Gardening is a hobby that has been popular for centuries.
Here in the UK, many people are keen to grow their own food and vegetables.
Herbs have been an important ingredient within UK dishes for centuries, and they are easy to grow in the garden.
These herbs will provide a tasty and healthy addition to your cooking, so why not give them a try?
With so much choice on what herbs to grow, it can be difficult to know which ones will give you the best return on your investment.
In this article, we have compiled a list of 10 herbs that will help you maximise your herb garden and produce something that you will be proud to cook with.
Table of Contents
Here are 5 things you need to keep in mind when growing herbs
- The right soil can help make your herbs thrive. The key is to have well-drained, fertile soil so that the plants don’t get bogged down with too much water and planting them in raised beds or pots if drainage is a concern will prevent this from happening.
- A good, all-weather pathway is the key to successful herb growing. If a hard path of light-colored paving can be created, so much the better!
- Herbs are a low-maintenance crop, but they require some tender loving care. To grow the best herbs possible you should fertilize and water them regularly to produce flavoursome leaves which can be used in cooking for flavourful meals with less effort!
- Many herbs require acidic, alkaline, fertile soil.
- To get the best-tasting herbs, you need a lot of sunlight.
Basil - Ocimium basilicum
Basil is common in many kitchens across the world, and it is one of the most popular fresh herbs to grow. Basil plants are originally from India, but they have been cultivated all over the world. Basil has a very distinctive taste, and it can be used to season almost any dish that you want to make more flavorful.
Basil is part of the mint family (Lamiaceae), and there are two main types: sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) and holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum). The flavour of sweet basil is more commonly found in supermarkets, while holy basil has a spicy flavour that’s better in Asian-inspired dishes. It also has healing properties for stress relief!
How to Grow basil
- A tender annual, unable to withstand cold weather and frost, basil can only be grown outdoors in the summer.
- It is essential that the herb be planted in fertile soil that contains sufficient nutrients and receives adequate amounts of warmth and light.
- A greenhouse and a sunny windowsill can be great places to grow basil, because this plant tends to struggle in colder climates.
- With so many different varieties of basil available to plant and grow, try some out this summer. Try experimenting with different flavours in your homemade salads, pasta dishes, and pesto.
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Chives - Allium schoenoprasum
Chives are a perennial plant that has a broad, flat leaf and delicate onion flavor. The plant grows to about 6 inches in height and spreads as wide. They have an edible flower that is pinkish purple. These young plants can also be grown very quickly from seeds or cuttings.
Chives grow best in conditions where sunlight is more than three hours per day, so they are often grown indoors. Chives have been used medicinally to increase appetite and improve digestion even though there is not much scientific evidence for this claim.
How to Grow Chives
- Chives are grown indoors in full sun. Chive seeds need light to germinate, so it is best to sow them under a south-facing sunny windowsill. Once the vines have reached 18 inches they can be supported by their own clumping roots, or by wire trellises draped from a doorframe or ceiling so the stems don’t break.
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Mint – Mentha spicata
Mint is a hardy perennial herb that produces scalloped leaves. It has pointed purple flowers and smells like spearmint or peppermint when mature. Mint grows best in full sun, but can be grown indoors as well if it gets plenty of light.
It’s important to note that not all varieties are edible and some have negative effects on humans such as an upset stomach or heartburn. Furthermore, mints should never be consumed with certain medications because they may interfere with the efficacy.
How to Grow Mint
- Growing mint takes time due to its long taproot so you will need to wait at least one year before harvesting them for use in cooking recipes or drinks.
- Mint can tolerate both moist and dry conditions with ease.
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Coriander - Corinadrum sativum
Coriander is a perennial herb that has leaves with lobed edges. It produces clusters of small, white flowers and smells like citrus or apple when mature. The plant grows to about 12 inches in height but can be grown indoors as well if there’s plenty of light available.
Despite being closely related to the parsley family it is not used for culinary purposes because its flavor tends to be too bitter.
How To Grow Coriander
- Corianders are annual plants so they grow faster than perennials do and have more high yields per acreage due to their shorter growing season from planting date to harvest date.
- These hardy herbs prefer warmer climates such as those found on southern coasts such as California where they thrive year-round without a dormant season
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Dill - Anethum graveolens
Dill is a perennial herb that has leaves with veins and small feathery flowers. The plant grows to about 12 inches in height but can be grown indoors as well if there’s plenty of light available
Most Dill used for cooking are annuals because the flavor doesn’t hold up very long, which means they need to be harvested within two months after planting
How To Grow Dill
- Growing dills takes time due to their long taproot so you will need at least one year before harvesting them for use in cooking recipes or drinks. It prefers moist soil and cool temperatures
- Plant in moist soil, where the herb can receive plenty of warmth. Full shade is ideal, as it will slow down seed setting and allow for a longer cropping season.
Purchase here: £1.49 for seeds from Amazon
Fennel - Foeniculum vulgare
Fennel is a perennial herb that has long, thin stalks with wide leaves. The plant grows to about 18 inches in height but can be grown indoors as well if there’s plenty of light available
Most Fennels used for cooking are annuals because the flavor doesn’t hold up very long, which means they need to be harvested within two months after planting
How To Grow Fennel
- A hardier herb, fennel will grow well in any herb garden if placed in a sunny spot.
- can be grown in containers as well.
French Tarragon – Artemisia dracunculus
French Tarragon is a perennial herb that has narrow leaves with tiny flowers. The plant grows to about 18 inches in height but can be grown indoors as well if there’s plenty of light available
Tarragon goes dormant during winter months when it doesn’t produce any new growth, so planting seeds in autumn and harvesting them the following summer will give you an annual crop.
How To Grow French Tarragon
- The French variety prefers moist soil rich in organic matter such as compost or manure which can be added along with some lime for extra nutrition. It needs full sun to grow properly
- although it is a durable perennial, be careful to plant in drier soil and do not overwater.
- French tarragon rarely flowers, and thus has limited seed production.
- It is important to propagate the best herbs on a regular basis so they are healthy and can be replaced with new ones as needed.
Parsley - Petroselinum crispum
Parsley is a perennial herb that has long, narrow leaves with small flowers. The plant grows to about 18 inches in height but can be grown indoors as well if there’s plenty of light available
Most Parsleys used for cooking are annuals because the flavor doesn’t hold up very long, which means they need to be harvested within two months after planting
How To Grow Parsley
- When harvesting parsley it should not take more than 30% out of one area at any time and will yield best when cut close to soil level rather than pulled from root-level. It prefers moist conditions so make sure you keep plants watered during dry spells.
- You may also consider mulching around your plants or applying some compost tea on them to help maintain healthy soil around your plant.
- Curly leaf and flat-leaf parsley are the two types of parsley grown in the UK, but according to some, flat-leaf is a more popular type because it tolerates rain better than curly.
Rosemary - Rosmarinus officinalis
Rosemary is one of the most popular fresh culinary herbs in Europe and North America as it has a wide range of culinary uses. The leaves are an excellent choice for any dish that features roasted meat or vegetables, giving them an extra depth.
There’s something about rosemary which makes everything taste better – this herb is not only versatile but also comparatively easy to grow.
How to Grow Rosemary
- It grows best on dry soil with full sun exposure, both in hot summers and cold winters. So long as you harvest regularly, your plants should survive nicely all year round!
- To grow well, it requires well-drained soil in a sunny location. It is drought tolerant and pest resistant.
Sage - Salvia officinalis
Sage is a wonderful herb, with an impressive history. This plant has been used medicinally for hundreds of years and it’s still in use today as both medicine and culinary ingredient.
The leaves can be dried or fresh in a number of dishes – from eggs to lamb stew! Sage contains antioxidants which are thought to have some cancer prevention properties among other things.
It also seems to help regulate blood sugar levels. Plant sage somewhere near your home where you’ll enjoy the scent while cooking or grilling outside on summer evenings after work!
How to Grow
- Sage is a perennial herb and therefore doesn’t need to be replanted each year.
- It prefers full sun, but can tolerate shade for some parts of the day. Plant it in an area with rich soil that drains well
- Sage grows best when its roots are not constantly wet or sitting still in water!
There you have it, those are ten of the best herbs to grow in your garden. Make sure you follow the advice given and give these herbs a time before deciding which ones work for you. In addition, if any other plants or herbal remedies sound interesting take some time researching them on your own, and feel free to share your findings with us in the comments below.