Grow Your Own Herb Garden

Learn about growing herbs and vegetables at home in a container garden.

About the Activity

It can feel great to grow your own food, so let's do some container gardening and grow our own bountiful harvest – and learn a little bit about vegetables and herbs along the way.

This activity is part of our 4-H At-Home Garden Series. See the rest of the activities here.

Grades: 3-8
Topic: STEM, Biology
Estimated Time: 30 minutes

Brought to you by Prairie View A&M University; Cooperative Extension Program, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Four pots of various herbs


These simple supplies are all you’ll need for this activity. Some of these, like the seeds, you may need to find at a plant store:

  • Plant pots
  • Seeds and/or transplants
  • Plant labels
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  • Permanent marker
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Optional: trellis or plant cage
  • Optional: fertilizer

Activity Steps

  1. Find a plant pot. When choosing your plant pot, make sure you select one that offers plenty of space for the plants to grow. You won’t want to overcrowd the plants.Did you know? Container gardening is when you plant in a container or a pot, and not in the ground. Many (but not all) plants that grow in-ground can also thrive in a pot!
  2. Pour soil into the pot, and water the soil.Did you know? Some vegetables need a trellis or a cage to grow upright and support their tentacle-like vines! For example, cucumbers need a trellis in order to spread out and grow large enough to produce their fruit.
A person with a garden shovel picking up dirt
  1. If you are growing seeds, poke a hole into the soil using your finger, place the seeds inside the hole, and gently cover the seeds with soil. If you have a transplant, carefully take out the plant out of the plastic pot. Dig a hole as deep as the plastic pot the plant came with, place the transplant inside the hole, and gently cover the roots with soil.Did you know? Herbs are plants that have been used for thousands of years for medicines, for seasoning dishes, and for their great aromas. Around the world, people from different cultures have planted herbs that can grow well in their area. People use herbs to season their food to avoid adding too much salt. That’s why certain foods from some countries have a special flavor!
  2. Water your soil again. Place a plant label in the container.Did you know? A tomato is not a vegetable, it is a fruit! Tomatoes come from a pollinated flower. Many people are confused by this, because the U.S. Supreme Court labeled tomatoes as a vegetable for taxation purposes back in the 1890s.
  3. Enjoy your plant! Don’t forget to water and give it sunlight!Did you know? Aside from nutritional purposes, herbs can also help with mental relaxation as aromatherapy.

Reflection Questions
Bonus questions to inspire wonder:

  1. What are some ways people use herbs?
  2. Can you think of a vegetable that might actually be a fruit?
  3. Why do you think container gardening is so popular today?
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Investigate and Explore
Take what you've learned to the next level to learn more and explore the possibilities.

You don't always have to plant in the ground. Container gardening has become very popular because it saves space and can be easily customized for your favorite container designs. Vegetables and herbs can easily be grown in containers that have enough space for the plants. Next time you go shopping for plants, make sure to check on the label to learn how big it gets.

5 pots of different types of herbs

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No endorsement of these supporters' products or services is granted or implied by 4‑H. This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, AFRI - Education and Workforce Development project 2021-67037-33376.9

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