What is the Best Soil for Herbs?


“What is the best soil to use when planting a container herb garden?” Question from Joanne of Ocala, Florida

Answer: You are in luck! Herbs are some of the easiest plants you can grow, if given the right growing conditions and soil. Almost all herbs require full sun, fertile soil with good drainage, and average water. Some are perennials (meaning they will survive for more than one season) and others are annuals (meaning they will survive just one growing season). All are easy to harvest. Just clip the leaves as you need them, while leaving enough to keep plants full and healthy.

Soil for Herbs

At planting time, be sure to give them good soil that is porous, fertile, holds water, and drains well. If planting them in pots, they grow beautifully in Sunshine Mix #4 with Mycorrhizae, which drains well, holds water, and has natural mycorrhizae to enhance growth. If you ever want to grow them in the ground, plant them in a prepared, weed-free garden, and work some Sunshine® Natural & Organic Planting Mix into the soil at planting time for added fertility.

After your herbs have been initially planted, water them every other day to encourage establishment. After a couple of weeks, reduce watering unless conditions are dry. Potted herbs will need to be watered every other day, or even daily, during the summer, especially when the weather is hot and windy. Add a slow-release fertilizer at the beginning of the season to ensure that they grow their best. (Click here for more information about essential culinary herbs.)

Happy gardening!

Jessie Keith


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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