It's thyme to talk about fresh herbs, you guys! If you've always wanted to grow your own kitchen herb garden, you're in luck. We'll show you three easy ways to DIY-it. No green thumb required!

kitchen herb garden in paper cups, from Shelf Cooking

Kitchen herb gardens are a pretty big dill these days. Chefs, hobby-seekers, and brown thumbs alike are jumping on board the trend, and you can, too. Trust us; growing herbs is probably easier than you think!

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

From mason jars to hanging planters, you've got options. We'll show you three ways to start your indoor herb garden, give you tips for keeping those plants alive, and tell you how to use those fresh herbs. Are you ready to do this?!


using fresh herbs to cook, from Shelf Cooking

Before we go any further, let's address the elephant in the room! Why the heck would you go to the trouble to grow your own herbs when you can buy them? Well, here are three reasons:

  • Save Money – Once you get your herb garden up and running, you save a TON of money. Spending a few bucks at the store every time you need some fresh herbs adds up way faster than you think. Do the math, and you'll become an indoor garden believer.
  • They Taste Incredible – Nothing tastes as good as fresh herbs! And when you pick them off your plant just before cooking? Wow! It's a game-changer. You can instantly elevate just about any dish with a few fresh herbs.
  • Decorate Your Home on the Cheap – If you've been struggling to decorate your kitchen, just hit the easy button and start an herb garden. Seriously! Plants add so much warmth, color, and depth to a home. And we're all about decor that's functional!

Are you convinced it's time to start an herb garden? Then let's keep going! If you're wondering which herbs grow best indoors, then wonder no more.


muddling fresh mint, from Shelf Cooking

If you're new to gardening (or herbs), you've got plenty of options! We suggest growing what your family will use and eat, but these herbs are perfect for an indoor kitchen garden:

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Chives
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme

Start small and see how it goes! You can always add more herbs to your garden, but we suggest picking three to five to start. You can buy the seeds at your local hardware store or even on Amazon. Now, how do you plant them and care for them? Well, let's talk about it!


indoor paper cup garden, from Shelf Cooking

The sky's the limit when it comes to gardening, but here are three of the coolest ways to grow herbs in your kitchen:

  • Paper Cup Planters – We're obsessed with this method! Look how cute those cups are! Reuse drive-through cups to make your dollar go even further. Poke four or five holes in the bottom to help with draining, add your soil, then your seeds, and place the cup on a plate or tray to avoid a mess.
  • Coffee Mug Planters – Clean out that coffee and teacup collection! Those mugs are the perfect planters. Just fill them with some potting soil, add your herbs, and water as needed. This method is super cute, and it's a great gift idea, too.
  • Mason Jar Planters – All done with your mason jar salad? Use that container to start an herb garden! Start with a layer of rocks, pebbles, or glass marbles on the bottom. Add some soil, plant your seeds, and you're good to go!

You can't go wrong with any of these DIY planters, so use what you've got!

Pro Tip: If you don't keep mason jars around, upcycle a pickle jar or the jar from your spaghetti sauce. Any glass jar is an excellent (and free) herb garden planter!


woman sorting herbs in kitchen, from Shelf Cooking

Okay, no matter how you choose to plant those herbs, here's what you need to know to help them grow and thrive! Try these tips:

  • Grow Each Herb in a Separate Pot – Herbs grow best when they have their own space to flourish, so plant each herb in its own pot.
  • Label Well – Once those fresh herbs starting growing, it can be hard to tell them apart! Save yourself the confusion and prevent waste by labeling each planter.
  • Water – Luckily, herbs are pretty low maintenance, so you only need to water them once per week. We suggest using a spray bottle, so you don't over-water. If you live in a dry, warm climate, you may need to water twice per week.
  • Aim for Sunlight – Herbs need light to grow, so try to place your planters in an area of the kitchen that gets a lot of direct sunlight.

It's really pretty easy, so don't overthink it! If you're a gardening newbie, herbs are a great way to start.


chicken made with fresh herbs, from Shelf Cooking

Okay, one more order of business! We saved the best for last because we're going to share six super easy and delicious way to use those fresh herbs:

  • Strawberry Jam – Try whipping up a batch of this to-die-for strawberry freezer jam. Add a little basil or mint (or both) to take it up a notch. Just muddle, crush, or blend and add it to the fruit mixture.
  • French Bread Pizza – This French bread pizza is one of our all-time favorite dinners for a busy night. Add a few fresh herbs to the top, and enjoy!
  • Breadcrumbs – Stop buying breadcrumbs and start making them! Use up your stale bread, put those fresh herbs to use, and prepare to be amazed by the flavor.
  • French Onion Chicken – Gosh, we're obsessed with this French Onion Chicken! It tastes super fancy but is actually a breeze to prepare.
  • Macaroni & Cheese – Add a protein and some fresh herbs to your boxed macaroni and cheese mix for an adult take on a cheap classic.
  • Herb Butter – Soften a stick of butter, then add it to a bowl with a splash of lemon juice and 2-3 teaspoons of diced fresh herbs. Combine and serve on this rustic bread. YUM!

Oh, and you should definitely make some pesto, too! It's so delicious but also versatile. Check out all these ways to use leftover pesto.


Well, there you have it, you guys! Who's down to start a herb garden now? You can do this! Think of all the ways you can use those yummy herbs.

Speaking of which, what's your favorite way to use fresh herbs? We'd love to know, so leave a comment below!

Image with text that reads "DIY indoor herb garden" from Shelf Cooking

Looking for more fresh ideas to try in the kitchen?

You were mint to be a gardener, so go have fun!