You are here Plant Care Grow the best Home grown Herbs

Grow the best Home grown Herbs

Grow the best Home grown HerbsOne of the most popular trends this summer is to grow your own herbs. It's not just about cost, herbs that are home grown and fed with organic fertiliser simply has better taste and when they only have to travel from the back yard or patio to the kitchen they could not be fresher.

It's a myth that all herbs like full sun even good old basil prefers partial shade at midday. So when planning your herb garden, divide your plants into two sections, those like thyme, sage, rosemary and oregano that like full sun; and those that like partial shade, such as rocket, sorrel, parsley and coriander.


Containers and window boxes

When growing herbs in containers we have a few tips to help you grow the best. The first is to use a specially formulated herb mix which has everything young herbs need to flourish. Water in the morning rather than the evening because this gives the plants a chance if the temperatures are hot during the day, especially for containers grown in full sun. Feed container plants weekly from September until April. This keeps the plants healthy especially on cut and come again salads. We recommend Nitrosol which is an organic fertiliser and can be watered in or used as a foliar feed that will boost leaf production.

Some 'must haves' to put in a window box on the sunny side of the house would include chives, oregano, lemon thyme and a creeping rosemary to drape over the edge. However, on the shadier side of the house plant a salad herb window box which would include wild rocket, coriander, parsley and red mustard.

The world most popular herb: Basil

Although we tend to associate basil with Italy and other Mediterranean countries, it actually originated in India, and was introduced to the Mediterranean via the spice routes in ancient times. Tulsi, as the herb is known in Hindi, means Sacred Basil. There are many varieties of basil but the one which is used in Italian food is typically called Sweet Basil. While most common varieties of basil are treated as annuals, some are perennial in warmer gardens. Sweet Basil is easily grown from seed and can be planted straight into the garden, this time of the year it germinates in about five days.

How to care for basil:

Grow basil in full sun to partial shade. Water sparingly and remove the flower spikes regularly – if these are allowed to mature, your plants will stop growing new leaves.

How to harvest:

Pick individual leaves from the top of the plant and feed with a liquid fertiliser such as Nitrosol afterwards. Then leave it to grow again. If you find that you have a bumper crop at the end of summer, pick the lot and make it into pesto.