or the water won’t seep through properly. Add small amounts of potting mix around the roots and on top as needed to fill in any gaps.


Sprinkle a few pebbles on top, around the plant, to finish it off nicely. Give your plants a little water to settle the roots, but be careful not to overwater – you don’t want to see water pooling at the bottom of the jar! Clean up the outside of the jars with some damp paper towel.


To make the little flags, print the names of the herbs you have chosen in a nice font onto kraft paper (I used American Typewriter in size 22). Cut out a strip around each name that is about 1.5cm wide and around 7cm long, making sure you leave space before and after the text. Cut a triangle into the end of each strip to make a pointed end. Bend your flags around a pencil to make them wavy. Fold the flat edge of each around the flat end of a wooden skewer and glue to secure. Once the glue has set, poke your flags into your herbs and you’re done!

IMG_0314Keep these on a windowsill in the kitchen, making sure they get some nice filtered sun. Water sparingly, only when the soil looks very dry and only enough to dampen the soil. Pick and enjoy a little fresh herb flavour to your cooking!

This entry was published on January 1, 2013 at 4:24 am. It’s filed under grow and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “:grow: kitchen herb garden

  1. I just used some of the herbs from the herb garden then! They’re still looking great.

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