herbs for kitchen garden

25 Best Herbs for Kitchen Garden

Herbs are a great delicacy in most household kitchens around the world.

Growing herbs for kitchen gardens isn’t rocket science, at least from my experience.

It is simple and straightforward, and any gardener can give it a try to ensure they have a consistent supply of herbs all the time.

Whether you are doing it as a hobby or for healthier eating, or just to save money, there are many herbs you can grow in your backyard, windowsill, or even on your patio.

In this article, I share some of the plants and fresh herbs for kitchen gardens that you can consider having in your kitchen garden.

Enjoy the read!

While at it, you may also consider reading some of the best herbs you can grow hydroponically.

25 Best Herbs for Kitchen Garden

1. Mint

Mint comes in a number of varieties.

It can be used in drinks such as mint juleps and mojitos.

Or you can add it to your summer iced tea and get the best flavour.

When you take a mint, you are sure to get a fresh breath and a calming stomach.

Mint is considered an invasive plant and so it is recommended that you grow them in containers, and watch them so that they don’t spread and take over your garden.

Here is a table that summarises important information about mint at a glance:

Number of VarietiesOver 30
Common garden mintSpearmint, citrus mint, peppermint, pennyroyal mint, Corsican mint, pineapple mint
OriginMediterranean region
Botanical nameMentha

Read also: Does Pressure-Treated Wood Belong to Your Garden?

2. Parsley

Parsley has a mildly bitter taste.

You can consider it just to be a curly green garnish for food, but it can actually give your stew a balanced flavour.

Additionally, Parsley can help in your digestion.

It is mostly grown as an annual. However, it will stay evergreen throughout winter when grown in milder climates.

Parsley plants will grow to be large and bushy.

The following table gives a summary of what you need to know about Parsley:

Soil ConditionsRich, moist, pH 5.5 – 6.7
Spacing12 – 18″
Time to Harvest10 – 11 Weeks
FertilizerAdd balanced fertilizer at planting time
then high-nitrogen every few weeks after that.
Light preferenceSun / Part shade
Germination14 – 30 days

3. Dill

Dill is an excellent flavouring for lamb, fish, potatoes, and peas. Also, it aids in digestion, helps to fight bad breath, and has the added benefit of reducing swelling and cramps.

Dill is easy to grow. It will also draw helpful insects to your gardens, like a wasp and other predatory insects.

4. Sage

This aromatic herb is excellent for seasoning sauces, meats, and vegetables. Nonetheless, be careful since sage has a tendency to overpower other flavours.

Also, sage can help relieve cuts and inflammation and aid with memory issues.

It was once thought to be a medicinal cure-all. It is an easy herb to grow and is relatively easy to care for. When planted in your garden, it will attract bees.

Here is a table that summarises important information about sage at a glance:

Soil Conditionswell-draining, slightly sandy soil, pH 6.5 – 7
HardinessZones 4 – 8
Height16 – 30″
Time to Harvest11 – 13 Weeks
FertilizerAdd organic matter to the soil before planting
Light preferenceSun/ part shade
Germination7 – 21 days

5. Basil

Whether you select a large purple sweet basil or large leaf Italian basil, this plant is famous in many cuisines but is a feature in Italian cooking like pizzas, sauces, salads, and pesto.

Some people think basil is excellent for planting alongside your tomatoes, but there is no real evidence that it makes your tomatoes taste sweeter.

Basil has the health benefits of antioxidants and is a defence against low blood sugar.

Here is a table that summarises important information about Basil at a glance:

Soil ConditionsRich, moist, well-draining, pH 6-7
HardinessAnnual (very frost sensitive)
Spacing12 – 18″
Height24 – 30″
Time to Harvest10 Weeks
FertilizerAdd compost or blood meal at the time of
high-nitrogen (2:1:1 ratio) every two weeks thereafter
Light preferenceFull sun/ Morning sun, afternoon shade (hotter climates)
Germination5 – 10 days

Read also: Best Vegetable Garden App

6. Rosemary

Rosemary is among the most flavorful herbs and is excellent for adding to meats, poultry, and vegetables.

Around Christmas time, you will notice tree-shaped rosemary bushes for sale. You can get them into your home and keep them for planting in the spring.

The fragrant plant is a delightful scent and is sometimes used in floral arrangements.

It likes soil a bit on the dry side. Therefore, be careful not to overwater. A rosemary plant will grow into a full-sized bush if given room to flourish.

Here is a table that summarises important information about rosemary at a glance:

Soil ConditionsLight, well-drained soil, pH 6 – 7
HardinessZones 6 – 10
Spacing18 – 36″
Height30 – 60″
Time to Harvest11 – 14 Weeks
FertilizerAdd a balanced fertilizer during transplant and during the first sign of new growth in spring
Light preferenceFull sun
Germination14 – 21 days

Read also: How Onions are Grown

7. Cilantro/Coriander

This herb is also known as Chinese Parsley or coriander. Cilantro is good for adding to spicy foods such as chills and Chinese, Mexican, Southeast Asian, and Indian cuisines.

The seeds of this herb are known as coriander. The plant grows early in the season and does not like it when the ground becomes too warm.

Here is a table that summarises important information about cilantro/coriander at a glance:

Soil Conditionswell-draining, pH 6.2 – 6.8
Spacing4 – 12″
Height12 – 18″
Time to Harvest3 – 4 Weeks
FertilizerAdd a balanced fertilizer every 4 – 5 weeks
Light preferenceFull sun/ light shade
Germination7 – 10 days

8. Thyme

This is a delicate-looking herb. It is mainly used for flavouring eggs, vegetable dishes, and beans. Thyme is frequently used in Mediterranean, Italian, and Provencal French cuisines.

You can pair it with lamb, poultry, and tomatoes. Thyme is mostly added to stews and soups.

The most common variety of Thyme is garden thyme which has grey-green leaves and a minty, lemon smell.

Here is a table that summarises important information about thyme at a glance:

Soil Conditionswell-drained soil (mulch with builder’s sand or limestone gravel to enhance drainage), pH 7
HardinessZones 5 – 8
Spacing6 – 8″
Height6 – 12″
Time to Harvest13 – 14 Weeks
FertilizerNo need for one
Light preferenceSun/ part shade
Germination14 – 21 days

Read also: The Best Way to Handle Onion Sprouting

9. Fennel

Fennel is very aromatic and flavorful and, along with anise, is a primary ingredient in absinthe.

It is native to the Mediterranean region and does best in dry soils close to the oceans or on river banks.

The strongly flavoured leaves of this herb are similar in shape to dill.

The bulb can be grilled or sauteed, or eaten raw. Fennel bulbs are used for garnishes or sometimes added to salads.

10. French Tarragon

French tarragon is the conventional ingredient of “Fines Herbes” and is the aristocracy of fresh herbs. It is a must-have for any Culinary Herb Garden. It will transform an ordinary dish into a work of art with its spicy anise flavour.

A little tarragon in a chicken salad makes a big difference. It is wonderful in sauces, meat dishes, and soups. You can try it with vegetables. It is a great choice for any hearty dish.

Here is a table that summarises important information about tarragon at a glance:

Soil Conditionswell-drained soil
HardinessZones 4 – 7
Height18 – 24″
Time to Harvest11 Weeks
FertilizerNo need for one
Light preferenceSun/ part shade
Germination10 – 14 days

Read also: 10 Best Vegetable Garden Mulch

11. Chamomile

In Europe and the U.S., chamomile is most often used as an ingredient in herbal tea. It is one of the world’s most widely consumed herbal teas.

Nonetheless, it has also been used for thousands of years as a traditional medicine for calming nerves and settling stomachs.

Additionally, chamomile can help reduce inflammation and treat fevers.

You can grow either Roman chamomile or German chamomile. The two are interchangeable when it comes to making tea, but they differ in how they are grown.

German chamomile is an annual plant that grows up to three feet tall and is commonly known for its blossoms. On the other hand, Roman chamomile is a perennial but only grows to around a foot high.

12. Lavender

Lavender will offer most dishes a slightly sweet flavour. It is grown as a condiment and for use in dressings and salads.

Dried lavender buds and lavender syrup are used in the U.S. for making lavender scones and marshmallows. Its health benefits include the soothing of headaches and insect bites when used with herbs and aromatherapy.

Lavender plants will survive in many growing conditions but do optimum well in full sun in warm, well-drained soil.

Here is a table that summarises important information about Lavender at a glance:

Soil Conditionswell-draining, slightly sandy soil, pH 6.7 – 7.3
HardinessZones 5 – 7
Spacing2 – 4″
Height12 – 18″
Time to Harvestthroughout summer
FertilizerAdd bone meal or other high-phosphorus fertilizer in early or mid-fall into the soil around drip-line
Light preferenceFull sun
Germination14 – 21 days

13. Chives

Chives belong to the garlic family and can be the best complement to sour cream. They are mostly used for flavouring and are considered one of the “fine herbs” of French cuisine. They are native to Asia but have been used as an additive to food for about 5,000 years.

They work well with eggs, potatoes, fish, salads, soups, and shellfish. They are an excellent source of beta carotene and Vitamin C.

Here is a table that summarises important information about Chives at a glance:

Soil ConditionsRich, moist, well-draining
HardinessZones 3 – 9
Spacing4 – 8″
Height12 – 18″
Time to HarvestVaries
FertilizerAdd compost at the time of transplant and fish emulsion
or other balanced plant food every 3 – 4 weeks thereafter
Light preferenceSun/Part shade
Germination7 – 14 days

Read also: How Many Onions Grow from One Bulb?

14. Bay Leaves

The smell of this plant’s noble leaves brings back the memory of balsam, mint, clove, and some say even honey! Famous for its use in hearty stews and other long-simmering dishes with a slightly sharp, peppery, almost bitter taste.

You can add the whole leaves at the beginning of the cooking process and remove them before serving. Sweet bay is native to the Mediterranean.

15. Arugula

Arugula belongs to the Mustard family. It is a leafy green that packs a peppery punch. It has aromatic leaves and a spicier flavour than most greens. Most of the time, it is eaten raw in salads, but it also tastes good when cooked.

If you are adding it to pasta, pizza, or pesto, ensure to add it last or just after the meal is done cooking to prevent the leaves from withering.

16. Chervil

Chervil produces flat, light-green, lacy leaves with a hint of anise and enhances the flavour of chicken, vegetables, fish, eggs, and salads. It is an heirloom herb that was most probably introduced to European herb gardening by the Romans.

It is closely related to Parsley. It is an indispensable herb plant in the kitchen and a classic among herb plants in French cuisine.

17. Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena is a valuable culinary herb used in salads, dressings, teas, and desserts. An excellent herb plant that will perform well when potted for container gardening or in an indoor herb garden.

It gained popularity as a perfume centuries ago when introduced by Spanish conquistadors who had found the aromatic herb in South America.

Since that time, Lemon Verbena has been included in everything from recipes to soaps. Because Lemon Verbena holds its citric fragrance long after being dried, it makes a great addition to potpourris and herb pillows and can be used in closets and drawers to freshen laundry.

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18. Peppermint

Just like other mints, peppermint is popular for helping in digestion and freshening the breath.

Additionally, it is a great source of potassium, calcium, and vitamin B.

This herb is a hybrid, being a cross between water mint and spearmint.

Its oil can be used for flavouring but is also useful as a natural pesticide. It has been shown to reduce the effects of irritable bowel syndrome.

Peppermint likes rich soil and partial shade. Like other mints, it spread fast. Consider planting it in containers.

Here is a table that summarises important information about peppermint at a glance:

Soil ConditionsDamp, well-mulched soil
HardinessZones 5 – 11 (roots only)
HeightGround cover / 6 -12
Time to Harvestthroughout growing season
FertilizerAdd high-nitrogen fertilizer when needed (based on the frequency of harvest)
Light preferenceSun/part shade
Germination10 – 15 days

Read also: Hydroponic Tomato DIY 101

19. Winter Savory

Winter Savory is a deliciously spicy culinary herb. It adds an aromatic flavour to many dishes. Additionally, it is used medicinally for its antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Winder Savory, like its Summer counterpart, is a spicy culinary herb from the Mint family that compliments beans, fish, and poultry with its intense flavour. Although it loses some of its intensity during the cooking process, Winter Savory remains aromatic and is mostly used to flavour liqueurs and makes a beautiful garnish to any salad.

20. Stevia

Also known as sugar leaf or sweetleaf, this is an attractive-looking plant with natural sweetening properties. The good part is that it does not have calories.

Stevia is part of the sunflower family and is native to tropical and subtropical regions in the western hemisphere.

As much as it is a perennial plant, it will only survive in the milder climates in North America. Be as it may, you can still add stevia to your garden for the summer.

Stevia can be used as a natural sweetener and as a substitute for sugar.

Read also: Top 4 Unique Chicken That Lay Green Eggs

21. Bergamot (Bee Balm)

Gaining renewed fame as a culinary herb, Bee Balm makes an amazing addition to salads, pizzas, bread, and any dishes that are complemented by its unique flavour.

Minty and slightly spicy, Bergamot makes a great alternative for Oregano. It has a long history of use as a medicinal plant by many Native Americans, including the Blackfeet.

The Blackfeet Indians used this perennial in poultices to treat minor cuts and wounds. Additionally, a tea made from the plant was used to treat throat and mouth infections caused by gingivitis since the plant has high levels of a naturally occurring antiseptic, Thymol, which is found in many brand names types of mouthwash.

22. Lemon Grass

Lemongrass stalks can offer antioxidants like beta-carotene and defence against cancer and eye inflammation. Also, this plant has a strong lemon flavour.

Apart from using it as a herb seasoning, you can brew it in tea.

To grow this plant outdoors, you need to live in at least Zone 9. When planted outdoors, it can grow up to six feet high but will remarkably be smaller if you grow it indoors.

23. Oregano

Oregano also belongs to the mint family. It is native to the warm climates of the Mediterranean and Eurasia.

It is a perennial plant, but in colder climates can be grown as an annual. Sometimes it is referred to as wild marjoram and is closely associated with sweet marjoram.

Oregano is mainly used for flavouring and is a staple herb of Italian American cuisine. In the U.S., it gained fame after World War II as soldiers returned home with a desire for the “pizza herb”.

Here is a table that summarises important information about oregano at a glance:

Soil ConditionsWell-drained soil, pH 6.5 – 7
HardinessZones 4 – 9
Heightground cover/ 8 – 24″
Time to Harvest11 – 13 weeks
FertilizerAdd high-nitrogen fertilizer once in spring when new growth starts to appear.
Light preferenceFull sun / Morning sun, afternoon shade (hotter climates)
Germination7 – 14 days

24. Cutting Celery

Standing out as a more flavorful alternative to its crunchier cousin, Cutting Celery is a leafy, aromatic herb that can be substituted for Celery in dishes if you would like to add flavour without the stringy fibres.

Most of the time, it is mistaken for flat-leafed Parsley. It has a dark, glossy leaf with a serrated edge and small spring-like stalks. The stems and leaves can be used to add flavour to salads, stews, vegetables, and soups.

25. Lemon Balm

In addition to its amazing citrus aroma, lemon balm is easy to grow and provides a number of health benefits. It naturally eases muscle and nerve tension.

You can use a fresh lemon balm as a poultice to manage inflammation and prevent infection. Due to its antiviral properties, lemon balm can be applied to shorten the healing time of cold sores.

Additionally, you can ingest it to relieve gas, stomach upset and cramping.

Lemon balm tea is mostly consumed to enhance relationships, mental clarity, and alertness. You can add fresh lemon balm leaves to salads to spice up your greens with a refreshing citrus kick.

Here is a table that summarises important information about lemon balm at a glance:

Soil ConditionsRich, moist, well-drained soil, pH 6 – 7
HardinessZones 4 – 9
Spacing2 – 4″
Height18 – 26″
Time to Harvestthroughout growing season
FertilizerAdd a balance of nutrients during planting time
high- nitrogen fertilizer every 2 weeks thereafter
Light preferenceFull sun/ Morning sun, afternoon shade (hotter climates)
Germination7 – 14 days

When you grow your herbs indoors, you will have a continuous supply of fresh herbs year-round. Nonetheless, if this is not an option, you can consider drying or freezing some of your herbs so as to have some available for cooking year-round.

When you are ready to purchase herb plants, please check out this store for the best deals.

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