Tips for growing your own herb garden

 

You don’t need a lot of space to start a home herb garden, and the rewards of being able to pluck leaves and add them to your cooking is flavourful and convenient. Herbs are the missing ingredient in many meals, taking them from good to great thanks to their rich flavour profiles. But if you lack a green thumb or don’t know where to begin, use this herb garden guide to get started.

What to grow

When it comes to choosing which herbs you want to grow, think about what you like to cook. Do you regularly make spaghetti bolognese? Then basil will come in handy (it’s also one of the easiest herbs to grow). Is lamb your go-to roast? Then plant some rosemary – they make the perfect pair. Do you have a flair for Asian cuisine? Coriander is a must. If you’re a beginner gardener, consider buying seedlings rather than seeds – they’re not only easier to grow, you also won’t have to wait too long to start using them!

Indoor vs outdoor herbs

Not all herbs grow well in the same conditions – some are better suited to natural sunlight, others to shade, and some thrive indoors over outdoors. Here are the essentials you need to know to grow your favourite herbs.

Basil

Best suited to conditions with lots of sun and humidity, basil should be kept moist but not wet. 

Chives

Place them outside in summer in partial shade, then in winter bring them inside away from the elements, but in a sun-drenched spot.

Mint

This herb loves sun, so place it wherever your home gets the most light – inside or out. They also need lots of water and grow best in a pot.

Oregano

Only requiring medium watering, oregano grows best in indirect sun and afternoon shade.

Rosemary

This fragrant herb loves the sunshine, so place it somewhere it can get all-day direct sun.

Coriander

This herb is hardy, but prefers full sun or light shade, regular watering and well-drained soil conditions.

Parsley

Moist soil and full sun is the trick to growing parsley.

How to cut them

Regularly trimming your herbs will help them grow back thicker – which is the perfect excuse to use your herbs in your cooking more often! But don’t trim the large leaves at the base of your plant – these are like solar panels for your herb, and are essential for powering your plant’s growth. Once your plant has grown big enough, take your leaves from the top – these won’t affect the growing pattern of your plant, and they’re also the most tasty.

Cut your herbs just above a set of growing leaves, not at the base of the leaf cluster you are trimming off – this is the sweet spot for where new growth spurts from.