12 Best Herbs for Your Herb Planter Garden

Thursday, 21 November 2019 10:16:15 Europe/London

Home-grown, fresh herbs are both aesthetically pleasing and fantastic for cooking. A herb planter garden is a convenient way of growing your own herbs while keeping the more aggressive spreaders under control.

Here is our list of the 12 best herbs for your herb planter garden.

1. Rosemary

In the winter, rosemary likes cooler temperatures of between 4℃ and 18℃ as long as they have access to light. The shrub has needle-like foliage that is easily recognisable. Make sure to provide the herb with constant moisture but don’t overwater: that’s the quickest way to kill rosemary in herb planters. Rosemary is perfect for soups, chicken, pork, and potatoes.

2. Dill

A hardy annual, if short-lived, dill is relatively easy to grow. It’s versatile by nature, producing yellow flowers in the summer. Make sure to keep dill separate from fennel, as these two herbs can cross-breed and produce seedlings with very poor flavour. Dill is a great addition to salmon, soups, and potatoes.

3. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is typically best grown in a herb planter, as its familial connection to mint also extends to how quickly it can overtake a small garden space. It can overwinter in pots, providing beautiful white and purple flowers in the summer. Lemon balm is perfect for tea, salads, and lemonade.

4. Greek Oregano

Considered to be the ‘true oregano’, Greek oregano has a strong aroma and a spicy, intense flavour. This hardy perennial is bee-friendly and can be harvested at any time as soon as the plant reaches 15 cm (or 6 in) tall. It’s perfect for vinaigrettes, homemade pizza, and marinades, providing a punch of flavour.

5. Basil

A well-drained soil and plenty of light will give you high-quality basil to use in cooking. Basil responds very well to being harvested frequently, with fresh growth expected when trimmed back. The flavour of the leaves tends to decline when the plant flowers, so make sure to pinch flower buds. 

6. Coriander

Short-lived and a tender annual, coriander’s entire plant is edible and used in cooking. You can use the seeds and the leaves for different recipes, as they have very distinct flavours. The seeds can be ground down to be used as a spice, as they have a more lemony taste. The leaves tend to be chopped up for garnish, as they have a more bitter taste.

7. Thyme

Low maintenance and tolerant of droughts, thyme tends to prefer the soil a bit more on the dry side. In cooking Lemon thyme or English thyme tend to be the herbs of choice. Lemon thyme has variegated green and yellow leaves with both a bold scent and flavour. This herb is very versatile and can be used for a variety of delicious dishes.

8. Parsley

You can grow flat-leaved or curly parsley, which are great herbs for your herb planter garden. Parsley is extremely easy to grow but it needs frequent moisture and feeding. This herb can be overwintered, however, the leaves will become coarser the following year. Moist but well-drained soil is perfect for parsley to grow healthy and strong.

9. French Tarragon

Although French tarragon can be a bit more difficult to grow, it’s ideal for French cuisine. It has an aromatic, sweet anise scent and a liquorice flavour, perfect for delicious dishes. Seen as the finest variety of tarragon, this herb is ideal for chicken dishes, vinegars, and oils. It’s also perfect to make béarnaise sauce.

10. Mint

Easy to grow, mint is a perennial herb that flowers purple every summer. Although its vigorous nature makes it easy to grow, it can also lead to it becoming an invasive plant. Common mint is also known as spearmint, with a pleasant and refreshing flavour that makes it ideal for salads and sauces, either dried or fresh.

11. Chives

Similarly to mint, chives are very easy to grow and always a fantastic addition to your herb planter garden. Chives have a light onion flavour, being ideal additions to soups, potato salad, and omelettes. This herb is very versatile, with the flowers typically used as garnishes and both the bulbs and leaves being edible.

12. Sage

Sage has an intense flavour and a savoury, slightly peppery taste. You can plant variegated (green and white) and purple types for a colourful herb planter garden. Larger, older leaves will have an increased flavour - ideal to pair with pork and use in stuffing. This herb is rich in potassium and vitamin C.

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