herb mason jar

Forget the usual terracotta and (ugh!) plastic pots for container gardening. When you grow herbs in mason jars, you can have garden fresh ingredients on hand and also add some style to a sunny windowsill.

Picture a row of mason jars filled with different herbs—basil, chives, parsleycilantrothymerosemary—dressing up your kitchen. Pretty, right? The clear glass allows you to see the herbs’ rich root structure growing through the soil. And the greenery growing out of the top of the jar adds a dash of spring color to a room. Plus, you can clip off an herb in seconds to add to your culinary creations. Doesn’t get much easier (or more fresh) than that!

With the right conditions—ample light and proper drainage—most herbs are extremely easy to grow, and growing them in mason jars is no different. This project might be easier with transplants, but you can certainly grow your herbs from seeds if you wish. Here’s how to get your gorgeous mason jar herb garden started.

1. First, fill the bottom of your mason jars with sand, marbles, pebbles or gravel. You’ll need about an inch or so of material, depending on the size of the mason jar. These elements will act as drainage, absorbing any excess water.

2. Fill ‘er up with organic garden soil and transfer your herbs. Be sure to use light, fluffy soil (not clay-like soil) to promote drainage.

3. If you want to start your herbs from seed, place the seeds underneath a thin layer of seed starting mix after you fill the jars with soil. Care for your plants according to package instructions.

Finally, add some labels so you won’t forget what you planted! Check out these five whimsical ways to label your seeds for ideas.

You diy, recycling junkies could also use pasta jars, pickle jars or whatever other glass container you come across for this project.

image: B_Zedan

Follow Kirsten on Twitter @kirsten_hudson