What to plant if you have never grown anything

Here is the short answer: herbs! Even if you have never planted somethingbut dream of picking fresh products from your kitchen window sill, A little piece of herb is a very good place to give a strudel to gardening. It’s inexpensive and low-risk: all you need is a few pots to grow, a bag of soil and a sunny window. (You already have the will.) Herbs tend to do that too compact, fast growing and useful– which makes them a very good starting point. Also think about it: In the end there could be a (local) mint-laced summer mojito with your name.

You need the following:

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  • Find out how many herbs you want to grow (our suggestion is to start with 2-3) and get a pot each. The thing to remember is the size: your pot should be at least 5 cm wider than the seedling you put in it. When you start with seeds, you want the pot to be at least six inches wider.
  • Dishes to sit under these pots – you should avoid water stains running over your threshold.
  • A seed bowl or an old ice cube bowl (more on that in a moment).
  • Soil and a small amount of pebble or gravel.
  • seed or Seedlings (these are baby plants, only a few centimeters tall).

Seeds against seedlings:

a close-up of a plant

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  • advantages: They are extremely rewarding – you can see the little guy growing out of a tiny seed into something that can actually be used for cooking. When you start with seeds, you also get a wider selection of herbs to grow. This is cheaper, especially if you grow a lot of plants. The most common herbs that grow from seeds are annual herbs like basil and dill. However, what you pick can make you more adventurous.
  • disadvantage: You need to be a little patient: it can take a few weeks for a seed to grow into a seedling and then into a plant large enough to be harvested.
  • What to try:: Basil, mint, dill and parsley. They all grow pretty quickly and easily from seeds and need similar things – moist earth and lots of sun.


  • advantages: You already A plant to start picking – and all you have to do now is keep it alive.
  • disadvantage: They can be more expensive and you may have to buy several in larger compartments to get the amount you want.
  • What to try: You have a lot of freedom here: herbs that are harder to get from seeds or that just take longer to sprout and grow (like woody, like rosemary and thyme) are particularly good to buy as seedlings because they have already germinated through hard work.

a flower vase on a plant

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How to plant:

Many herbs are tall and wide, and of course these are best for the soil, but there are many that work just as well in a pot under the right conditions. First order? Fill the pots with a thin layer of gravel. Then:

For seeds: Fill the pot with soil and leave about one centimeter of the top lip free. Plant the seeds according to the directions on the seed pack. For the most part, you need to make a series of flat divots in the ground with your finger, drop a few seeds into the ground each and cover the divots with a thin layer of soil.

a flower vase on a table

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Many people start their seeds in a seed tray, form flat rows and sow them according to the instructions on the seed pack. Co-editor Coral Lee recommends reusing everything from an ice cube tray to an egg carton or a brownie pan. Lee (who, let’s say, is a “professional” in horticulture in homes) recommends filling each well of the box or tray with about a tablespoon of soil, adding two to three seeds to each cup, and very easily adding more soil cover. “Keep it moist – not too wet! – until the seeds germinate. This is the time to transfer them to your pots. Be very careful when placing the seedlings in the pots or containers, and make sure that they are well anchored to the ground, “she says.

For seedlings: Take the seedling out of the plastic pot and gently move the roots with your fingers. (This is to wake up the roots a little and ask them to adapt to their new pot.) If your pot is larger than the plastic your seedlings came in, fill the pot with soil, but not to the brim . Make a pit in the middle that is slightly larger than the graft, put the seedling in the pot, and carefully dab the soil around the roots. Spread a thin layer of soil on the bottom of the seedling.

Related Slideshow: 50 Gorgeous House Plants That Spice Up Your Home (provided by Photo Services)

Do not push the floor in! (Otherwise, no air can enter.) Water your freshly potted plants well (the soil should feel moist, but not muddy or drenched) and place them in a sunny place. Most herbs need sunshine and well-drained soil to grow best. However, if your home doesn’t have a sunny window, you’ll likely need additional light in the form of LED growth lights.

Basil and mint should sprout in the first or second week; Parsley may not sprout until the third week (or even later – it’s a slow starter).


  • Not all herbs need the same care. While most like a lot of sunSome want their soil to be watered daily (like basil or mint) and others much less (like rosemary or thyme). The seed packs or information on the seedling container (always keep it!) – or Farmer’s Almanac, another great resource – should tell you what everyone needs.
  • A sunny windowsill in your kitchen is one of those best Places where herbs can grow – not only because you can cut off a few leaves at any time, but also because the kitchens are usually wetter, which many plants enjoy.
  • Pull out weeds as soon as they appear.
  • Water when the floor feels dry. The warmer the weather, the more you have to water.
  • If you don’t succeed at first, don’t be discouraged. Experiment! Try a different windowsill and change your watering schedule.
  • As soon as flowers form, your herbs can be cut. As soon as they bloom, the leaves lose their taste. Cut off no more than 15 cm and let about a third of the plant regenerate and regrow. With some herbs like dill, however, you can harvest the entire plant and grow it again.

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