Thursday, April 10, 2014

DIY Mason Jar Vertical Herb Garden

I recently created a DIY vertical garden per the request of a local magazine. I love how the finished project turned out. ~ Thought I'd share the steps...

Supply List:

3 Cedar fence boards 42-inches long and 7-inches wide
9 Stainless steel hose clamps - Purchased at home improvement / hardware stores.
9 Wide-mouth Mason jars
9 cups gravel - I used black gravel ~ enough to fill each mason jar 1/3 full.
1 bag growing medium - A prepackaged peat-lite mix (blend of peat moss, vermiculite and perlite) is an excellent choice for growing herbs indoors.
Herbs of your choice (chives, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, oregano, mints and parsley work best)


1.  Measure and cut the board to your desired length. This board was cut to 42-inches-by-7-inches.
2.  Attach the hose clamps to the board with screws. Leave 10 inches between each clamp.
3.  Fill each Mason jar with 1 cup of gravel. The gravel is essential for drainage in the jars becasuse they lack drainage holes.
4.  Add the herbs to each jar, packing them in with the growing medium.
5.  Position the jars in each hose clamp, and tighten each clamp securely around the jar with a screwdriver.
6.  Place the vertical garden near a very sunny window that receives between six and eight hours of direct sunlight each day (typically a southern or western exposure). When growing herbs under natural light, be certain to rotate the jar every three to four days to ensure uniform growth of the plant.

Growing and harvesting herbs indoors:

You can grow many herbs indoors, but they will be less productive than those grown outdoors. Enjoy harvesting the herbs, but expect to replace them when they develop a leggy or stressed appearance. During the winter, they need as much light as you can give them. If a bright location is unavailable, supplement existing light with "grow lamps" or fluorescent lights. Water sparingly. The jars do not provide the ideal drainage set-up - be careful not to over-water. Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings then only add enough water to moisten the soil. Harvest the herbs regularly by pinching or trimming back the leaves.You can find more information on growing herbs indoors by visiting the University of Missouri Extension's website ( or call the Master Gardener Hotline 417-881-8909.

Photo credit: 417 Home Magazine

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