20 Best Herbs to Plant in Your Garden Beds

Growing your own herbs is an extremely rewarding endeavor for any gardener. Fresh herbs not only make food taste great, but they are also good for you and can be used to make your own soaps, salves, teas, and other things. When planning an herb garden, it’s important to pick types that will do well in your area’s climate and soil. We’ll look at 20 of the best herbs to plant in garden beds here to get you started.

Perennial Herbs for Garden Beds

Herbs that come back year after year are called perennials. They are wise to add to your garden. Here are some top perennial herbs to consider:


Mint is known for its refreshing flavor and fragrance. There are many types to choose from like peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint and orange mint. Mint thrives in moist soil and sun to partial shade. It spreads vigorously so it’s best planted in containers or confined garden beds. Mint is wonderful in teas, desserts, salads and more.


A must for Italian dishes, oregano offers a robust, slightly spicy flavor. This hardy herb prefers full sun and well-drained soil. oregano can be used fresh or dried to season meats, soups, sauces, and other tasty foods. The compact bushy plants also make nice garden borders.


Sage is beloved for its rich, musky leaves that complement poultry dishes, pasta, beans and stuffing. Provide this Mediterranean herb with plenty of sun and neutral to alkaline soil Its silvery foliage adds nice garden texture and interest Pineapple sage also boasts attractive red flowers.


Lemon thyme, English thyme and other thyme varieties have tiny fragrant leaves that enhance meats stews and vegetables. Thyme thrives in hot sunny spots with dry well-drained soil. This versatile herb can handle light foot traffic so it’s nice for garden pathways or borders.


Aside from its sweet soothing fragrance, lavender has antiseptic and calming properties. English lavender is winter hardy to zone 5 while French and Spanish lavender need zone 7 and warmer. Lavender prefers full sun and well-drained alkaline soil. Use fresh or dried lavender in crafts, aromatherapy and culinary recipes.


Chives offer grassy onion flavor perfect for omelets, dips, salads and more. Plant chives in rich moist soil and full to partial sun. The pretty purple flowers are also edible! Chives spread rapidly by seed so cut off spent blooms if you don’t want them to self-sow.

Lemon Balm

Delicate lemon balm imparts a light citrusy flavor that enhances beverages, seafood, poultry and more. It grows easily in average garden soil and sun or shade. Lemon balm can take over gardens quickly so plant it in containers or maintain it diligently. It makes a soothing tea and the leaves can be used as insect repellents.


This aromatic herb is synonymous with Tuscan cuisine. Upright rosemary varieties thrive in hot climates with good drainage. Prostrate rosemary is better for colder zones. Use rosemary to flavor meats, soups, breads and olive oil. The pine-scented needles are also used in bath/beauty products.

Annual Herbs for Garden Beds

Annual herbs must be replanted each year but offer great variety to gardens. Some top annuals include:


A warm weather lover, basil adds sweet flavor and scent to Italian dishes, pesto and more. Plant basil outdoors after the last spring frost. Pinch off flower buds to keep leaves tender. Container growing allows moving basil plants indoors when temperatures drop. Genovese is an all-purpose variety while Thai, cinnamon and lemon offer unique flavors.


The fresh taste of cilantro is perfect for salsas, curries, salads and Mexican cuisine. Direct sow cilantro in early spring and again in late summer for fall harvests. Cilantro thrives in cool weather and often bolts in summer heat. Slow bolting varieties help extend harvests.


Dill’s anise-like seeds and fresh feathery foliage spice up pickles, fish and potato dishes. Direct sow dill in spring or fall in a sunny spot with rich well-drained soil. Stagger plantings for continuous harvests. Let some plants go to seed for pickling spice. Dill attracts beneficial insects too.


Parsley is a versatile herb that adds a fresh kick to cuisine worldwide. Curly and flat-leaf (Italian) provide great flavor for cooking. Plant parsley in nutrient-rich moist soil and full sun to partial shade. Allow some plants to go to seed to attract beneficial insects like lacewings.

Culinary Herbs for Garden Beds

Here are some other great culinary herbs for garden beds:

  • Marjoram – Add sweet flavor to meats, sauces and salads. Perennial in zones 8-10.

  • Chervil – Mild anise-tarragon flavor for eggs, seafood and dijon mustard. Annual.

  • Tarragon – Licorice notes enhance chicken, fish and vinegar. Perennial.

  • Garlic chives – Provide mild garlic flavor. Perennial.

  • Curry plant – Spicy curry-scented leaves. Tender perennial.

Mediterranean Herbs

Native to hot sunny Mediterranean climates, these herbs need excellent drainage and lots of sunshine:

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Lavender
  • Savory

Plant these herbs together in raised beds, rock gardens or terra cotta containers with drainage holes. They thrive in sandy loam or gravelly soils. Allow soil to dry between waterings. Mulch around plants to retain moisture and reduce weeds. Prune woody growth as needed.

Companion Plants

Certain plants pair well with herbs in garden beds. Consider companion planting herbs with:

  • Marigolds – Deter pests like nematodes, aphids and whiteflies.

  • Nasturtiums – Repel aphids, squash bugs and other pests.

  • Borage – Attracts pollinators and beneficial insects.

  • Calendula – Deters pests like aphids and whiteflies.

  • Catmint – Repels ants, aphids, and rodents.

Raised Beds for Herbs

Raised garden beds provide excellent drainage and make tending herbs easier. Fill beds with a quality potting mix amended with compost. Situate beds in full sun. Add gravel or rocks in bottom of beds to improve drainage, especially for Mediterranean herbs.

Good raised bed size is at least 4 feet wide by 8 feet long and 10-12 inches high. However, adjust dimensions to suit your space.

Caring for Herbs

  • Water plants regularly until established. Then water moderately, allowing soil to dry between waterings.

  • Apply organic fertilizer or compost around herbs in early spring.

  • Prune herbs often to encourage new growth. Don’t remove more than one-third of plant at once.

  • Monitor for pests like aphids and spray with insecticidal soap solution if needed. Practice crop rotation.

  • Mulch beds to retain moisture and reduce weeds. Replenish mulch as needed.

  • In fall, trim back herbs by one-third to one-half before first frost.

Harvesting Herbs

  • Harvest herbs in morning after dew dries but before heat intensifies flavors.

  • Cut stems above leaf pairs or just above soil. Don’t remove more than one-third of plant.

  • Rinse herbs and pat dry with towel or air dry. Refrigerate for short term storage.

Preserving Herbs

Ways to preserve harvested herbs:

  • Air dry – Hang upside down in cool dark area with good airflow.

  • Freeze – Chop herbs, pack into ice cube trays with water/oil. Freeze then transfer to bags.

  • Infused oils – Cover chopped fresh herbs with olive or other oil. Warm gently, then steep 3-6 weeks.

  • Vinegars – Add herbs to vinegar of choice and steep 3-6 weeks.

  • Salt or sugar – Layer chopped herbs with salt or sugar and allow to dry completely.

  • Pesto – Blend herbs with olive oil, nuts, cheese and freeze in ice cube trays.

With proper selection, care and harvesting, it’s easy to enjoy an abundance of flavorful homegrown herbs from your garden beds. Get creative with preserving to savor their goodness all season long. Let your garden and palate blossom with these aromatic plants.

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Do herbs do well in raised beds?

Do herbs do well in raised beds? The quick answer is yes; most herbs will do well in raised beds. Many herbs have a relatively shallow root system and are small to medium in size. Generally, a rectangular raised bed with good drainage is the best for growing herbs.

What herbs should not be planted together?

Some herbs have allelopathic effects, meaning they release chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants. Examples of herbs that do not grow well together include chamomile and dill, dill and fennel, and basil and rue.

Which herbs grow best in raised garden beds?

Basil is an easy-to-grow herb that requires warm temperatures and does best in well-drained soil. It adds a unique aroma and flavor to dishes, making it a popular choice for raised garden beds. Chives are a hardy herb that thrive in raised beds. They are a flavorful addition to many dishes and are known for their delicate onion flavor.

How do you grow herbs in a raised garden bed?

Place tall herbs like rosemary on the top rows, bushy herbs like thyme in the center, and basil and mint on the bottom. Many gardeners use raised garden beds to grow herbs, flowers, vegetables, and more as they allow for more soil control and have excellent drainage.

Are raised beds good for herbs?

Raised beds are particularly useful for growing a variety of herbs, as they allow for optimal soil conditions and easier maintenance. I’ve found that by filling my beds with a high-quality, well-draining soil mix, my herbs are more productive and healthier overall.

How do you maintain a raised herb bed?

Soil Maintenance: Over time, soil in raised beds can become compacted and depleted of nutrients. Each spring, refresh your herb bed by gently turning the soil and adding fresh compost. This rejuvenates the soil, ensuring your herbs have the nutrients they need to grow.

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