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Herbs are one of the easiest ways to add flavour to a dish or jazz up a cocktail. They’re also relatively easy to grow – even for those with brown thumbs!
8 must-have herbs to grow at home
Growing herbs at home is a great way to get your hands dirty, save some money and enjoy the delicious flavours. Their fragrance will also attract bees and butterflies into your garden. As you don’t need ample space, improved soil or plenty of time growing these herbs at home is ideal for a novice or young gardener.
These must-have herbs to grow at home only need sunlight, regular watering especially during the warm weather and good drainage. Continually harvesting the herbs will keep them shapely and encourage new growth. Some varieties will continue to grow throughout winter. With the annual herbs, you’ll be able to collect the seeds and replant them in spring.
If you’re new the gardening game, here are the 7 must-have herbs to grow at home.
Italian parsley 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.
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.
Mint is a very easy to grow herb but will take over your garden if you’re not careful. Requiring just a little water and suitable for both sun or shade, mint is one of your must-have herbs.
Mint is best planted in a container. If you want a lot of mint, choose a large pot to allow it to spread out. Avoid small plastic pots as it will quickly become root bound.
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.
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.
To harvest, simply cut with a pair of sharp scissors to avoid tearing the steams.
Another great edible plant for your garden is thyme. 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.
Lavender isn’t technically a herb, but it is a beautiful edible plant that can be used to flavour baking and make bath product beautifully fragrant. It’s also very easy to grow and encourages the bees into your garden.
Lavender prefers full sun and planting in a well-drained pot or garden bed. When planted in the right spot, lavender will grow quickly so you’ll need to prune it frequently to keep it under control.
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.
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