How to Grow Herbs From Scratch with Your Kids

Planting Herbs From Scratch

Every year, we try to grow herbs from scratch. The kids get a kick out of it, and hubby and I like to watch as well. This may seem like a simple task, but growing herbs from scratch is more challenging than you may expect. Or, might I say, having them survive is. The planting part is easy. So, let’s begin our plant as it is that time of year!

herbs from scratch pin

What You Need:

There are many ways you can do this, but to keep it kid-friendly and contain some of the mess, we use the following:

plastic dome package
  1. Plastic dome. You can use old muffin containers or buy a plastic dome at the local dollar store. We like the premade ones as they work well with item #2 below.   
  2. Soil  – Loose or dried pucks work.  The kids get a blast out of watching the pucks expand, so we go this route.
  3. Seeds – pick whatever you like.  We are doing herbs – basil, oregano, and thyme.  But anything that has tiny seeds works.
  4. Water
  5. 5-10 minutes to seed, weeks to grow.

Let’s Begin!

Wet the pucks

Open the dome and place the pucks inside.  Add water and wait.  They pucks will start to expand.  The start off about 1/4 inch thick and end up being approximately 2-inches high.  

This is neat to watch as an adult, but for kids understanding that the soil inside is super dry and when it gets wet it expands makes their eyes pop in amazement. 

Keep adding water until the pucks are fully grown, about 2″ in height.  Then, add a bit more water to keep the whole system wet.

Dry Pucks

growing herbs from scratch

Just Wetted Pucks

growing herbs from scratch

Moderately Wet Pucks

growing herbs from scratch

Fully Wetted Pucks

growing herbs from scratch

Add Seeds

Put seeds into each puck.  From years of doing this, I find it is best to put multiple seeds into each puck.  This will help some catch.  But do not overdo it, as you do not want too many.

Seal it up, and now you wait!

planting seeds
planting seeds

And That’s It! You’re Done!

growing herbs from scratch

Some things I’ve learned along the way…

  1. Basil is really neat when you plant it. It almost instantly starts to grow. Within seconds of getting wet, the seeds expand and grow hairs on the shell. 
  2.  Once the seedlings start growing and are nearing the top of the plastic dome, it is good to remove the lid each day. Starting off with a small-time, and increasing as the days go on.
  3. Once the weather improves outside and is warm (about 10C or 50F), they can go outdoors (under the dome) for incrementally longer durations. Do not leave them in the direct sunlight.
  4. The seedlings will start to get stronger and thicker, and soon they will be able to stay outside all day. Make sure to bring them inside if there is still frost outdoors or if the temperature is below 4C or 39F.
  5. I often talk about not being wasteful and buying one-off things that you can make, but these domes and pucks really make children excited. And for the $2 it cost at the local dollar store, it is worth it.  They will reuse these domes for year to come, and now I do not have to share my 15 year old dome with them anymore.
  6. Once the herbs from this season start to grow, I will take some pictures and post them at the bottom to show the progress.

Was this Tutorial Helpful?

Did you find this tutorial on how to grow herbs from scratch helpful?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

If you liked this tutorial, be sure to check out my other tutorials here.

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Updates on Growing Progress

Below are some progress updates on my grow herbs from scratch tutorial.

2 Days Growth

2 Days Growth

3 Day Growth

3 Days Growth

4 Days Growth

4 Days Growth

5 Day Growth

9 Days Growth

The seedlings have gown so big that the dome no longer covers them.

12 Day Growth

You can notice the seedlings are growing to the right as my window is on the right side of them.

13 Days Growth

I have started to rotate the trays so they get more even distribution to the sun and grow up instead of on an angle.

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletters!  You’ll get inside tips on upcoming posts and additional behind the scenes details about what’s happening on the site!

This Post Has 54 Comments

  1. Michelle

    Love this. I haven’t had much luck growing herbs from scratch. I think I will try the pucks.

    1. Katherine

      They always start out well for me with the pucks, making them last is the challenge.

  2. Amanda Jean

    I love this ! I just started gardening with my daughter so this is a great idea to add for us ! Thank you !

    1. Katherine

      Let me know how it turns out! We’re on day 3 and the Basil has already started to show green leaves and white roots

  3. Yolanda

    This is so timely for me! Every year I plan to start plants from seed and then I’m too late. Your tutorial is REALLY helpful. I’ll be referring back to this on the weekend to get started 🙂

    1. Katherine

      The nice thing about herbs is you can grown them anytime and keep them inside. Most like summer for outdoors, but rosemary likes the cold, and we’ve had it survive through the winter.

  4. julia York

    Interesting – I love growing herbs … and I do grow a few but I’ve never thought of using pucks. I always go the compost route. As spring is on its way here I’m ging to give it a go.

    1. Katherine

      I find the pucks are good for starting, and keep it less messy when it’s still a bit too cold to be playing in the dirt and cold water.

  5. We just planted our seeds this past weekend. My teenage daughter loves to choose what we grow every year and helps us get the seeds germinated to transfer into the garden once the last frost has passed.

    1. Katherine

      Let me know how it goes! What are you growing this year? Before we had kids we had tens of tomatoes, peppers and leafy greens. We’re only doing minor thing now when they’re little. But I’m hopeful as they get older we can do more again.

    1. Katherine

      Thanks! We used to do so much more, but don’t have time for it with the littles ones. But this is something they love and they are eager to check every day to watch the progress.

  6. Denise Gardiner

    I love fresh herbs and I have grown them in pots, but have not used the pucks. I will be trying these and what an easy way to have fresh herbs ready for when we are cooking. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Katherine

      Let me know how it turns out. We have always started with pucks, might also try some with pots, just to see which work better! Thanks!

  7. Jeannie

    It looks so easy! I wanted also to try this and grow my own herbs and use with my cooking 🙂

    1. Katherine

      It really is. It took about 10 minutes with the kids helping. If it was just me, it probably would have been about 2. But the kids had fun and so did I. Let me know if you try it out and how it goes.

  8. Yuni BS

    I love it. I try to grow a flower in my garden. It is can be self healing too… Maybe next time I will grow herbs also…

    1. Katherine

      I find herbs are a good size for when we have little kids. Having a full on garden is just not manageable, so herbs it is. Hopefully in years to come well scale up again

  9. Sandra Ward

    We grow herbs every year. Never used the pucks before. This may make transplanting easier.

    1. Katherine

      We’re already at the point of needing to transplant. This year the pucks are working great!

  10. Jenny

    I think it’s a great idea to get the kids involved with growing herbs. I used to only grow fruits and vegetables, but ever since getting chickens I grow herbs too!

    1. Katherine

      My kids have to check them out every day to see the progress… ow of only the flowers we’re doing as well as the herbs!

    1. Katherine

      The nice thing with herbs is you can plant then any time of the year and keep them growing inside all year long! Let me know if you ended up planting!

  11. Kimberly

    Happy to do something to engage the mind with my children. Thank you.

    1. Katherine

      My kids love it! And later the love picking the leaves off to add to our dinners!

  12. Fabiana

    Even though I don’t have a green thumb, I literally love trying to grow small seedlings on my tiny balcony. This is why your tutorial is perfect for me! This week I will try to plant the first cherry tomatoes.

    1. Katherine

      Hopefully it works out! Let me know how it went!

  13. Cori

    This is an AWESOME idea! I didn’t know that there was a such thing as soil pucks- how neat! Thanks!

    1. Katherine

      The nice thing with the pucks is that they are ready to go once you add water, so much less mess!

  14. Monique

    I’ve always wanted to grow herbs and plants with my family. I find it unique and profitable. Informative article! I like how you shared the comparison between the wetness of pucks. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Rachael

    This is a great idea. We are just about to start getting ready for spring and planting! Thanks for the tips!

    1. Katherine

      Hopefully you can try this out! Let me know how it goes!

  16. Arica

    Love this! We are growing a few things for the first time this year and the kids are so excited! No sprouts yet (we just planted seeds a few days ago) but we’re hopeful!

    1. Katherine

      With the pucks you can instantly see the growth because they seeds don’t really get covered up. Hopefully yours are starting to show!

  17. Christine

    This is great. I love involving kids in growing things. Even better if they can eat what they grow!

    1. Katherine

      It’s great fun! Kids are already to eat them even though they are no where near ready!

  18. Kimberlie

    We grew herbs with our son during the pandemic, but your method of using pucks may be much faster and more reliable.

    1. Katherine

      I got a good batch of pucks this year. Must have super fertilizer in them because I have never seen them grow this fast and big before. Here’s hoping it’s a successful growing year!

  19. Wayneish

    This is awesome. This really fascinating. I’ve always wanted to grow my own herbs and I just love this method.

    1. Katherine

      You should try it out! Let me know if you do and how it turns out!

  20. Samantha

    My kids and I have been talking about what we will be planting this year for our little garden. I love this tutorial and the pictures to go with it!

    1. Katherine

      You should try it! It’s great working with herbs because you don’t have to do it in the spring, you can grow them at any time and keep them inside year round.

  21. This Extra Life

    Love this. I’ve just started planting lots of flowers, herbs and vegetables and this is so useful. I will definitely follow your tips

    1. Katherine

      Thanks for reading! Hopefully your crops grow well this year!

  22. Cortney

    I want to start a garden this year. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am absolutely clueless when it comes to growing plants, so this is such a good resource for me.

    1. Katherine

      Let me know how it goes! It’s easy and worth it! The added flavours of home grown is amazing!

  23. Josephine

    Love this. I do this with my kids too every spring!

  24. Whitney

    Mint is so fun for kids because it grows so fast! But it does seem borderline invasive to me…

    1. Katherine

      I’ve never tired mint… but ones that grow like weeds are great bc you don’t need to tend to it much!

  25. Thank you so much for sharing this, I am always having trouble with herbs, so its great to get so detailed instructions. Thanks again!

    1. Katherine

      Thanks! My kids really love it! Even my littlest is checking on them daily and reminding us to water them!

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