Herb earth: so you mix the perfect soil for herbs themselves

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The crucial question here is what proportion the individual elements should have. And this question can only be answered if you know the water and nutrient requirements of each herb. As a rule of thumb it can be said that herbs with a relatively high demand also require a high proportion of compost and garden soil, while one can reduce the proportion of sand or even completely omit it. In particular, Mediterranean herbs require relatively little water and only a few nutrients. Here it is important to increase the amount of sand and to do everything so that the earth can hardly store water.

What herbs want

The following overview is intended to give you an approximate idea of ​​the requirements of individual herbs regarding their water and nutrient requirements:
Rather low to moderate need
  • anise
  • basil
  • Mugwort
  • savory
  • Eberraute
  • verbena
  • tarragon
  • lovage
  • marjoram
  • oregano
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • thyme
  • lemon balm
Rather high demand
  • wild garlic
  • watercress
  • borage
  • dill
  • parsley


The soil for herbs with a rather high need for water and nutrients should always be humus rich and be able to store water easily. In contrast, herbs with a low requirement prefer a permeable, sandy and dry soil.

standard recipe

Against this background, it should be relatively clear that a special mixture of herbal earth makes sense especially for herbs that require little nutrients and relatively little water. This is usually the case with all Mediterranean herbs. The following composition has proven itself:
  • 50 to 55 percent garden soil
  • 15 to 20 percent compost
  • 30 percent quartz sand
The proportions of garden soil and compost can vary. For herbs with an extremely low nutrient requirement such as thyme or rosemary compost is simply less than the proportion of garden soil. In addition, it is also advisable in this mixture to incorporate a so-called drainage. This is especially true if the herbs are not to be cultivated directly in the soil in the garden, but in a planter. Drainage reliably ensures that the water runs off easily and that no waterlogging occurs. It usually consists of potsherds placed on the bottom of the vessel. However, for this to work, the bottom of the vessel must have a drain hole. It is also advisable to mix well the individual components in order to obtain as loose a herbal soil as possible.
Tip: Instead of quartz sand, other materials such as lava split, pumice sand or zeolite can be used. The compost in turn can be replaced by a mixture of peat and coconut fiber.

Prepare ready mixes

As mentioned, the self-mixing of an herbal soil is especially for Mediterranean herbs with low water and nutrient requirements in question. For all other types of herbs can be used without any problems ready mixes from the trade. Of course, these can also be used as the basis for your own mix - especially if you do not have access to garden soil and would like to grow the herbs in the flat. You simply replace the parts of garden soil and compost with the ready-made mixture and add plenty of quartz sand. A ratio A ratio of 60 to 40 (sand) is ideal. It is also important here to loosen up the soil extremely well, thus ensuring good aeration and good permeability. In addition, the drainage plays a crucial role.

special cases


Certain herbs like it quite lush. They require a lot of water and nutrients. Above all, they also grow miraculously without a specially prepared herb soil. These include parsley and tarragon. Normal plant or garden soil are perfectly adequate for these herbs.

Herb earth in the garden

In order to prepare the soil in the garden directly to the herbal earth, one must first of all be clear about which earth exactly there one has. If the soil is already rich in sand, it is usually possible to save the addition of sand. On the other hand, if it contains a lot of loam, the gift of sand and an intensive relaxation are indispensable. You should also think about the laying of a drainage, because clay-containing soil naturally stores the water extremely well.

Video Board: Making your own inexpensive potting mix.

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