Herb and vegetable growing made easy

Whether large or small, there is a place for vegetables and herbs in every garden. Even on the balcony you can harvest the first greens in just a few simple steps. Plant and sow now in balcony boxes, herb pots or in a raised bed — you will soon be able to harvest fresh greenery.

Homegrown vegetables and herbs

Experience harvest fun without much effort with our instructions for growing vegetables, herbs and flowers on the balcony and garden. A herb garden requires little work and with the most popular herbs such as thyme, rosemary and sage, gardening beginners can also grow herbs. Even with vegetable plants, there are types that are easy to cultivate and others that only lead to a yield with a little experience. Find out everything you need to know about sowing and planting here!

What types of vegetable garden are there?

kitchen garden:

Vegetables and herbs are grown here on a large scale. Depending on the size of the garden, it can go as far as self- sufficiency. Planning is recommended for long-term management, so make sure that the crops are in different areas from year to year. This crop rotation is largely responsible for the success of the vegetable garden. Also pay attention to the needs of their individual species. In our article «Successfully growing balcony vegetables, herbs and fruit» you can find out more about heavy and weak consumers. Important crops in the kitchen garden are potato plants, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots and all kinds of lettuce. Rhubarb is also often foundand berry bushes in this type of garden.

snack garden:

Between bushes, flowers, hedges and lawns there are a few square meters for cherry tomatoes, herbs, lettuce and berries. With a variety of plants, you will experience the pure taste of the seasonal harvest. However, the area is not enough for large meals or storage. Once you have discovered the appeal of having your own garden, many a snack garden becomes a kitchen garden. Especially strawberries, fig trees, radishes, basil, parsley, lettuce and all kinds of dwarf fruit can be found here. Hardy herbs, which are in the planter year after year, are also popular representatives in the snack garden. A raised bedis the solution for the balcony. Even without a garden, you can create a snack garden.

Our tip: Regular reseeding allows you to nibble on crunchy vegetables throughout the summer. In the herb garden, continuous harvesting is important. Only through regular pruning does fresh green grow back and the herbs can be harvested until autumn.

Harvest vegetables and herbs without a garden. Do you live in the city and only have a terrace or a balcony? We will show you how to grow your own vegetables and aromatic herbs on the balcony and window sill. With creative tricks you can use the limited space effectively and with the right choice of variety you can harvest a large variety. Raised beds in various designs and sizes are ideal for this. Annual herbs and perennial plants can also be grown in flower tubs and boxes. Read more about this in our article «Urban Gardening — Nature in the Smallest Space» and find out how you can make it big even with little space.

Which of the three groups you choose depends largely on how much space and time you have available. But beware: gardening is addictive!

What are the advantages of growing your own vegetables?

First of all, it is a fascinating experience to see how a plant develops from a seed. Be amazed at how quickly you can harvest cress or radishes from your own cultivation.

Especially from May it is easy to start sowing the herb seeds in the bed or on the balcony. The range is extensive and the temperatures allow planting without worrying about the risk of night frost. Your herbs grow into magnificent specimens within a few weeks and can be harvested continuously.

Gardening brings peace and serenity, so you can easily switch off and leave the stress and hectic pace of everyday life behind. Start right away with your first garden evening and relax wonderfully.

Plants give the balcony and garden a special atmosphere. The combination of balcony boxes, individual pots, climbing plants and hanging baskets is particularly ingenious. What could be nicer than turning your own balcony into a jungle?

Do you particularly love fresh food ? Then the garden is ideal, because it doesn’t get any fresher and you know for sure that they are organically grown.

What are the options for growing vegetables and herbs?

Sowing indoors:

The first sowing of the year can be done on the windowsill or in the greenhouse with the necessary plant cultivation accessories. A distinction is made between direct sowing and preculture. Above all, heat-loving plants are first cultivated in a bowl or pot indoors.

Preculture: Here you sow the seeds in a flat container and place it on a windowsill. After emergence, separate the plants and pot them in individual pots. This gives you stronger plants, which are then planted outdoors, depending on the species. The preculture is mainly used for peppers, tomatoes, lettuce and aubergines.

Direct sowing : Here the plants are sown in such a way that they do not have to be separated before harvest. In the case of culture in the house, direct sowing is carried out for Asian salads, cress and basil. Other suitable herbs for pre-cultivation and no-till are dill and parsley. You can sow other herbs such as savory or borage directly in the bed or in a flower pot outdoors.

Sowing outdoors

As soon as the soil has dried and temperatures are rising, outdoor cultivation can begin from the end of March. If you would like to plant the vegetable or herb garden in a pot, then sowing is possible from the beginning of March. Start with seeds from plants that are not so heat-loving. Radishes, radishes, carrots, parsnips and spinach are particularly suitable for the first sowing outdoors. With a thin fleece you protect the seeds and accelerate germination. You can start sowing earlier in the raised bed, the soil warms up faster here and the seeds need less time to germinate.

Buy a raised bed


You can get a rich harvest faster with plants, which you can get as strong young plants from us in the garden center. Depending on the variety, lettuce, kohlrabi and cabbage can be planted in the heated greenhouse from February. Depending on the weather, you can plant in a cold frame, raised bed or polytunnel from mid-March. Planting outdoors is possible in April, as soon as the garden soil has warmed up a bit. Note that the planting date essentially depends on the genus. Basil, tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, courgettes and melons need nighttime temperatures of over 10 °C.

Buy planters outside

Propagation by cuttings

Hardy herbs such as rosemary, oregano, thyme, savory, lavender, mint, tarragon and sage can be propagated by cuttings with little effort. Propagation in summer is optimal, but care should be taken that the herbs do not have flowers. Propagation by cuttings is not possible in vegetable production.

Step-by-step instructions for propagating perennial herbs by cuttings

1. Use pots with potting soil. As with the cultivation of other plants, it is advantageous to use this potting soil. It is optimal in structure and contains few nutrients, also ideal for organic cultivation.

2. Cut off the shoot tips (4 to 8 cm long depending on the species). Here you will find suitable secateurs.

3. Strip the lower third of the leaves.

4. Place the cuttings individually in a pot and make sure there is sufficient space between the cuttings.

5. A plastic hood serves as protection against evaporation. The use of a cultivation set from the plant cultivation accessories section is ideal.

6. Keep the substrate evenly moist by watering the garden. Avoid too much water and full sun.

7. Place the pot in a warm, partially shaded location and make sure that there is no direct sunlight.

Growing herbs in herb pots

Even without beds, you can create a herb garden on the balcony or terrace. With herb pots or herb spirals, it is easy to plant your own herbs in large quantities. In general, all species can be kept in herb pots, it is only important in the combination that the plants have a similar location requirement and water requirement. Some species even complement each other and keep pests away in the herb pot. Even with small areas, you can completely do without chemical plant protection thanks to the clever combination . Therefore, if possible, only plant good combinations in a bucket.

Good combinations are:

  • sage and rosemary
  • rosemary and basil
  • Thyme and SageBad combinations are:
    • dill and parsley
    • basil and sage
    • chervil and dill

basil and thyme

buy herbs

What is a mixed culture?

Especially when growing vegetables, it is important to consider the compatibility of the individual genera.

      • Combine shallow and deep rooted plants. This way you get the best possible use of space.
      • The scent of the plants and the root exudation also play an important role. Herbs in particular have a preventive or repellent effect on diseases and pests. It is best to plant different herbs in combination with vegetables and flowers.
      • The best-known combination is the planting of carrots and leeks, because they protect each other from the vegetable flies that specialize in them. You can find more information on this in our overview ‘Good partners — bad partners’ and in our Plants AZ for the respective species.

Plants from the genus of legumes do not get along very well with each other . Therefore, you should not plant beans and peas next to each other.

Tips for sowing vegetable and herb seeds:

        • Use Kölle’s Beste growing soil. This special substrate has a loose and air-permeable structure that accelerates germination. In contrast to conventional potting soil, this substrate mixture contains few nutrients and the seedlings develop stronger roots. Later, plant the young plants in herb and vegetable soil or peat-free potting soil.
        • Note the sowing date. If you sow too early, the light intensity is too low and the plants become long and thin. Outdoors, the seeds need sufficient soil temperature, depending on the species. Detailed sowing dates can be found on the seed packets and the sowing calendar.
        • Sowing depth and spacing within a row depend on the plant species. Basically, however, the following applies: only lightly cover fine seeds, larger seeds such as beans are sown about 2 cm deep. As a basic rule, you can remember that the sowing depth should always be twice the seed thickness.
        • Which seeds are not covered when sowing? Light germinators need a certain amount of light to germinate. If the seed is covered with soil, so-called emergence does not occur. These include: cress, basil, dill and celery. Scatter these seeds directly onto the breeding soil and press down lightly with a board. Then the seed is carefully moistened, a hand sprayer is also suitable for this.
        • How is seed stored? Ideally, storage should be in a dry, dark place at 0 to 10 °C. Storage jars are ideal for storage, because airtight closure prevents loss of quality.

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