Creating our Herb Garden

Over the weekend I managed to get enough time to finally finish putting together the herb garden. It is placed right by the front door that goes to the kitchen. By placing it here we are going to try our best to keep an eye on it and full of tasty herbs. I thought that I would make a step by step to help any other gardeners out there wanting to do the same thing and to keep a record of what we have done. Maybe it will work out really well, or maybe it will be a total failure! Only one way to find out :)

Step one: Collect materials. For this method of bed formation we wanted a weed barrier, a fertiliser and a mulch layer.

I got the paper for the weed barrier from when we moved offices at work as everyone was throwing away old documentation. I have been squirreling it away at our place until we needed it. For this garden I used mostly manila folders to see how they go.

For the fertiliser my MIL had some leftover composted cow manure from her garden, so she kindly donated it to us. We used this because it was available to us and locally sourced but you could use any type of well rotted manure.

For the mulch layer we used  woodchips. Any conventional mulch could be used here. There were some contractors clearing around powerlines just around the corner and Brodie had a chat to them and got a whole truck full of woodchips delivered to us, for the very convenient price of a case of beer. This is the pile with a dog for scale.

This is the area before I started. It was a bit neglected as we had been concentrating on other areas.

Step two: Pull out any vegetation in the area, then rake to remove rocks and large chunks. The leftover rocks in this bed helped to create the border.

Step three: place the paper weed barrier overlapping over the raked surface. In this photo both stages can be seen.

Step four: Add the fertiliser layer on top of the weed barrier layer. I mostly did it at this point to prevent the papers from flying away as I was working. This is most of the garden area with the weed barrier and fertiliser layers.

Step five: Add the mulch layer. Some of the woodchips we got from the contractors had a lot of leaf matter in it so I used it for the garden. It is less chunky and should break down quickly to add fertility and organic matter. I put this mulch down to about 5cm thick.

Step six: Repeat the steps until the whole garden is complete.

By using local materials available to us we have helped to improve our soil and prevent further carbon emissions. It cost us negligible amounts of money for this area and we prevented some papers going into landfill. We planted out the bed with basil, lettuce and silverbeet. We haven't got a lot of herb seedlings to plant which is why we decided to get some greens in the ground as well. I also installed the retaining wall to the right at the same time to create some separation from the deck and reduce the slope a bit. These were scavenged from the property.

I hope this can help someone to build their own garden bed, let me know how you go! This time of year is great to do it as it is cooling down and lots of great herbs can be grown, like my favourite, Coriander!

Until next time,



  1. I love coriander too, Kat. Especially cooked with fresh grated ginger and a squeeze of lime juice. Best flavour, ever! But coriander is very temperamental in our hot climate. So I have to keep it in the shade house, and sew in Autumn. They're just starting to get some size on them now.

    Anyway, love your garden development, utilising existing resources. Gotta have a herb garden! :)

    1. Isn't it the best?? It is such a treat in our hot climate. This area is quite shady so hoping to keep some delicate greens going for most of the year. I might get some seeds going this weekend as it appears winter is on its way. I have so missed having a herb garden!!!


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