Grow your own Herbs
Herbs are so rewarding for anybody starting to grow their own edibles at home.
It’s easy to buy a small pot at your local nursery or retailer, plant your seeds and watch your harvest grow in the weeks to come. It’s also a great project to start with the kids, as it’s rewarding to see the herbs grow quickly and it keeps them interested.
H2. Getting into herbs
Growing your own fruit and vegies is becoming increasingly popular as we see the benefits of growing your own. If you’re keen to join the trend, but a bit apprehensive about your gardening skills, herbs are a good way to get started.
Herbs are instantly rewarding. Once you plant usually it takes a few weeks to see your harvest start to grow. And if that’s not enough to convince you, the other big pluses of herbs are that they’ll grow just about anywhere and thrive with hot weather and sunshine.
You don’t need a purpose-built herb garden. You can plant your herbs in a pot or trough on your balcony, start a mini-herb garden on your window sill, or pop your herbs in amongst other plants in the garden.
Naturally you will want to choose herbs that you enjoy eating, but meanwhile here are 10 popular herbs to get you started. Rosemary forms a permanent shrub, while bay is a small tree. Both can be grown in pots.
- Rocket (sun, annual)
- Basil (full sun, grow as an annual over summer)
- Sage (sun, perennial)
- Mint (part shade, perennial)
- Parsley (full sun, grow as an annual)
- Thyme (sun, perennial)
- Chives (sun, perennial)
- Dill (sun, perennial)
One of the easiest herbs to begin with is parsley. You can buy parsley seeds or your can purchase seedlings in punnets or small pots.
If you have a reasonable soil that holds moisture, just make a shallow hole in damp soil, and sprinkle in some seeds. Alternatively, fill a punnet with potting mix and sow a few parsley seeds, then transplant when the seedlings are large enough to handle.
Parsley grows in three to four weeks, so you don’t need to wait long to see results. Be sure to hand-weed and watch out for slugs or snails. Also, keep the soil moist by watering gently with a watering so as not to disturb the new seedlings.
Although parsley is a herb, it can also be used decoratively in the garden. It makes an attractive border plant, perfect for edging a sunny part of the ornamental garden or even the vegie patch.
When well-grown, parsley lasts for many months.
Growing Basil & Rocket
Basil and rocket are also highly rewarding herbs to grow through the warmer months. Both grow readily from seed and do well in a container or in the garden. Basil will eventually flower, seed and die down
Mint is a much hardier herb and spreads through the garden via underground stems, and for this reason it is usually recommended to grow it in a pot.
Mint prefers a moist patch of soil, so its spread is usually curtailed when the plant runs out of moisture. Mint also does quite well in light shade and tends to shrivel in full sun. Once you’ve conquered ordinary mint, branch out into some of the more interesting scented mints.
Mint is fairly foolproof, but it does attract caterpillars that chew the leaves, often leaving nothing more than bare stalks. Check your mint regularly for these pests, particularly when you see chewed leaves and droppings. These can be controlled by squashing them, but you could also apply Yates Success Ultra. Pinch off any damaged growth and give chewed plants a good drink of water. A dose of liquid plant food like Thrive Vegie & Herb encourages new growth.
This area is for general comments from members of the public. Some questions or comments may not receive a reply from Yates. For specific gardening advice visit Ask an expert Alternatively you may wish to contact us.