All About Herbs
Last night’s #WoolliesAskAlison was all about herbs. The thing I love most about herbs is that they’re linked so intrinsically to cooking!! Garden to kitchen sounds pretty perfect to me!
And you don’t even need a garden! Anyone can grow herbs. With that in mind here are ten of the *best* herbs to grow…
When you think about how much it costs in the shop and the number of different things you can do with it, Basil should definitely be on the list. There are many different varieties to choose from. Sow seeds any time from early spring to summer to ensure a regular supply.
Chives are easily grown from seed, although it does take a bit of time. It’s worth it though because once you get them going they’ll keep for years, dying back in then coming again the following spring.
Easy to grow from seed and has plenty of uses in the kitchen. The only problem with it is bolting, which you can keep at bay by regularly cutting off the top leaves for cooking (don’t cut too low down the stem, or it won’t come back) also, if you let some of the plants run to seed, you can used the seeds in cooking too.
Dill is easy to germinate, very attractive and will happily grow in containers. Add it to anything fishy.
There are many different varieties of mint and you can do so much with it, so it’s very rewarding to grow. Grow separately from other herbs though for two reasons: it’s a bit of a brute and it tends to take over and, unlike most other herbs, it likes moist conditions, so keep it well watered if it’s in a pot.
6. Oregano (aka Sweet Marjoram)
It’s easy to grow and it is particularly happy in hot dry conditions. Very good for pasta, pizza and mediterranean dishes generally.
A ‘must have’ in the kitchen, so even though it can take ages to germinate, it will be worth it in the end. It’s a bi-annual, so it will seed and die off in it’s second year. Seed for both the curly and stronger flat leaf varieties are widely available.
It’s a woody shrub, but even it you’ve only got a small space it’s still worth growing. If you can, put it in the ground, but it will grow happily in a pot. It likes a light sandy soil and can withstand long periods of drought. A little liquid feed from time to time will help keep it producing plenty of lush, new growth.
We all know sage, as it is traditionally used in stuffings and it is great for that, but it is wonderful in a stew, because it takes quite a while for the flavour to come out in the cooking. Sage likes to grow in a warm, dry place. It is a shrub, so cut it back from time to time to stop it getting woody.
It likes a dry, sunny situation and it is fully hardy, meaning it will happily withstand winter frosts.
All of these herbs are available in seed form – or plug plants if you don’t want the faff(!) from Thompson and Morgan. In fact, to make your life even easier you can get 6 on the list in one hit with their fantastic herb collection for a very reasonable £11.99! Talk about a bargain!
What herbs are you going to grow?