DIY Vertical Herb Garden

Walker and I are happy that the blistering heat is starting to work its way out of Los Angeles (okay, so it isn’t quite gone yet but fingers crossed!) and we are gearing up for cooler weather. One thing that I have been wanting to do as soon as summer ended is to plant a new herb garden (mine cooked to a crisp in August last year). Since the heat isn’t quite gone yet and because there are still some fairly cold nights in winter, I wanted to make something that was very portable and could easily take up residence on our kitchen table in front of the window. I also figured that, for a lot of you, an indoor herb garden was your only option since you have REALLY cold winters!

So I began planning.  With only one window and a very tiny kitchen table, I knew I had to think small.  I saw some cute hanging planter options but that wouldn’t be portable or allow me to bring the herbs outdoors to enjoy a moderate afternoon. They also typically required a few holes in the walls, which I try to avoid as a renter! So then I thought… why not go vertical? I did a little more research and only found some very large scale vertical planters for outdoor use (such as this one that is over 4 feet tall). So I decided to adapt the idea for indoor use (and do it as inexpensively as possible).

And that brings us to the part where you usually see a lot of pictures and a few steps.  But I am taking a walk on the wild side today and am trying something a little different… a video tutorial!

For those who can’t watch videos at work or gave up listening to me blabber after a few minutes, here are the basic steps:

DIY Vertical Herb GardenDIYVerticalHerbGarden_Watermark2

8.5 inch pot with holes for drainage (I used terracotta but feel free to get a fun ceramic one if you’d prefer) – $3.29
Four 4.5 inch pots with holes for drainage – $1 each = $4
24 inch lightweight (but NOT flexible) metal rod – $1.29
Potting Soil – $5
Herbs (you can get whatever you’d like but I got five 4 inch herbs at $2.50 each) – $12.50

1. Fill the 8.5 inch pot about two-thirds of the way with soil and pack it down very tightly.

2. Insert the metal rod into the center of the pot.  The soil should be packed enough that the rod is already able to stand up on its own.

3. Slide a 4.5 inch clay pot over the rod and set it at an angle off to one side. Use soil to build around the small pot to bury it a little and create a supportive base for the weight of the pot (none of the weight should really be on the rod. In fact, it should actually help stabilize the rod). Place soil into the small pot in order to help anchor it in place. It should be very sturdy before you move onto the next step.

4. One at a time, slide the remaining 4.5 inch pots over the rod and rest them on the previous pot at an angle going in the opposite direction. The base should rest on the edge of the previous pot and the top should rest against the rod.  Fill the base of each pot with soil to anchor it down before moving on to the next pot. If the entire structure starts to lean, adjust the angle and support of the first (partially buried) 4.5 inch pot. The rest of the pots depend on the angle and support of this first pot.

5. Now that you have the structure of the planter in place, it is time to plant your herbs and enjoy! Make sure you give them all a good watering to begin with and then water according the the provided instructions.

6. Create fun herb labels using wine corks and wood BBQ skewers. Use a marker to write the name of the herb on the cork, cut the skewers down to a smaller size, insert the pointy end of the skewer into the cork, and place the opposite end into the soil. All labelled! :)

So there you have it: a DIY Vertical Herb Garden for indoor use in the fall for under $14 ($26 if you count the herbs!). We love our fun, funky little herb garden! Not only does it make our kitchen smell like magic, but it is also a new sculptural centerpiece for our kitchen table!**So let’s get back to that video thing. I positively hate watching myself on camera but I would love your opinion, especially if you feel differently!  Yay or nay on future video tutorials? Did you enjoy the change of pace? I will aim to make them shorter in the future but I was just having so much fun playing with dirt on my kitchen table. ;)**

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43 Responses to "DIY Vertical Herb Garden"

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  1. Melanie @ Mailbox Journey

    September 25, 2012 at 9:54 am

    The next YouTube video sensation: Cozy Cubbyhole :P
    I can’t actually listen to the video at work, but I did skim thru it a bit and you look like a natural in front of the camera! Very bubbly! LOL. I say yes to future videos, because I’m a visual learner :)

    BTW, LOVE the vertical planter! Awesome job girl, so creative.

    • Erika

      September 25, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      Haha thanks so much! I had fun doing it so perhaps I will continue to do these once and a while! :)

      And the herb garden is awesome… I can’t stop sniffing it! ;)

  2. bekah

    September 25, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Very cute!! I couldnt watch the video due to the sleeping baby beside me ( I dont mess with naptime!) but the finished product looks great! In general though…I think videos every now and then are fun!

    • Erika

      September 25, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      Yes, definitely do NOT mess with naptime! :)

      So glad you liked it! Thanks Bekah!

  3. Ashley

    September 25, 2012 at 10:45 am

    You are so much fun!! Kudos to you for having the guts to do a video tutorial – you did a great job!

    • Erika

      September 25, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      Thanks Ashley! I actually had a lot fun doing it! :)

  4. Mom

    September 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    You amaze me with how natural you are in front of a camera. Didn’t get that from me….must be from Grandpa! Love it….love you! Don’t forget to tell them you’re my little girl. :-)

    • Erika

      September 25, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      Thanks Mom!! You are so sweet. I was channeling my inner Freihofers showmanship. Xoxox :)

  5. Lisha @ 1house1couple

    September 26, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    wow, that seriously amazes me. And it looks so cute :) Never would have thought to go vertical like that :)


    • Erika

      October 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm

      Thank you Lisha! So glad you like it! :)

  6. Lisha @ 1house1couple

    September 26, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    and p.s. you should be an hgtv host!

    • Erika

      October 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      Ahhhh thank you! You are so sweet! And YES PLEASE! :)

  7. heather

    October 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Very cool idea! Love how it turned out.

    • Erika

      October 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      Thank you Heather! :)

  8. Lara

    October 9, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Erika! The video looks great! and of course you look amaze too! hope you are doing well, miss you girl!

    • Erika

      October 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      Thanks Lara!!! I miss youuuu!

  9. Vicki

    October 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    You’re a natural! I love that I got to see more of your personality through the video, you should totally make more of these. Love the herb garden too, gonna make one of these for my verandah! Enjoy the rest of your week :)

    • Erika

      October 16, 2012 at 7:52 am

      Thank you Vicki! You are so sweet! :)

      You should make one! They are a lot of fun! Have a great week!

  10. Sonia Baker

    March 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    OH MY GOSH!!! Something easy, cute, and I can do. I am making one this weekend as I cook only with fresh herbs. I have a big herb garden outside but would love to have some in the kitchen. This is perfect. If I can do it as well I plan to give these as gifts!!

    • Erika

      September 28, 2014 at 9:25 am

      So sorry it took me so long to respond… I took a bit of a hiatus this year to graduate and get married (yay!). So happy you like it! We are the same way about cooking with fresh herbs. And I think they would make GREAT gifts — good idea! :)

  11. Marcia

    April 17, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Erika, I am going to do this as soon as I can. You made it look fun and easy. I loved your presentation and you are beautiful!

    • Erika

      September 28, 2014 at 9:26 am

      So sorry it took me so long to respond… I took a bit of a hiatus this year to graduate and get married (yay!). You are too sweet Marcia!! Thank you! I hope you ended up doing the project as well! :)

  12. Robyn

    July 5, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Hi Erika!
    I’m curious, have you ever ran into any issues with bugs/gnats/fruit flies with keeping the herbs indoors? I’ve tried Basil/Cilantro/Mint in doors and we always seem to end up with little bugs (even when I’m very careful not to over-water) especially fruit flies in the summer…Just curious as to your experience? Thanks!

    • Erika

      September 28, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Hello Robyn! So sorry it took me so long to respond… I took a bit of a hiatus this year to graduate and get married (yay!). We haven’t had many issues with fruit flies, though we don’t typically get them in general here. I wish I could be of more help, but we haven’t really had to fight with those little buggers. Good luck!

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  21. A Hanses

    February 28, 2016 at 5:31 am

    Suggestion … Use a threaded rod and you can secure with a metal washer and bolt, thru the hole in base pot. This will secure the rod and give support the smaller pots easily

    • Erika

      March 29, 2016 at 9:55 am

      That is a great idea, thank you!

  22. Roberta Cohalla

    February 28, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Neat. I would have used some rock for stronger anchorage, I believe . Looks to wobbled, but, cute idea. Gonna try it.

    • Erika

      March 29, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Thank you Roberta! Rocks would be a great idea as well (though it would make the pot a bit heavy for portable indoor usage). We have had it for several years now without any wobble issues, as long as you get the pots nestled in securely! Rocks would certainly help secure things in place too! :)

  23. Denver

    February 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    I really love this project! There are so many possibilities with what can actually be planted and how it can be used. This would be a great house warming gift.
    Has anyone suggested making this project with succulents?
    Thanks for the idea,

    • Erika

      March 29, 2016 at 9:59 am

      Thank you, Denver! I absolutely agree! When we moved to a new house, the herb garden no longer had a spot where it grew well so we replaced them with succulents in this planter for our outdoor garden. It looks great! I always thought it would be pretty with flowers too!

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  26. Kevin

    October 23, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Just wanted to write a quick comment and thank you for taking the time to post this. I decided to make one for my girlfriend today and it came out great!

    • Erika

      October 28, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      Hello Kevin,
      Wow that looks fantastic!! She must have loved such a thoughtful gift! Glad the tutorial inspired you to DIY! :)


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