Herbs TN

Are you guilty of buying a bunch of herbs, only to use a few leaves? You tell yourself it won’t go to waste, promising to make use of every root, shoot or leaf, only to find it dying a slow, mushy death in the crisper weeks later. Instead of buying a new bunch every time you want to cook a delicious meal, start growing your own! Herbs are easy to grow in pots, planters or outdoors in the garden. You can grow a variety of herbs from seeds or if you know someone with an herb garden, ask them for cuttings; this works particularly well for rosemary and mint.

The best herbs to grow are the ones you will use. Consider what dishes you normally cook and what flavours you enjoy. Once you start to get the hang of growing, then you can branch out and grow other herbs in the garden.

Here’s what you need to start growing herbs at home.

Sunlight

Most herbs prefer to grow in full sun, so position them in a spot where they will receive at least half-a-day of direct sunlight. Always check plant labels to confirm the best position for your herbs. There are herbs, like chives, coriander, lemon balm, mint and parsley, that don’t mind growing in slightly more shaded spots.

Soil

Grow herbs in moist, well-drained soil, enriched with plenty of organic matter, like Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil does not drain well, improve the soil by adding organic matter, like compost, aged manures and gypsum to the area and forking in well. If the soil is too difficult to work, consider growing in raised garden beds or planting into pots. Always use a quality potting mix, like Yates Premium Potting Mix when planting in pots or planters.

Watering

Herbs with soft, rich-green leaves, like basil, coriander, and mint will thrive with regular watering, especially during hot and dry conditions. However, Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage can tolerate drought-like conditions, provided they are well established.

Fertiliser

Most herbs are annuals, which means they only last the year, so it pays to make the most out of the growing and harvest season. To boost plant growth, feed herbs regularly with Yates Thrive Natural Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food.

Pests

Sap-sucking insects such as aphids and whitefly love the soft foliage of herbs. Treat them at first sight with Yates Nature’s Way Vegie & Herb Spray. It’s approved for use in organic gardens and is suitable for use on all herbs and vegies.

Maintenance

Pinch or remove flower buds from herbs like basil, sage, and thyme. This helps them last longer as plants direct their energy back into producing leaves. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for coriander, which can often prematurely ‘bolt’ or set seed when there is a sudden change in temperature. Once it bolts, coriander becomes bitter and tough; completely inedible. It’s best to plant coriander at the start of the cooler months and look for a ‘slow bolt’ variety.

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How to Grow Herbs from Seeds

Seeds are the easiest ways to grow herbs. You can sow them direct where they are to grow in outdoor garden beds or in pots. Alternatively, you can sow seeds into a seed-raising trays and allow them to grow indoors or in a protected spot before transplanting into the garden or pots.

  1. Fill a seed raising tray or biodegradable pots with Yates Seed Raising Mix and gently firm down.
  2. Use a dibbler, stick or similar to poke shallow planting holes into the mix. Refer to the back of the seed pack for correct sowing depth.
  3. Gently add seeds to each planting hole and lightly cover with seed raising mix.
  4. Water in well and position in a brightly lit spot, out of direct sunlight. Water regularly to keep the soil moist.
  5. Once seedlings reach a certain height – usually between 5-10 cm tall – they’re ready for transplanting. Refer to the back of the seed pack for specific instructions on when to best transplant.
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How to Grow Herbs in a Garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Add Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver and Plant Fertiliser to the soil and fork in well.
  2. Dig shallow rows to the appropriate depth and scatter seed thinly along the rows. If transplanting seedlings, dig planting holes twice the width and to the same depth as the root ball. Insert plants into the hole and backfill.
  3. Water well with a fine, gentle spray.
  4. As seedlings emerge and grow, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Natural Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food.
  5. Harvest regularly by snipping leaves as needed.
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How to Grow Herbs in a Pot

  1. Choose a pot or planter at least 20 cm wide and deep. For larger herbs like rosemary and bay tree, you will eventually need to repot into larger containers (up to 40 cm wide and deep).
  2. Fill with Yates Premium Potting Mix. If sowing seeds, add a 3 cm layer of Yates Seed Raising Mix to the top.
  3. Use a dibbler, stick or similar to poke shallow planting holes into the mix. Refer to the back of the seed pack for correct sowing depth and spacing. If planting seedlings, dig planting holes twice the width and to the same depth as the root ball. Insert plants into the hole and backfill.
  4. Water well with a fine, gentle spray.
  5. As seedlings emerge and grow, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Natural Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food.
  6. Harvest regularly by snipping leaves as needed.
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How to Grow Herbs from Cuttings

There are many herbs that can easily be grown from cuttings.

For shrubby or woody herbs, like rosemary, bay tree, thyme, and oregano, you can take softwood cuttings in spring or semi-hardwood cuttings in late autumn or early winter (wood is relatively firm, but still flexible).

  1. Cut lengths between 10-15 cm long, ensuring you make the cut just below a node (the bump on the stem, where leaves emerge). Remove lower leaves, leaving a few leaves at the top of the cutting.
  2. Fill a pot or deep tray with propagating mix. Use a finger, dowel or similar to poke planting holes in the mix.
  3. Dip the base of the cuttings into rooting hormone, like Yates Clonex Rooting Hormone Gel – Purple and insert into the preformed holes. Backfill and gently firm down.
  4. Water lightly and position in a warm brightly lit spot, out of direct sunlight. Cover the pot or tray with a plastic bag – use sticks to prop it up to prevent it from being in contact with the stem and leaves.
  5. Water to keep the soil moist. Once they have rooted – which can take between 6-8 weeks – plant up in individual pots filled with Yates Premium Potting Mix.

For soft annuals, like mint (all varieties), basil, lemon verbena and stevia, simply cut lengths 10-15 cm long, remove the lower leaves and place in a glass of water. Roots should form within 10-14 days. Once roots are 15 cm, plant up in individual pots.

What Herbs Grow Well Together

When planting herbs, it’s best to group them based on their growing needs. For example, basil and rosemary love full sun, but basil needs more watering so should be planted with other moisture-loving plants, like parsley and chives.

Mint deserves its own pot or spot in the garden. It likes to spread, so keeping it contained will prevent it from running rampant and overtaking the garden. This is the same for all mint species, so give them a dedicated garden bed if you wish to grow an assortment of mint.

Rosemary and bay tree grow into small-medium shrubs, so it’s best to give them space to grow. Plus, they’re long-lived, unlike most herbs, so they will need a permanent home in full sun.

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Herbs for Indoors

Provided you have a brightly lit spot, like a windowsill or kitchen bench, you can grow a pot of herbs indoors. You may also like to try micro herbs or microgreens which are vegie or herb sprouts that can be added to salads, sandwiches or stir-fries. They germinate quickly and only take 2-3 weeks to harvest.

Ready to start growing? Check out our range of herb and microgreen seeds for sale online today.

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Flavours of the World

If you’re looking for inspiration on what to plant, here’s a short list to get you started:

French

Italian

Asian


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