Best Soil Types to Grow Herbs

Most gardeners have a difficult time determining the right soil type for their herbs. While some herbs require a richer, more compacted soil, others are happiest in an equal mixture of sandy, clay and loamy soils. In most cases, however, it is easier to get what you want from the soil you currently have than to find what you need to get.

Gardeners need to decide if they want to grow perennials or annuals. Perennials need a more uniform soil than those that grow only to flower during certain periods of the year. Annuals, on the other hand, usually do best in loose, compacted soil that drains well.

How much water your soil is going to receive is very important. Watering plants often requires more water than the roots themselves. If the soil is too dry or too wet, plant roots will dry out and die. Plants that are allowed to become too wet can become deformed and wilt. So, make sure you know the exact amount of water needed for your type of plant and then add additional water as needed.

As far as nutrients go, they also come from the water the plant receives. Most plants will produce a sufficient amount of these nutrients through the roots alone, but you may want to consider fertilizing your plants regularly so they receive a larger amount of the right kinds. Fertilizing plants often requires a good bit of work, though. It is especially important to fertilize annuals after the first frost.

A good rule of thumb when trying to determine the right soil type is one part sand, two parts peat, and one part loam. This will yield a rich mixture of minerals that can aid in making your plants healthy. The ideal soil for most plants is one with a fine texture and that is rich in nutrients. When mixing different types of soil, check the PH levels of both.

Test your Soil with a Test Kit

To get the right balance of minerals and vitamins, soil should be tested by the testing kits available at your local nursery. They are inexpensive and simple to use. Your soil should also be tested regularly to make sure it contains the proper moisture and nutrients. In order for a soil mixture to thrive, it should drain well.

Soil types should not be limited to the types of plants that grow in your garden. Almost all plants, herbs grow in a variety of soil conditions. Soil types can also be different in each part of the country, meaning that if you live in a very dry region, your plants will not thrive as well in a dry region as they will in an area where the weather is moist.


Once you find the soil type you prefer for your garden, be sure to fertilize it regularly. Fertilizing your plants early will ensure that you can continue to enjoy the benefits of growing herbs without problems.

Soil with Proper Drainage

Another factor to consider when determining the soil type for your herb plants is the drainage of the area. Your herbs will need to be watered often to keep them healthy. If you do not water them often, they may not have the ability to absorb the nutrients that they need. Soil drainage is especially critical for herb plants in dry climates.

If you are looking for a specific type of soil, you may have to do a little digging. You may have to do some digging in order to find the specific type of soil you want for your herbs. You may have to try various soil combinations until you find one that is just right. I prefer to use this Professional Grower Mix from Amazon.

There are four basic soil types for growing plants in your garden: rock, sandy, loamy, and clay. Each type has its own unique properties which make it perfect for certain types of plants and may not be ideal for other plants.

Best Soil Types for Growing Herbs


Clay is the hardest and most durable soil to grow plants in. It can withstand the weight of heavy, compacted soil or plants and survive being watered. It also has the most natural protection from pests and disease but cannot be planted near trees, shrubs, hedges, or grassy areas.

Clay soil, below 0.002 mm, generally has an acidity level which prevents it from holding moisture well. But its natural resistance to pests and disease makes it great for herb gardeners who need a thick layer of plant nutrients and minerals.

Clay has many other qualities as well, including resistance to heat, disease, and weeds. It also holds air well, protecting plants from cold weather, and is perfect for areas where temperatures can fluctuate.

It also does not require much maintenance, with only a little mixing required. The only drawback to clay is that it tends to absorb plant nutrients quickly. This can cause a deficiency in some plants if they are not providing enough for themselves.


Rock is an excellent choice for any gardener. It does not have the same characteristics as clay but instead has a higher alkalinity level. This means more potassium and magnesium. Rock, although not as thick as clay, is still very absorbent. If you don’t like the idea of a thick layer of soil, you can opt for a loamy soil mix instead.

Loam tends to be less absorbent and is usually made up of finely ground coarse sand, clay, and compost. The compost added is rich in nitrogen, a valuable plant nutrient that keeps plants growing strong and healthy.

Loamy Soil

Loamy soil mixes are ideal for gardeners who want an even mixture of nutrients. They are ideal for plants such as basil, mint, and dill. This is because they hold the moisture well but are not too thick to discourage the growth of weeds. Loam is also great if you’re looking for a good organic soil to start a garden from scratch and doesn’t require too much effort to maintain.

Since it is made up of finely ground finely crushed and finely powdered plants, you can use it in a variety of ways, such as topsoil. To fill in bare spots in flower gardens, or fine gravel to provide extra drainage.


Sand can be used in a variety of different ways when creating the various types of soils for growing herbs. Sand is great for plants which don’t need as much moisture, such as cucumbers. It’s also perfect for growing plants for indoor gardening. Sand is ideal for covering over the surface of containers to prevent the roots from drying out or growing to the point of collapse.

Clay is suitable for the beginning gardener, but not so much for those looking for something more dense and substantial. It does, however, offer excellent drainage for plants that need more moisture. Clay tends to retain moisture well and will provide a rich supply of nutrients to all plants. Clay is also known as “organic soil” in some circles, and is an excellent choice for using around mulch layers to provide extra nutrition for plant roots and soil.


For most herbs, the best types of soil to choose are the soil types described above. As with any type of gardening, it is important to read up on the specific type of plant you plan to grow before starting your herb garden. Choose the right type and keep it clean and free of dirt, dust, and parasites, and you will soon have a thriving garden to enjoy.


  • Vince S

    Hello, I'm Vince, and I bring over 25 years of dedicated experience in the world of herb gardening. From cultivating fragrant basil to nurturing hardy rosemary, my journey as a passionate herb enthusiast has allowed me to explore the wonders of these versatile plants. Through, I'm thrilled to share my knowledge, tips, and insights to help you embark on your own herb gardening adventures. Let's grow together!