Shop Online Or In Store

Bowley & Jackson Logo

Main Navigation

How to plant a herb garden planter

How to plant a herb garden planter

Planting a herb garden planter is a simple way to provide fresh herbs throughout the summer months. Growing herbs is gardening in it's simplest form, from a few herb pots on the kitchen windowsill, a herb planter is a rewarding way to garden. Once you have added fresh herbs to supper, it is hard to go back to the little jar of dried Italian seasoning, and lets face it dried herbs have the appearance & taste of floor sweepings. Even the smallest outdoor space such as a balcony will accommodate a small garden planter, and there is something deeply satisfying about snipping a few sprigs of Thyme on a summer's evening to add to dinner.

I have chosen our oval dolly tub for this purpose for it's trough like shape which offers capacity for adding a number of plants. True to form I have chosen my herb plants for their aesthetic qualities as well as their culinary potential. Speaking of which, the galvanised zinc of the garden planter provides a lovely backdrop to this style of planting and once filled out, he herb garden is a lovely display in itself.

Any of the planters in our garden planter range are perfect herb garden planters, Click here to view to planter range

So hear is a step by step guide to planting a herb garden planter

1. What you'll need

A large container, I used our medium sized oval dolly planter

A selection of herbs 

General purpose compost (peat-free)

Garden trowel & watering can

Plant markers ( I used large wooden craft lolly sticks available from craft suppliers)



2. Selecting herb plants

Select herb plants you like to incorporate into your cooking, I use a lot of rosemary and parsley and thyme as well as chives (brilliant for adding to omelettes & salad potatoes). Other varieties to consider include mint, sage, bay, marjoram & oregano. I used quite small plants, grown on over the Winter, for a more instant finished look, add larger 3 litre sized plants.

3. Drainage holes- to drill or not to drill..

Our dolly tub planters do not require drainage holes. There is a space at the base of the planter where the side joins the band allowing free drainage. So if you are using a dolly tub from our range you can crack straight on with planting.

If you are using a planter such as an old bathtub for example, you may need to drill drainage holes, your herb planter does require drainage, without it over time these sun loving herbs will expire.

4. Add compost

Fill the planter to a few inches below the top, you can fill completely and then create a holes for your plants, I prefer to place the plants on top of the compost and then fill in around each plant, I find I spill less compost doing it this way.

5. Arranging Your Herb Plants

Now for the plant arranging, give your plants a good drink before you start. The most efficient way to do this is to stand them on a tray or in a tub filled with an inch or so of water. Left overnight the plants will take on the water. Remove the plants from the pots and add to your planter. I have added five plants to my medium oval dolly planter, leaving space between for each plant to grow. If you're looking for a more instant affect, you may need to add more plants or larger plants. When you are happy with the arrangement, fill in around the plants with compost and firm each plant in.

6. Adding Plant Markers

Plant markers are a great addition, especially if you're gifting the herb garden planter, and herb plant markers are essential if you're trialling a specific variety. I've been experimenting with a variety of bolt resistant coriander for example. I use a lot of coriander in cooking and when you buy a packet of seed that promises lots of benefits, one of two things happen; the variety doesn't work and you decide not to repeat the experience, the variety does work and you can't remember the name! So I always label. A cheap hack for plant markers (which can be quite an expensive add on) is to buy the large lolly crafting sticks. These are available from Amazon or Ebay.

7. Water & Pick

Place your herb garden container in a sunny spot, ideally close to the kitchen. Keep it watered and you will be able to pick fresh herbs all summer long.