Herbs are very simple and easy to grow and don’t require much space. You can grow them in your borders or in pots and containers on your windowsill, in the greenhouse or outside in your garden.
Herbs are very rewarding to grow and you can benefit from the aroma and the appearance in your garden as well as the extra flavour when added to meals. Either buy plants ready established from your local garden centre or sow herbs from seed.
There are a few things to remember when growing and harvesting herbs to help them looking at their best.
Feeding your Herb plants
Feed your herbs with liquid seaweed throughout the growing season as this will help to transform plants into stronger and lusher looking plants. Liquid seaweed is packed with trace elements and minerals that will help the herbs retain a great flavour.
Do check plants and water them regularly to make sure that plants don’t dry out, particularly during the height of summer when the weather is warmer.
How to Pick your Herbs
It is important to make sure that you pick your herbs regularly during the growing season and that you pick them using the right technique. Once they are established, it’s best to pick herbs regularly to keep fresh, young shoots and prevent the plants from going woody. Don’t pick stems from the base of the plant as this will encourage the plant to grow tall and lanky. Instead, pick off the tips of each stem, about the top inch or two just above a pair of leaves, however this will depend on the size of the plant. Two new shoots should grow from each stem, creating a healthier, fuller plant.
Our Top 5 Herbs to Grow:
Mint is a great perennial herb grown for its leaves. There are many different varieties of mint and each have a different smell. Be aware, not all are good for culinary use, so be careful which ones you choose to grow.
- Use in Mojitos
- Make mint sauce for your roast lamb
- Infuse leaves in water to make a refreshing Peppermint tea
The flowers on Chive plants add a touch of colour to the herb garden in spring. Chives are very easy to grow and only needs four or five hours of sunlight a day. Chives survive best in damp soil so make sure the soil doesn’t dry out.
- Add as a garnish to many dishes before serving
- Use in salads
- Add to egg mayonnaise sandwiches
- Great in potato dishes
Plant coriander in spring and it will flower quickly. The best time to sow coriander is August through to September. You’ll get leaves throughout late autumn and the plants will survive most winters. Next spring the leaves will grow back strong and lush.
- Great in curries, pickles, chutneys and sauces
- Use in salads
- Use to add flavour to soups – carrot and coriander is very popular
Sage loves and survives in a warm, sunny and sheltered spot. Its attractive leaves compliment other ornamental plants when grown alongside them.
- use in sage and onion stuffing
- great in soups, pasta and bread
- sage plants attracts pollinators (e.g.butterflies and bees)
There are two main species of Parsley: Curly Parsley and Flat Parsley. Flat leaf parsley has a more robust flavour whereas the curly variety is widely used as a garnish for decoration.
Growing Parsley from seed will be slow at first: once established the plant will give you leaves for nearly two years before it flowers and dies.
- great in soups and sauces (e.g. Parsley sauce)
- for extra taste cook with vegetables
- popular ingredient in many Middle Eastern cuisine dishes