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Herbs are easy plants to grow and they taste delicious. Starting a herb garden is a great way for beginner gardeners to get into growing their own produce.

Here’s my pick of the best herbs for beginners.

Sage

Sage is a great herb for cooking with and easy to grow. The only thing it doesn’t like is wet ground, so plant it in a sunny spot with fertile, well-drained soil.

There are loads of sage varieties to choose from, including some with coloured leaves. Harvest the leaves regularly to encourage more to grow.

Sage is an evergreen, so the leaves can be picked at any time to add to your dishes, but for winter protection the plant can be covered with horticultural fleece.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – South, North, West or East-facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Moist but well-drained
• Soil – Clay or loam

Buy Sage Seeds

Parsley

This biennial herb has so many uses in the kitchen! Give seeds a head-start by sowing them indoors on a sunny windowsill. Alternatively, sow directly in the ground when the soil warms up.

Parsley can be slow to germinate, so speed things up by soaking the seeds in water overnight before planting. Choose a spot with rich, slightly damp soil in full sun or partial shade.

To harvest, the single leaves or bunches low down on the stem can be cut and used fresh.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – South, West or East facing
• Exposure – Exposed
• Moisture – Moist but well-drained
• Soil – Loam

Buy Curled Parsley Seeds
Buy Flat Leaf Parsley Seeds

Oregano

Oregano plants thrive in warm, sunny spots and like light soils. They have lovely pink flowers and make great ground cover at the front of borders.

Sow the seeds in spring when the soil has warmed up or start them off in pots indoors. When the plants reach 10cm tall, pinch out the vertical growing tips to encourage more leafy side shoots.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – West, South, North or East facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained
• Soil – Sand, chalk, or loam

Buy Oregano Seeds

Mint

You can grow mint from seed, but it is often different from the parent plant, so I’d advise buying young plants from the garden centre instead.

Bear in mind that mint spreads easily, so plant it in pots to contain the roots and stop it taking over. Keep it in full sun or partial shade and pinch out any flower buds to encourage more leaf growth.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – South, East, North or West facing
• Exposure – Exposed
• Moisture – Moist but well-drained or poorly drained
• Soil – Sand, clay, chalk, or loam

peppermint
Buy Mint Seeds

Coriander

Coriander is a versatile herb for the kitchen and grows well in the ground or containers. Seeds can take weeks to germinate and the plants are fairly short-lived, so sow a few seeds every couple of weeks for a continuous supply.

It can often ‘bolt’ when stressed, which means it produces flowers and seeds instead of tasty leaves. Keep it well watered and harvest regularly for best results.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – West, South or East facing
• Exposure – Exposed
• Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained
• Soil – Sand, chalk, or loam

Buy Coriander Seeds

Basil

Basil is one the most popular herbs because it’s so tasty and can be added to a multitude of dishes and drinks. Sow seeds into potting compost on a sunny windowsill from March onwards.

Remove the growing tip when the plants are 15cm high for bushier growth. Plant out in the garden when the weather gets warmer.

• Sun – Full sun
• Position – West or South facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained
• Soil – Sand or loam

Buy Basil Seeds

Chives

Chives are a relative of the onion family and have slender, pointed leaves. They also produce lovely fuzzy globe flowers in a pink or purple colour.

Sow seed directly in the ground during March and April. Chives grow best in a sunny spot with rich moist soil, so keep the plants well-watered.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – West, South or East facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained
• Soil – Sand, clay, chalk, or loam

Buy Chives Seeds

Dill

The foliage is topped with sprays of yellow flowers in summer, and the flavoured leaves are a popular addition to rice, soup, and salads.

They don’t like root-disturbance, so it’s ideal to sow them in the position where they will stay – either in the ground or in a container.

In spring and summer, the leaves can be cut off and used in dishes. When the seeds turn brown and ripen later in the summer, they can be collected in paper bags and stored – they can be used ground or whole and are often used as an ingredient in curry powder.

• Sun – Full sun
• Position – West, South or East facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained
• Soil – Sand, chalk, or loam

Fennel

A long-lived plant that in early summer is covered in sprays of vibrant yellow flowers. The scent and the taste are similar to aniseed and it can be used in salads and cooking, popularly with fish dishes.

As well as being enjoyed by us in the kitchen, it’s a popular plant for pollinators.

In spring and autumn, leaves can be harvested as required.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – West or South facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Moist but well-drained
• Soil – Sand, chalk, clay, or loam

Rosemary

Beautifully fragrant and perfect in a Mediterranean style garden, rosemary’s evergreen leaves can be picked all year round to use to flavour soup and meat as well as being used in drinks such as tea.

To keep the plant looking full and compact, when the flowers begin to fade, cut back the stems or the plants will become leggy.

• Sun – Full sun
• Position –South, West, North or East
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Moist but well-drained
• Soil – Sand, chalk, or loam

Soon you will have a herb garden that’s full of aromatic and tasty delights that can be used in the kitchen for the whole family to enjoy.

For more benefits of growing herbs:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

herbs
Herbs
Pinterest
Pinterest Board


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