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I enjoy simple things: solitude, cheap sheet cake, and sunlight. I also believe that white is, in fact, a color. Bring me fresh flowers and we can be friends.

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May 27, 2011

DIY: Mason Jar Herb Garden

{mason jar herbs}

My friend Aly left New York on Monday for a ten day trip to the holy land.  Being that I am the most responsible person she knows (j/k), she asked me to babysit her "herb garden".  Growing herbs is a new activity for Aly, and these things are her babies.  I almost wanted to say no because I was afraid to kill them. 

Last weekend when we were at the Brooklyn Flea, I saw a vendor selling these cute little Mason Jar Herb Gardens.  I fell in love with the idea and grabbed these two mason jars from another vendor that day so I could make Aly this little DIY surprise.

Obviously, I started this project at 11:30pm last night, when I should have been packing for my trip to Cannes today so the lighting is not that great...

{herbs pre-DIY}

The tools you'll need:
Mason Jars
Terra cotta potting
Chalkboard paint
Painter's tape


I bought two little terra cotta pots at Gracious Home and broke them into pieces with a hammer.  The terra cotta at the bottom of the mason jar serves as a drainage system since mason jars are completely enclosed.  The material acts as a sponge, absorbing extra water if you over-water your plants.  The plant can also absorb water out of the terra cotta if the soil dries out. 

Foolproof. Now anyone can grow herbs.

{terra cotta}

{transferring the plant}

{fill with soil}


I used masking tape (painter's tape will work better} to make a stencil for my chalkboard paint labels.  If you are a perfectionist, you can measure this so they are exactly the same.  Time constraints and anxiety about packing led me to eyeball the size of my labels.


{chalkboard paint}


I wrapped a little twine bow around the top and labeled each jar.  Now they're left on my windowsill for her to pick up when she gets back.  I am hoping she is too busy riding camels and filling up on her fair share of Israeli salad to go on the internet (because if she did i am SURE she'd check my blog - righttttt?).
The next eight hours of work is standing between me and a glorious vacation...


Tracibub said...

I just stumbled on this post googling herbs in mason jars. Genius! I love the broken terra-cotta in the bottom! Thanks for the tutorial!

reginag said...

So smart. Plants can breath more.

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Jess said...

Love this... ive been hesitant to try to grow herbs, but this is encouraging. Thanks for sharing!

Jodes said...

Such a fabulous idea... I have some empty Glasshouse Candle glasses here that I would love to use to grow herbs in.. Upon searching 'Growing herbs in Jars' I found this post... So glad to see it can be done!
Thanks for posting..

Kira said...

I found this through Pinterest. Thanks so much for the tip on the terra cotta pots in the bottom. I'm so excited to do this! I was wondering, how much light do you think herbs need? Can they handle growing in the kitchen if they don't get direct light?

joanna said...

Would gravel or pebbles do the same as the terra cotta?

mina said...

It would do the same thing essentially, because the excess water will drip to the bottom, but the benefit of terra cotta is that it retains water so if you don't water your herbs for a day the soil can absorb the moisture from the terra cotta!

mina said...

I wouldn't suggest a kitchen with no windows, and direct sunlight is best, but indirect sunlight will work depending on the herbs. The best way is to read the packages before planting!

Kirsten Steinbeck said...

How large were the jars you used for this project? I have standard size mason jars...I am just wondering if they are large enough.

mina said...

They were standard size mason jars as well! Go for it! Any size will work, but your herbs will grow bigger if they are in a bigger planter.


that is a great idea growing herbs in mason jars.

Sherri Bailey said...

These are beautiful, useful and I absolutely love this tutorial. I've featured you here: Love it!

mina said...

thank you so much!!!

Lauren said...

How often do you water yours?

Micaela said...

Hi! Great idea! I'd like to know what else can I grow besides rosemary and basil, though are my favourites! Maybe oregano or mint? Thanx!

Alycia Howe said...

how much sun does this require? Because my house doesn't get much sun inside.

Anonymous said...

What size mason jar did you use?

samantha joel said...

Love these kind of things but my mom doesn't let me to have them.

SV Van Dyke-Flournoy said...

I kill everything except sprouts. been wanting an herb garden but I always kill all my herbs. This sounds doable and not much money upfront. THanks!

Raghav said...

Lovely little herbs in labeled jars, love your blog.

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I would like to do these as favors for a party. Do you know how well they travel for my out of state guest?

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