How to Build a Mason Jar Herb Garden: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Mason jar herb gardens have become a popular trend for both seasoned gardeners and beginners alike. These compact and versatile gardens allow you to grow your favorite herbs right in the comfort of your own home, even if you have limited space. Whether you live in a tiny apartment or a spacious house, creating a mason jar herb garden is an excellent way to bring nature indoors and add fresh flavors to your meals.

How to Build a Mason Jar Herb Garden

The concept of using mason jars as planters is not only practical but also aesthetically pleasing. The clear glass allows you to see the roots of your plants as they grow, adding an interesting visual element to your indoor decor. Plus, with their rustic charm and vintage appeal, mason jars can easily blend into any home decor style.

How to Build a Mason Jar Herb Garden

Introduction to Mason Jar Herb Gardens

Mason jar herb gardens have become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. These charming little gardens bring a touch of nature indoors and allow you to grow fresh herbs right in your kitchen or any other sunny spot. Not only are mason jar herb gardens visually appealing, but they also provide a practical solution for those who want to enjoy the flavors and aromas of fresh herbs without the need for a traditional outdoor garden.

Choosing the Right Mason Jars for Your Herb Garden

Selecting the right jars is essential when building a mason jar herb garden. Not all mason jars are created equal, so it’s important to consider a few factors before purchasing. What size is the Mason jar for the herb garden? Think about how many herbs you want to grow in mason jars and how much space you have available. If you have limited space, opt for smaller jars that can easily fit on your windowsill or countertop.

However, larger jars may be the way to go if you have ample room and want to grow various herbs. While traditional glass mason jars are popular for herb gardens due to their classic look and durability, plastic options are also available. Plastic jars can be lightweight and shatterproof, making them ideal for areas with high foot traffic or homes with young children or pets. Mason jar herb gardens can double as stylish kitchen or living space decor.

Selecting the Ideal Place for Your Herb Garden

When it comes to building a mason jar herb garden, choosing the right location is crucial for the success of your plants. Herbs need sunlight to thrive, so finding a place that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily is essential. Look around your home and evaluate potential locations for your herb garden.

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Mason Jar Herb Garden

Consider areas like windowsills, balconies, or even countertops near sunny windows. These spots provide easy access and ample light for your herbs to flourish. Keep in mind that different herbs have varying sun requirements. Some prefer full sun all day, while others tolerate partial shade. Take note of which herbs you plan to grow and ensure they will receive enough sunlight in their chosen location.

In addition to sunlight, consider other environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. Most herbs prefer temperatures between 15-21°C. Furthermore, moisture levels are important for herb growth. Ensure your chosen location allows proper ventilation and air circulation to prevent excess humidity, which can lead to mold or fungal diseases.

Gathering the Necessary Supplies for Building a Mason Jar Herb Garden

Gathering the necessary supplies is an important first step when building your mason jar herb garden. First and foremost, you’ll need some mason jars. Choose jars that are the right size for your herbs and have wide mouths for easy access. Next up is potting soil. Opt for a high-quality organic mix specifically formulated for herbs. This will provide the essential nutrients your plants need to thrive. You’ll also need gravel or pebbles to create drainage in the bottom of each jar.

Activated charcoal is another key ingredient in creating a successful herb garden.  It helps control odors and keeps the soil fresh by absorbing impurities. Decide which herbs you’d like to grow and purchase accordingly. Popular choices include Basil, Parsley, Cilantro, Mint, and Thyme. Gather watering cans or spray bottles for proper hydration of your herb garden. These tools will make it easier to ensure your plants receive adequate moisture without drowning them.

Clean and Prepare the Mason Jars

Before you start building your mason jar herb garden, it’s important to clean and prepare the jars properly. First, give the mason jars a good scrub with warm soapy water. Make sure to remove any dirt or residue that may be present on the surface of the jars. Rinse them thoroughly and let them air dry completely. Once the jars are clean, inspect them for any cracks or chips. It’s essential to use jars in perfect condition to prevent leakage or damage to your herbs.

If you find any damaged jars, replacing them before proceeding is best. Next, take some time to sterilize the mason jars by placing them in boiling water for a few minutes. This step will help kill off any potential bacteria or pathogens that could harm your plants. After sterilizing, allow the jars to cool down before handling them further. Once they are cool enough, you can prepare the lids. Remove the metal lids from each jar and set them aside.

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Indoor Mason Jar Herb Garden

Add Drainage Holes to the Mason Jar Lids

One important step in building a mason jar herb garden is to add drainage holes to the lids of the jars. Gather a small nail or drill with a thin bit to add drainage holes. Carefully position the lid on a sturdy surface, gently tap the nail, or use the drill to create several small holes.  Remember that herbs prefer well-drained soil, so ensuring proper drainage is key for their overall health and vitality. After adding drainage holes, test them by pouring water into each jar and observing how quickly it drains through the lid.

Fill the Bottom of the Jars with Gravel or Pebbles

When building a Mason jar herb garden, every step is crucial for the success of your plants. One important step in the process is filling the bottom of the jars with gravel or pebbles. This serves multiple purposes and can greatly benefit your herbs. Adding a gravel or pebbles layer at the jars’ bottom helps drainage. Excess water is needed somewhere; without proper drainage, your herbs may become waterlogged and develop root rot. The gravel is a barrier between the soil and any standing water that may accumulate at the bottom.

Layer the Jars with Activated Charcoal for Odor Control

Layering the jars with activated charcoal is crucial in building a mason jar herb garden. Not only does it help control odor, but it also maintains the overall health of your herbs. Activated charcoal is known for absorbing and neutralizing odors, making it the best choice for keeping your herb garden smelling fresh.

Adding activated charcoal at the bottom of each jar can prevent unpleasant smells from developing over time. To layer the jars with activated charcoal, simply pour a thin layer on top of the gravel or pebbles at the bottom of each jar. The thickness should cover the entire surface area without filling up the jar.

Add Potting Soil to the Jars

Start by adding a generous amount of potting soil to each jar, filling them up about halfway. Make sure to use high-quality potting soil specifically formulated for container gardening. Press down on the soil with your fingers or a small tool to create an even surface. You want the soil level to be just below the rim of the jar, leaving enough space for watering without overflowing. When choosing potting soil, opt for organic options if possible.

Organic soils are free from harmful chemicals and pesticides, ensuring your herbs remain healthy and safe for consumption. Once you have filled all your jars with potting soil, give them a gentle tap or shake to settle the soil in place. Avoid compacting it too much, as this can hinder root growth. Remember that potting mix tends to dry out faster than garden soils due to its composition. So, make sure you keep an eye on moisture levels and water accordingly.

Choose and Plant Your Herb Seeds or Seedlings

When selecting your herb seeds or seedlings, consider what flavors and aromas you enjoy. Gently loosen the soil in the mason jar and create small holes where each herb will go. For seeds, sprinkle them evenly across the surface of the potting soil and lightly press them down. If using seedlings, carefully remove them from their container and gently tease apart any tangled roots before placing them into their designated spots in the mason jars.

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Indoor Jar Gardening

After planting, thoroughly water your newly planted herbs. Remember to label each jar with its corresponding herb name so you don’t forget which is which. This will also help track growth progress and enable proper care for each specific plant.

Water Your Herb Garden Properly

Watering your herb garden properly is crucial for the health and growth of your plants. First, it’s important to understand that different herbs have different watering needs. While some herbs like Basil and Parsley prefer consistently moist soil, others like Rosemary and Thyme prefer drier conditions. Research the specific watering requirements of each herb in your garden so you can tailor your watering routine accordingly.

Provide Adequate Sunlight for Your Herbs

When choosing a mason jar herb garden location, look for an area that receives 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. This could be a sunny windowsill or a spot on your patio or balcony where the herbs can bask in the sun’s rays. If you don’t have access to enough natural sunlight, you can go with artificial grow lights. LED grow lights emit light in optimal wavelengths for plant growth. Position the lights about 6-12 inches above the herbs and keep them on for around 12-14 hours daily.

It’s important to monitor your herbs closely and make adjustments if necessary. If you notice that your herbs are becoming leggy or stretching toward the light source, it may indicate insufficient light intensity or duration. On the other hand, if their leaves start turning pale or yellowish, it could be a sign of excessive light exposure. Remember to rotate your jars regularly so all sides of the plant get equal amounts of sunlight. This will promote even growth and prevent leaning towards one direction.

Regularly Prune and Harvest Your Herbs

Regularly pruning and harvesting your herbs is essential for maintaining their health and promoting bushier growth. Pruning involves trimming off dead or yellowing leaves and cutting back overgrown stems to encourage new growth. When harvesting, timing is key. Most herbs are best harvested just before they flower when their flavor and aroma peak.

You can simply snip off the top few inches of the herb’s stem using scissors or garden shears. Remember to harvest only what you need at a given time to ensure your herbs continue growing strong. Regularly pruning and harvesting your herbs keep them tidy and promote healthier plants.

Fertilize Your Herb Garden as Needed

Fertilizing herb gardens is important in ensuring healthy and thriving plants. While herbs are generally low-maintenance, they still require nutrients to grow and produce flavorful leaves for you to enjoy in your cooking. When fertilizing your herb garden, there are a few options to consider. Before planting, you can mix organic fertilizers into the soil. These natural sources of nutrients will provide a slow release of essential elements over time. Alternatively, you can use liquid organic fertilizers during the growing season.

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Plant in a jar

AYou can apply it to the soil around your herbs or spray onto their foliage. The plants quickly absorb liquid fertilizers, giving them an immediate boost. It’s important not to over-fertilize your herb garden, as this can cause excessive growth and reduced flavor in the leaves. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging carefully, and only apply as needed. In addition to regular feeding with organic fertilizers, it’s also beneficial to periodically top-dress your herb garden with compost or aged manure.

Troubleshooting Common Issues in Mason Jar Herb Gardens

OverwateringEnsure proper drainage by adding more gravel or pebbles at the bottom of your jars. Be mindful of how much water your herbs need – they don’t like soggy roots.
Lack of sunlightFind the sunniest spot in your home or garden for your herb garden. If necessary, consider using artificial grow lights to supplement natural light.
PestsOrganic pest control methods like insecticidal soap can be used.
Yellow leavesYellow leaves can indicate over- or under-watering, nutrient deficiencies, or disease. Adjust watering habits accordingly and ensure proper fertilization.
Leggy growthLeggy growth occurs when plants stretch towards inadequate light sources. Prune leggy stems to encourage bushier growth.

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Growing microgreen in the jar


Creating a mason jar herb garden is fun and rewarding and adds beauty and freshness to your home. Following the simple steps, you can easily build your mini herb oasis on your windowsill or countertop. Gather all the necessary supplies and choose jars suitable for planting herbs. Prepare the jars by adding drainage holes and ensuring they are clean and ready for planting. Then, carefully select your favorite herbs and plant them in the jars, providing adequate sunlight and water.

Caring for a mason jar herb garden is easy with regular pruning, watering, and fertilizing. With proper maintenance, you’ll enjoy fresh herbs throughout the year. Get creative with how you use and display your mason jar garden. Consider placing them on a rustic wooden tray as a centerpiece at dinner parties or gifting them to friends interested in gardening or cooking.


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