Growing herbs is an easy way to add edible plants to your garden for cooking and to use in soothing teas and remedies. Most herbs are versatile, and will grow right in your garden or in containers on a patio. Herbs can be annuals, biennials, or perennials, but are generally grown for one season in most parts of the country. If you are lucky enough to live in warmer climates, they will grow all year round.
Herbs do well in the garden since they like a lot of sunlight, but if you have sunny windows, you can also grow them indoors during the colder months. Herbs can be grown indoors in the winter months
Herbs make a wonderful addition to any flower garden, and cooking with fresh herbs gives you truly delightful results compared to using dried spices.
Types of Fresh Herbs
The list of fresh herbs is long. Many of them come in several varieties, colours and fragrances. All add loads of flavour to your meals. Growing fresh herbs gives you fresh flavour all year long.
One of the more fragrant herbs to grow at home is basil. Basil grows well from seed when planted in full sun. It prefers moist, but well-drained soil and will require frequent pruning to encourage new growth
A full sun to part shade lover, oregano is a tough plant that will do well planted in the garden, as a ground cover or in a pot. It won’t require much water and the more you harvest, the quicker and thicker it will grow
This perennial herb adds a light onion touch to foods and is best used fresh. Chives are an excellent herb for pots or can be used to create garden borders. They’re very tough, however, perform better in cool weather. Plant during the winter in full sun, keep the soil most but ensure it is well drained
This herb is still one of the most popular for cooking Asian and Mexican food.
This biennial herb is used in many recipes from pickles to sauces and as a flavouring from fish.
It is one of the easiest herbs to grow as it’s fairly hardy. It also can be harvested any time and will just keep growing back, so you’ll be able to get at least 12 months of fresh parsley.
Plant in a pot or in the garden from a seed in autumn or spring, preferably positioned in the sun. Parsley prefers moist soil and if you find the leaves are yellowing, add some liquid fertiliser in winter for a nutrient boost. Oregano- From the planter to the Italian table, growing oregano is a cook’s delight.
It has a great earthy flavour of fresh rosemary. If you’re looking for a tough herb that requires little attention, it’s rosemary. It will survive mostly on rainwater alone and can last for a number of years. Plant in a container or large pot in full sun.
You can also use rosemary as an edible hedge as it can grow quite wide and tall. Simply shape it at the end of summer.
The robust flavour of this her makes it a great choice to flavour food.
This delicate herb has the flavor of anise/licorice and is often used in different cuisines.
The tiny leaves of thyme can be just stripped off and used whole in recipes. It is another great edible plant for your garden . It will do well in a pot, but also as a ground cover forming large clumps in the garden that you can walk on. Thyme prefers to be planted in a sheltered position in full sun.
It’s available in several varieties such as wooly and lemon thyme and can be harvested any time throughout the year.
This grass like herb grows very quickly from seeds.
General Tips for Growing Herbs At Home
- Make sure your herbs get adequate sunlight and regular water
- Ensure the soil is well-drained
- Use a quality potting mix if planting in containers
- Use compost or manure to improve the soil (too much though can encourage growth at the expense of flavour)
- Liquid fertiliser can be beneficial if you need a nutrient boost
- Store seeds in a paper bag in a cool area until planting season
- Ensure frost-sensitive herbs are moved to warmer spots during the winter