DIY Mason Jar Fresh Herb Garden

This post comes from our blog intern, Aubrie!

Every time I open my refrigerator to survey its contents, I witness a small pile of  plastic bags containing browned and dried-out herbs that I seemed to have abandoned tumbling towards me. When I reach in to open the bag, I notice their savory aromas have disappeared in effect of my neglect. The scene may seem ordinary and inevitable, yet I can’t help but feel disheartened when I realize what I’ve wasted.

I love everything about fresh herbs. I love going to the local market and picking up a bunch of basil to smell its sweet scent and imagine the fresh tomato and corn I will toss together into a tasty medley. With warmer weather comes an abundance of fresh herbs in my diet; fresh mint is the perfect addition to a new cocktail recipe, while dill adds a mild flair when mixed into homemade sauces. There are so many uses for fresh herbs that go beyond what’s served on the picnic table. Did you know that sage can be a natural remedy for jellyfish stings and spider bites? Or that parsley aids digestion and prevents bloating?

It’s amazing how a few leaves that go unnoticed at the bottom of our refrigerators are actually quite important. In honor of #FPEarthMonth, instead of buying herbs and letting them go bad, I decided to plant a cute little garden right in my kitchen! Mason jars are so easy to find and I love their clean and classic look, which fits with my decor perfectly. You too can nurture these lovely plants right in your own kitchen with water, some sunlight, and a little love!

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What you need: 

Glass Mason jars

Seed packets for various herbs, or pre-grown seedlings

Labels

Plenty of sunlight (be sure to read the recommendations on the seed packets)

Water

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Start off by choosing which herbs you’d like to grow. Think about your cuisine choices, and which herbs you tend to use more often than others. I chose sage, mint, basil, parsley, and dill because I already have plenty of recipes planned for the warmer months ahead and these herbs will compliment them perfectly.

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Make sure to label the jars as you place the seeds in their corresponding pot. Then fill each mason jar almost all the way to the top with organic potting soil. Sprinkle in a few seeds of your chosen herb to the jar and cover with a little additional soil. Follow by pouring enough water to only dampen the soil.

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The next part is just all about being patient and waiting for your plants to grow.  Make sure they have plenty of sunlight and water each day!

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Your varying herbs will probably take different amounts of time to germinate and start sprouting. Allow approximately one month before you can most likely start using your herbs for all of their satisfying benefits.

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More DIY ideas from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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Comments

  1. I’ve already got seed packets just waiting to be planted. I was gonna do the egg carton garden, but I think I like this idea better.

  2. This looks amazing..but what about when you water them? The water won’t be completely absorbed by the plants (not immediately at least) and it will collect on the bottom of the glass instead of flowing by. I don’t know if this will cause the plants to rotten eventually..

  3. I’m a huge fan of growing your own herbs. We started doing that in my own home because we would often buy too much of one type of herb, and it would be left unused in the refrigerator. I love the idea of growing herbs in mason jars, though, because it would add a nice decorative touch to my kitchen.

    -Helen
    http://www.sweethelengrace.com

  4. What about water drainage when using the mason jars? Is this not an issue because you water just enough to dampen the soil?

    Thanks!

  5. Just put an inch or two of pebbles or stones at the bottom of the jar before adding soil. This will prevent root rot since there is no drainage :)

    -Megan

  6. This is actually such an easy cute idea for adding a little bit of nature to your room, definitely trying this out!
    Rosie | thiswildrose.blogspot.com.au

  7. Since my husband and I don’t have a patio at our apartment, I was looking for different ways to have plants in the apartment, this is a great idea! It’ll be really cute to decorate the jars! :)

  8. It’s a nice idea for small spaces. I love the idea of using mason jars, you can see the roots of the plans trough the glass when they grow enough, so beautiful. My mother’s birthday is next weekend and I’m going to arrange such a small garden for her. She loves herbs, but she doesn’t have a garden to grow her own,so she will appreciate this present. Thank you for this idea!

  9. I did Basil and Oregano and they are beautiful. Placed them outside for some good lighting and I water them every day. They have grown so much (pic on insta: @jassyonyae)

    Loved this idea, already starting to use pots too :)

  10. I tried something similar. But I put small pebbles on the bottom of my mason jar to help with water drainage. But mine have started to grow green algae in the pebbles and also a little between the jar and the dirt. Is this normal? will it harm the herbs or should I be worried about using the herbs?

  11. I have had an indoor mason jar garden for a while, and hooray for its cuteness! Unfortunately, many herbs and plants will eventually die and experience root rot if you aren’t using VERY well draining soil. ( I recently experimented with mixing sand into all potting soil I use, which enhances drainage). As mentioned by another person, it would be wise to put about 1″ of pebbles on the bottom of the jar!

  12. The herb garden using a non-draining material will not work in the long run.

    Herbs typically need lots of light and drainage – most are from the Mediterranean region or like that kind of environment (rosemary, oregano) and thrive best with direct sunlight and lots of drainage. While the mason jars are cute, the plants won’t last long or thrive. A second option is to harvest your plants from outside (plant in free-draining potting soil in a pot with a hole in direct sunlight, water daily) and put the cut herbs in cute labeled mason jars with water in it. This will ensure the longevity of the plant.

    However, if it’s just for aesthetics – go for it. Who doesn’t like cute stuff?

    For those of you who have green algae – it’s natural. If you were doing this for a terrarium and using other plant material (ferns, plants that prefer low light), I would add an inch or so of pebbles and mix in activated charcoal to reduce algae production. It doesn’t make your herbs bad for you – it just means it has a lot of water which can lead to root rot. Which in turn, kills the plant.

    Signed, a horticulturalist.

  13. I am in the process of creating this, what I am thinking is putting small handles on the jar’s and hanging them off a decorative metal coat rack mounted in front of my kitchen window with enough space in between for the blinds to function. I plan on drilling a small hole in the bottom of each of my 5 jars, being as they hang over the sink if water drips out It will not be an issue. I will use and inch of gravel to allow water through with out allowing soil or roots to escape the hole. My only concern with this design is allowing direct sunlight onto the soil in such a small container, will this in effect cook the roots, killing the plant?

  14. I’ve recently designed my own vertical mason jar garden, however, I’m very new to growing things. I’ve noticed what looks like green algae appearing near the pebbles and perlite layers in some of my jars. Will this kill the plants or is it poisonous in any way? And…what should I do to keep it from happening? Should I paint the jars or maybe wrap them in tinfoil or something?

  15. Great ideas. I love these herbs and always wanted to have them on my desk, but didn’t have enough space. With this trick, I’ll be able to have them on my desk and enjoy the colors and the smells :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  16. I love this idea and want to do this for sure. I mainly plant my herbs outdoors, maintain them very little, allowing them to fully go to seed so that the bees are fed. Some are perinnial due to being zone 8b.
    How long will these plants last if kept inside? I jab shaded counter space and a nice garden window for natural light.

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