Growing your own herbs at home is a fun and easy way to keep your kitchen stocked up with tasty herbs perfect for adding a burst of flavour to any meal. Herbs also look beautiful growing on your windowsill and emit a pleasant aroma. It's also possible to grow herbs the whole year round; they really are fantastic!
Transplant your herb plants into our holiday-proof herb growing planter, designed to keep your herbs perfectly fed and watered. Just add water every 2 weeks and say goodbye to wilted, parched herbs.
Where to Grow Your Herbs
When choosing herbs, try to choose varieties which grow well together, e.g. rosemary, thyme and oregano all enjoy a sunny aspect. Herbs will grow great in a container or one of our Herbgrow, Salad Planters or Quadgrow-Plus Planter. Even if you have an allotment it’s still worth growing a few varieties of herbs at home as you are more likely to use them as it only takes seconds to snip a few leaves when needed.
Sowing Your Herb Seeds
Some herb seeds such as Coriander are big enough to handle individual seeds. Place a few in the palm of your hand and place on the surface of the compost at intervals. Gently push them a little way into the compost and knock the side of the pot or tray to redistribute the compost; water in as normal.
Caring for Your Herb Plants
When growing herbs, it’s important to ensure that they are well ventilated especially in moist weather. Ensure that seedlings and plants are in a light space and that your growing space is adequately lit.
Harvesting Your Herbs
Herbs are easy to keep fresh with regular harvesting. Chives, Basil, Coriander & Chervil are easy to freeze, meaning they can be preserved for use during winter months. Aromatic herbs such as Rosemary, Oregano & Thyme are all evergreen and should provide you with a supply of flavour & aroma throughout the year.
Varieties of Herbs to Grow
This aromatic shrub flowers in spring. A range of varieties are now available bearing flowers of white through to pink or blue. Rosemary has many uses:
- Adds flavour to eggs, stuffings, dressings, vegetables, lamb and beef
- Can be used as a pot pouri, as a digestive aid in infusions, as a treatment for eczema and rheumatism in ointments and in shampoo and conditioner for hair
As a small leaved shrub, lemon scented and alpine varieties are available. This versatile herb belongs to the same family as Rosemary, Basil, Marjoram, Oregano and Mint. Thyme has a number of uses:
- Essential in bouquet garni, French & Creole cooling including Cajun, blackened spice and jerk seasoning, also in Middle Eastern dishes. Like Rosemary it has been historically been used for a number of ailments including digestive disorders and a number of skin conditions.
Bearing a mild, aniseed flavour, basil offers a wide variety of uses. It thrives in a sunny position on a windowsill or patio. Be mindful to protect from harsh midday sunlight though , as this can scorch the leaves a little. Basil can be used for:
- Pasta dishes
- Flavouring tomato dishes
- Works particularly well as a key ingredient in pesto.
- Tear leaves on to mozzarella, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little black pepper for the perfect starter
- Often used a tonic to aid digestion and when drunk as a tea may relax and reduce anxiety.
Oregano & Marjoram
Marjoram is a form of Oregano and can be equally used for similar dishes. These herbs are popular herbs in French, Greek and Italian dishes and are also often used for:
- Tomato sauces or on pizza
- Combined with garlic, olive oil, thyme and parsley
A sweetly scented shrub bearing delicate white flowers in late spring, Sweet Bay can be planted in a sunny spot on the patio, growing happily all year round. This can be used in:
- Flavouring soups, casseroles and meaty dishes
- Adds a delicate flavour to rice
Grows well in a container or in the garden and is versatile and flavourful and is used in a wide variety of dishes and has had a vast number of medicinal uses throughout history.
- It's a staple ingredient in Tabouleh, garlic butter, bouquet garni
More subtly flavoured than parsley so will not overpower delicately flavoured dishes such as asparagus. An essential ingredient in French cuisine, chervil can be added to salads, used to garnish pork or veal dishes, used in soups and to flavour butters and vegetables.
In the garden the scent given off from Chives can confuse undesireable insects such as Aphids when planted near susceptible plants such as Roses, thus keeping them at bay. As a member of the onion family, chives have a delicate onion flavour. Excellent for flavouring:
- Egg dishes, adding to salad, soups and as a handsome garnish.
A part of the French ‘Fines Herbes’, Tarragon has a slightly Aniseed flavour. French tarragon has a slightly superior flavour to Russian tarragon and both need protection over the winter. Works exceptionally well with:
- Chicken & Fish
- Rice dishes (particularly risotto)
- Flavouring vinegars