How to Turn a Dingy Old BBQ into an Herb Container Garden

by Fern on August 13, 2010

in Container Combos,Herbs,How To

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Awhile back I heard about repurposing a mini-BBQ into an herb planter. I loved it, knew I wanted to try it myself, and immediately set about trying to track down a small grill on Craigslist. Buying anything on Craigslist is always an interesting experience, you get exposed to such a bizarre element of society. But that will have to be a post for another day…

This is a really easy project that you can complete in less than an hour. To get started, here’s what you’ll need:


  • 1 small bag of good quality potting soil
  • 3-5 herb plants, depending on the size of your BBQ and how full you like your containers
  • 1 portable BBQ or hibachi
  • 1 coffee filter

You won’t need the BBQ grate or the lid, so if your BBQ is missing those, it’s perfect for this project. If you do have those two items, why not list them on Craigslist’s free items section and see if anyone needs them.


Amazingly, I actually cleaned this BBQ. Or rather, I attempted to clean it. There was a lot of baked on grime and the lower grill was pretty rusty. Anyway, the first thing to do is clean the BBQ as much as possible. Then, place a coffee filter on top of the holes in the bottom of the grill. The coffee filter will allow water to drain out but prevent the potting soil from falling through. I decided to leave the lower grill in the BBQ because I thought it would help keep the plants from sinking down as the soil settles. We’ll see how that works out…

Next, fill up the BBQ with enough potting soil so that when the plants are placed in the BBQ, the plants’ bases are only an inch below the edge of BBQ. Arrange (and rearrange, if necessary) your plants until you have a pleasing combination. As you can see, I have sage, lavender, marjoram, oregano, and chives. Obviously you’ll want to plant the taller plants near the back and the trailing plants near the edge of the BBQ.

The plants I purchased were all growing in a biodegradable pot made out of coconut coir. The idea is that you don’t have to remove the pot (and disturb the roots) to plant the herbs. However, I did cut away the top part of the pot so that it would not be visible once the herbs were planted.

Next, fill in around the plants with potting soil. Gently tamp down the potting soil as you go and make sure you get potting soil in all the nooks and crannies. I usually miss at least one spot in the middle of a pot, so double check there.

Voila! You’re done.

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