Herb Container Gardening with Drip Irrigation

Herb seeds in containers

Simple Watering Solutions for Your Herb Garden

The bountiful look and fragrance of containers of herbs make them popular with gardeners of all experience levels. Keep them handy to your kitchen door, next to the grill, or as edible decor on your front steps. Beginners, or gardeners in a hurry, can pick up pots of herbs at a nursery and create their own container combinations. Experienced (or just plain adventurous) gardeners will want to grow their own particular herb choices from seed, particularly medicinal herbs. In our video on planting herbs in containers Tricia reminds us to put herbs with similar sun and water requirements together in pots. The shallow roots of herbs give you lots of flexibility in choosing your planting containers.

Organic Potting Soil

One constant rule, no matter what container you select, is that you should use potting soil, not soil from your garden. Potting soil is specially formulated to hold moisture. Our Peaceful Valley Organic Potting Soil is a mixture of aged fir bark, coco fiber (a sustainable substitute for peat moss), beneficial mycorrhizal fungi, compost, worm castings, and many kinds of soil amendment meals for season-long nutrients.

All the ingredients (including the non-GMO soybean meal) are organic. We offer other kinds of potting soil, in sizes to suit your needs.


Tricia nestled the herbs into biodegradable bamboo pots and rice hull pots. You'll probably plant up more than one pot of herbs. If you're going to cluster your containers together, group containers with at least one thing in common: same color but different sizes, same shape but different colors, and so on. Then plant herbs together that want the same "lifestyle".

Full sun, six or more hours a day is the perfect spot for an assortment of basils. They need air circulation so don't plant them too closely, but try mixing different colors like Purple Dark Opal, Genovese, Lemon, and Sweet basil. Or use the varied Culinary Blend basil seeds on their own.

Borage is so vigorous it can have a party all by itself in full sun. You'll be rewarded with blue flowers for cakes, cupcakes, sorbet toppings, and drink decorations all season long. Try a part-sun "garnish garden" with cilantro, Italian parsley, and Moss Curled parsley. Make your cat happy with its own container garden of catnip.

Drip Irrigation for Container Gardens

The only drawback to herbs in containers is that they dry out more quickly than those planted in the ground. Make your life easier, and the plants happier, by running some poly tubing along behind the pots. Tap in a drip emitter (or two or three, depending on the size of your container) and arrange the tubing and emitters to water the entire surface of your pot. For details on drip irrigation, watch our video and read our drip irrigation post with helpful diagrams. Enjoy your organic herbs this summer!

For other herb growing ideas, see our blog on spiral rock gardens.

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