Tips and Hints for Growing Herb Crops

  • Fresh herbs are easy to grow and harvest, whether in beds, borders, containers or on windowsills.
  • Many herbs can be grown all year round, offering a continuous medley of aromatic to any garden or flavours and texture to any recipe!
  • Herbs grow best with full sun and light, most herbs however will grow in shade too.
  • Cutback herbs after flowering to encourage more shoots.
  • Incorporate fertile soil with plenty of organic matter, well-drained and moisture-retentive.
  • Sow seeds of ones that rapidly run to seed, coriander and dill for example, on a fortnightly basis throughout spring and summer
  • Sow herbs early in the spring under cloches and frames
  • In winter pot up herbs such as chives, mint, parsley, or tarragon grown outdoors and bring them in, placing them on a south-facing windowsill if possible.
  • If possible, sow a few trays in a greenhouse or sunny windowsill and grow plants ready for planting out once the soil warms up.

Annual or Biennial?

Annual and biennial herbs such as Basil, Coriander, Parsley, Dill and Chervil are fast growing and may need to be sown at intervals throughout spring and summer to ensure you have a continuous fresh supply. Perennial herbs such as Oregano, Mint, Thyme, Sage, Rosemary and Chives are slower growing and will require a more permanent home.

Companion Planting

Planting certain types of plants together can help to reduce certain pests and thus alleviate the need for chemicals.  For example:-

Planting cabbage together with the strong flavoured and scented herb Thyme will help to repel the dreaded cabbage white butterflies.

Planting lettuce with the sweet flavoured herb Chervil will help to protect your crop from aphids and slugs.