How to Grow Herbs Organically

Whether it’s parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, or basil and borage, grow them organically. Learn how to cultivate tasty herbs without the use of pesticides.


1. Herbs can be cultivated in any location with at least half-day sunlight. Plant in organic soil in pots, in flower-filled garden beds, or in your kitchen garden for easy snipping (see “How to Build Organic Soil,” under Related eHows).

2. Grow your herbs according to their type: annuals (parsley, for example) in season and perennials (rosemary, for example) all year. In containers, try challenging kinds for your area – lavender in the deep south, dill in the far north – so you can keep an eye on them.

3. Plant a variety of herbs to make a visually appealing arrangement that will keep insects at bay. Interplant parsley and chives as a border; avoid big clumps of one herb that pests can easily destroy.

4. Fertilize herbs at planting time with compost tea or diluted fish emulsion. Add either to your water once a month when your plants are actively growing to keep the nutrients flowing and the plants growing without overfertilizing them.

5. Mulch herbs to keep weeds at bay, but take mulch away from reseeders and herbs you want to proliferate.

6. Grow plants in pinches for cooking and re-rooting on a regular basis.

7. Take a frequent walk through your garden to keep an eye out for insects, stomping and squishing any that you come across. Hang yellow sticky bars in the garden to keep an eye on insect numbers.

8. Once planted, maintain herbs on the drier side for the best flavorful crop. Pick them in the middle of the day on a sunny day, when the oil is at its optimum.


When herbs are dried, their flavor is lost; instead, consider freezing them to maintain their fresh flavor.

Plant parsley and its cousin cilantro early in the season to avoid heat-induced flowering.

Allow chives to reseed wherever for a vivid green carpet.

Put robust herbs like mint in a pot and plant it to restrict spread.