Why Your Spices Need Help

Growing Herbs for Fresh Taste

collection of herbs for you design

Whether you have a green thumb or not, you can grow herbs.  These wonderful plants can provide fresh, healthy alternatives to dried herbs.  Each has a place in cooking, but besides better taste, fresh herbs provide more health benefits.

Some herbs grow well in pots on our windowsill or under a grow light, while others do better in an outside environment.  Some herbs can be grown both inside and out!

There are many types of herbs, but I only listed the most popular and ones I grow myself.  Here is a list for your herb garden planning:

Inside herbs:

Basil, chives, coriander, fennel, lemongrass, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme

Outside herbs:

Basil, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, lemongrass, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme.

Here in Wisconsin, planting either starts indoors and then are planted outside, or planting outside is done after Memorial Day.  Our area can have surprise cold snaps, even in late May.

Soil Types, Light and Water

Once you decide on which herbs you want to plant, you should know what type of soil is the best for each herb.  Just as some plants need full sun, and others can tolerate partial shade, watering also is different for some herb plants.

  • Basil – Sand and loam mix, full sun – water moderately
  • Chives – Sand and loam mix, with some chalk or clay, full sun – occasional watering
  • Coriander – Sand, loam and clay mix, full or partial sun – frequent watering
  • Dill – Sand, loam and clay mix, full sun – frequent watering
  • Fennel – Sand, loam, clay, chalk mix, full or partial sun – water moderately
  • Lemongrass – Loam only and full sun – frequent watering
  • Oregano – Sand, loam and clay mix and full sun – occasional watering
  • Parsley – Loam only and full or partial sun – frequent watering
  • Rosemary – Sand, loam, chalk and clay with full sun – water moderately
  • Sage – Sand, loam and chalk with full sun – occasional watering
  • Thyme – Sand, loam and chalk with full sun – occasional watering


As you can see, the different types of soils is not so varied and most herbs adapt well to what you have, as long as you include loam to keep soil soft.


The differentiating factor for me is the watering.  I plant my herbs in groups according to their watering schedule.  It does not make sense to plan chives next to coriander as one will either dry out or get over-watered.


When cutting leaves for use, be sure to take the smaller leaves and some mature leaves.  The larger leaves are holding all the nutrient to feed the plant, so only cut a few of these at each harvest.

I hope this helps you plan your herb garden.  You can also plant these in outside pots and then watering and light are individualized.

Have fun in your garden.  These are usually fast growing plants once summer hits, so have those recipes planned to use your new, fresh herbs.  If you become overwhelmed with fast growing plants, you can always trim them back and dehydrate those extra servings.



  1. I can attest that old spices are in many of our cupboards. Last year I ran a one month declutter challenge; mostly because I thought it would motivate me. I got rid of most of my spices and a few refrigerator condiments as well. Thanks, Earth Mavin,
    for all of the info about herbs and spices.

    • I agree. I have to motivate myself to go thru my spices several times each year. I do a ckeck when i change smoke alarm batteries, but usually do it once every season change.

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