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Set up a herb garden on your balcony

A fully-fledged herb garden is hanging over a balcony railing.
Your herb garden should be arranged according to how much sun your balcony receives.

  • Difficulty
  • Cost
    25-42 £
  • Duration
    1-2 h


Herbs such as mint, parsley and rosemary can really refine a dish – especially when they’re as fresh as can be. That’s why we’re going to show you how to organise your herb garden and what to watch out for when planting it. And this isn’t just for those who own gardens, our herb gardens can be easily hung off the balcony railing.

Have you heard about our 18-volt system yet? It offers a huge variety of devices for many different applications. The thing that makes the project below so special is that you can use the same rechargeable battery for every part of this project. Simply swap out the battery pack, insert it into a different device that’s part of the 18-volt system, and move on to the next step.

You need
  • small trowel
  • small rake
  • box knife
  • Plastic film
  • Small PVC pipe
  • Drainage mat or fleece mat
  • Wood chips
  • Compost soil
  • Garden and raised bed soil
  • Herbs for planting
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter
Step 1 4

Making space for the drainage

Plastic film lines a small wooden box for a herb garden.
A drainage mat is being inserted into a wooden box for a herb garden.
Wood chips are being poured into a wooden box for a herb garden.

You need: box knife, Plastic film, Small PVC pipe, Drainage mat or fleece mat, Wood chips

Before you start filling a herb garden, you should think about what herbs you actually want to plant. There are a few things to watch out for depending on what time of the year it is.
For example, annuals such as borage or dill can be sown directly into a bed in April. Plants that are susceptible to frost, such as basil and savoury, should not be out in the open until mid-May. The same goes for perennials, which are best purchased as young plants in a garden centre and then planted in the bed. As a general rule, annuals and perennials should not be planted in the same bed.

By the way: If you’re looking to find out how to see herbs and plants that are susceptible to frost through the winter, take a look here here.

When it’s all ready to go, you can get started by filling the beds. Different layers ensure that the herbs have sufficient moisture and nutrients.

Your small herb bed must have a drainage system that works properly. That’s why you need to make sure that the bottom of the bed is lined with plastic film (image 1) and that the water that accumulates can be drained via a small piece of PVC pipe, which can easily be attached under the plastic film.

Lay a drainage mat or fleece mat over the hole as the first layer (image 2). This prevents the soil from washed away but still allows the water to drain.

A layer of wood chips is just as useful for the drainage system (image 3). You can buy wood chips in bags at your local DIY store.

Bosch wood chips
You don’t necessarily need to buy wood chips for the drainage system. You can simply make wood chips from any leftover wood in your garden that might be lying around. Bosch offers three different solutions for efficiently making wood chips, ranging from quick and powerful devices to quiet and robust ones. Each device makes it easy to reduce the volume of garden waste – making disposal, composting or mulching nice and simple. If you’d like to collect leaves and shred them, this is the perfect option for you.
Step 2 4

Layering the soil

A small trowel is being used to fill a herb box with compost soil.
A small trowel is being used to fill a herb box with garden soil.

You need: small trowel, Compost soil, Garden and raised bed soil.

It’s now time to place multiple layers of soil on top of the wood chips.
First, fill the box with some compost soil, as it’s rich in nutrients (image 1). You can, of course, buy this from a garden centre or you can use soil from your own compost. Everything you need to know about the elixir of the gardening world can be found here.

On top of that, place peat-free garden and raised bed soil. All the layers should mean the bed nearly reaches the top of the box (image 2).

Step 3 4


Various herbs are being planted in a wooden box for a herb garden.
Before you start planting, make sure to find out which herbs go well together and how much light they require.

You need: small trowel, small rake, A variety of herbs

Now for what should be the exciting part: Planting your herbs. In addition to the factors regarding the timeframe for planting the herbs that were mentioned above, there are other things to consider:

First, it is important to decide whether to place your herb garden on the balcony facing the sun or in the shade. Most herbs prefer being in a sunny area that is slightly shaded during the middle of the day. Among those that love the sun are oregano, rosemary, lavender, thyme, marjoram and sage.
Some herbs, however, do better with a little more shade, such as parsley, chervil, cress, mint and chives.

Make sure to arrange the plants in your herb bed by taking into account the different growth heights. Herbs that grow taller, such as dill and tarragon, should be arranged such that they don’t overshadow the smaller plants.

When planting, you should also make sure there is sufficient distance between the different species.

And pay attention to the right combination of individual herbs, too. Some plants get along very well together and even protect each other, such as parsley with dill and chives, or basil and rosemary. However, some combinations, such as lemon balm and basil, hinder each other’s growth. Camomile and peppermint also don’t get on well together.

You can find more tips on planting herb gardens in the kitchen, on the balcony or in the garden here. If you prefer something a little more exotic, such as pineapple, avocado or olives, we’ve got more information on planting those, too.

Step 4 4

Building a herb garden for your balcony

A diagram illustrates the individual parts of a herb box.
A diagram illustrates how the individual parts of a herb box are put together.

You need: Multi-sander, 80 to 120-grain sanding sheet, Jigsaws, Jigsaw blade T 101 B, Cordless drill/driver, Suitable bit set, water-resistant wood glue, Maritime pine boards:, 2x 500 x 470 x 15 mm (A), 2x 500 x 500 x 15 mm (B), 2x 500 x 440 x 15 mm (C), 1x 390 x 132 x 15 mm (D), 2x 189 x 410 x 15 mm (E), Squared timbers:, 2x 470 x 40 x 60 mm (F), 8x 440 x 30 x 30 mm (G), 6x 410 x 20 x 30 mm (H), 2x 390 x 20 x 30 mm (I), 4x 129 x 20 x 30 mm (J), Wood screws (4 x 30 mm), Wood screws (4 x 40 mm), 1x HT sleeve DN 40, 2x HT socket plug DN 40

If you’re not only interested in planting herb beds, but also in a DIY project, you can easily build a small wooden herb garden like the one pictured in our images. It’s built so that it hangs over the balcony railing. The box shown here is custom fit to measure.

Use your own railings and the two diagrams at the top of the slider as a guide. Make sure to glue and screw every part together.
Make sure to check that everything is stable one final time before hanging it on your railings.

Is it not stable or you don’t have a suitable railing? A vertical garden for the wall is another version that saves space. The hanging herb garden is also easy to recreate.

And for those of you who already have an herb garden and are wondering what to do with the left over space, go ahead and get fancy with herb signs.

We hope you have lots of fun building and planting.