AO Gardener Series: Growing Herbs in Pots

The team here at AO is excited to share that we’ll be featuring some new contributors here on the GROW blog, all geared to get you inspired to grow. With the season right around the corner, we wanted to offer a resource for anyone out there who wants to go green, whether you’ve never handled a spade to being a well-versed professional, we want to share the experiences of voices from all levels of green-thumbery!

If you find yourself needing to dawn a headlamp and trek into the night to cut fresh herbs for dinner come late summer, then join me in learning from the past and planting two big pots of herbs near your door.  

The reason for two is simply that some herbs need full sun and prefer their leaves stay dry (some rain is fine), while others bolt in full direct sun and need lots of water to deal with the heat of summer. Both pots will be planted with some perennial & bienniel plants so keep in mind you may use these pots for this for many years unless you dig the plants out.

Full sun & ground watering preferred:  basil, oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram, dill
Less direct sun & overhead watering is fine:  parsley, cilantro, chives, tarragon

Use two larger pots that you can move by hand (or dolly) so you can chase or avoid direct sun as the summer progresses. That said though, if you know very well how the sun shines into your windows throughout the growing season, imagine how great it would be if you could stay inside, slide open your window, and trim herbs without every going into the rain! 

Herbs need no more than 8” of soil so feel free to fill the bottom of deep pots with gravel for increased drainage. If one pot is deeper use this for your herbs that need less direct sun as parsley and cilantro (aka Chinese parsley) will send down a long tap root.  

Fill with a soil of your choice. In general herbs love great drainage so a sandy garden soil is perfect. Potting soil with some sand (for drainage) is also great. Whichever you use, toss in some compost for organic material and after planting water in with some trace minerals.


Here in British Columbia you can now direct seed (give an 8” diameter for seeds) or transplant cilantro, chives, oregano, dill and sage into the pots. Most other herbs are still needing to be kept up inside. To give even more of a head start, you could create a greenhouse effect by placing poly over a wire cage (upside down or right-side up) or just cut the bottom off a 2L pop bottle, remove the cap and place this over your newly seeded sections to help the seeds germinate faster.  


*Although rosemary can go outside now too, I recommend planting it separately with intentions to grow it into a full bush someday.  Mint too can go out but as it’s extremely invasive it’s best contained alone as well.

That’s really it!  Now go get dirty and creative out there!  Funky pots or adding companionship loving marigolds or edible nasturtiums to fall over the sides can go a long way esthetically!  These pots can be as beautiful or as functional as your big heart desires!




OH HI!  I’M SONJA – AN OVER THE MOON INFATUATED FOOD GROWER IN BEAUTIFUL SQUAMISH BC WHICH LIES IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. I LOVE TO GET DIRTY OUTSIDE WITH FUNKY TUNES AND JUST FALL INTO THE MOVING MEDITATION / AMAZING WORKOUT - ALSO KNOWN AS VEGETABLE GARDENING.



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