Save bottoms of cardboard egg cartons. When you have two or three, set the cartons in a baking dish on about an inch of sand. Wedge them in nice and tight but donít lose their shape. Fill with good potting soil and place in a sunny window.
Get a variety of lettuce, parsley, basil, and other leafy green plant seeds. Put three or four seeds in each cup and sprinkle with water to moisten. Cover with a piece of plastic and leave alone until you see the first two leaves. You can take the plastic off, but be sure to keep the plants moist but not soggy. In about 4 to 6 weeks, you will have large enough plants to clip leaves off of to use on a daily(ish) basis.
If you want to transplant them outside, do so, cardboard cup and all, into larger pots, three or four plants per pot. If you are using clay pots, be sure to soak them in water first because clay absorbs LOTS of water. Use good potting soil with lots of organic matter.
Let them get used to being outside. If the weather is very hot, cold or windy, for the first few days put them outside for a little while each day. Actually, even if you donít harden them, the only thing that will really kill them is to let them dry out or freeze.
For a potted garden, the main elements are space, grouping and sun. You need a good relationship with your nursery so they will get you the plants you want! Usually we want things no one else does, like comfrey and patchouli.