Herbs are one of the most worthwhile crops to grow in your garden – and they’re also extremely easy to produce, particularly in planters, tubs or beds. Grow and nurture an herb garden, and you’ll have a fruitful supply of ingredients that will add extra flavour to your home cookery, not least an attractive, fragrant plant in your outdoor space.
If you’re interested in growing an herb garden, you can do so easily whether you have a garden, balcony, terrace or window box. Herbs grow quickly and remain hardy even during periods of dry weather or in cold conditions – providing a dependable source of flavour for your culinary experiments.
A Huge Choice of Herbs
At Capital Gardens, we offer a huge array of herbs – some of which are more common than others. Whether you’re looking to grow classic herbs such as basil, chive, mint and parsley, or would prefer to grow unusual varieties like bergamot, chamomile and tarragon – we stock an abundance of herbs that are perfect scattered over soup or mixed in with a refreshing summer salad.
Whether you choose to grow herbs in containers, beds or on your windowsill, they’re easy to grow even for the most amateur of gardeners. Many herbs – mint, oregano, thyme, and rosemary to name a few – are perennials and will grow all year round, saving you a fortune in buying them fresh at the supermarket. All you need to successfully grow your own herbs is a sunny, sheltered spot with a plot of well-drained soil.
For more information on growing and cultivating your own herbs, call the Capital Gardens team today on 01442 875 037 and we’ll be happy to help you.
Herb Lovage Thompson & Morgan
A perfect addition to a kitchen herb garden or within a low maintenance garden, this hardy perennial herb gives a distinctive flavouring which provides a combination of savoury tastes including aniseed and celery.
This bushy herb can grow to a height of up to 2 metres! For optimum growth, sow seeds in March to May with well prepared soil and in a location that has direct sun to partial shade.
When sowing, plant approx. 13cm deep in rows of 30cm apart. Then transplant your seedlings to 45cm apart once the seedlings have grown enough to handle.
‘Lovage’ is the ideal herb to add to soups, salads and stews.
Spread: 1 metre
Herb Basil Crimson King Thompson & Morgan
The Basil ‘Crimson King’ is aptly named for its pure purple leaves. British bred, the foliage is uniform in its traditional cup-shape. ‘Crimson King’ makes an exceptional ornamental edible plant, adding a touch of unusual colour to your herb garden. Perfect for growing on the windowsill, or within a container or basket outdoors in summer.
Sow your basil seeds from February to June on the surface of well-drained seed compost and cover with a light sprinkling of vermiculite or compost. Place in a propagator at a temperature of 15-25C, alternatively you can place your container inside a sealed polythene bag until after germination, which takes 14-21 days. Keep the compost slightly dry and water very lightly when the seedlings emerge. Transplant into 7.5cm pots and grow in cooler conditions once they are large enough to handle.
Alternatively, you can cultivate all year round and out of season, if sown indoors.
Herb Basil Christmas Thompson & Morgan
The Basil ‘Christmas’ is a delightful new basil, with a heady and intense Thai flavour. British bred, ‘Christmas’ produces large leaves that are glossy and uniquely flavoured with the classic mulled wine aroma that is associated with Christmas. The foliage will add an aromatic flavour to a range of dishes, in particular Italian recipes. Producing a profusion of attractive purple flowers, not only is this a perfect addition to a herb garden, they are also decorative; ideal for a kitchen windowsill, flower bed, border, or within a container on the patio.
Sow your basil seeds from February to June, or indoors throughout the year for cultivation all year round. Sow on the surface of free draining seed compost and lightly sprinkle compost or vermiculite to cover. Place in a propagator at up to 25C temp, or seal inside a polythene bag until germination is complete. This usually takes between 14-21 days. Keep the compost slightly dry at all times, and water lightly when the seedlings emerge.
Transplant your seedlings when they are large enough to handle, into 7.5cm pots and grow in cooler conditions.
Height: 30cm (12î). Spread: 30cm (12î).
Herb Coriander Calypso Thompson & Morgan
‘Calypso’ is one of the first cut and come again coriander. Ready to pick in less than two months after planting and then only up to four months before it runs up to seed. A British bred variety that has brilliant bolting resistance and when cut back will grow at least three times throughout the summer months.
Low growing, this wonderful herb is grown for its delicious foliage which works perfectly within salads, curries and soups.
Directly sow your coriander seed outdoors from April to July in well-drained and fertile soil. Rake the soil to a fine tilth, and be sure to choose a location in full sun. Sow thinly at a depth of 1cm in rows of 30cm apart.
When the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin them out to 23cm apart. Make regular sowings and you will receive a constant supply.
You can also sow in late summer for winter use, with cloche protection, and full sunlight for good quality foliage production.
Herb Lemon Grass Thompson & Morgan
Lemon Grass is a widely used herb, usually used within oriental cooking. The swollen base is edible and the gently arched foliage can reach an eventual height of 1.5m. Due to its tropical origins, this herb is not able to withstand frost however it is easy to grow. They should be grown in a container as this allows them to be moved indoors after spending the summer outdoors in a sunny location.
Plant in a sunny, sheltered position and keep well watered.
Move indoors in late summer when the weather is colder, and place in a bright cool location. Reduce watering but keep the compost moist. Keep at a minimum temperature of 5C.
When the foliage begins to turn brown in autumn cut back the foliage to approximately 10cm. When new growth appears in spring feed the plants weekly with a liquid fertiliser.
Herb Rocket Discovery Thompson & Morgan
Rocket has been hugely popular in recent decades. Before, the 1990s it hadn’t been cultivated commercially as much as other salads.
Rocket is incredibly easy to grow, and is able to grow in pretty much any location; just plant a couple of pots at home or in beds and one packet of seeds will keep you going all summer into late autumn.
‘Discovery’ is an extremely popular, finely divided dark leafed variety that has a wonderfully unique flavour. The leaves stand upright and bolting is slower than the standard wild rocket.
Fast and easy to grow, it can be eaten at baby leaf stage or as a mature leaf. They will be ready to harvest in only 25 to 30 days and if you sow in succession from the end of winter until late summer. If sown in containers on the patio or grown on a window sill you will receive fresh leaves all year round.
Sow directly into a bed containing fertile and well-drained soil that is in a position with full sun, or partial shade.
Sow in spring for summer harvest or in autumn for a winter harvest. Sow thinly 6mm deep in drills spaced 45-60cm apart. The distance between the seeds should be up to 3cm. Lightly cover the seed with soil and remove any weed remnants to ensure the plants have a good start. Water well, being sure to not disturb the seeds as you do.
Herb Rosemary Thompson & Morgan
The Rosemary herb is an attractive evergreen shrub that features needle-like leaves and wonderful mauve blue flowers.
The flowers persist throughout spring and summer, which fill the air with a piney fragrance. Mostly used for seasoning dishes, they are also known as an ornamental plant within landscapes.
Translating as ‘Mist of the Sea’ the Rosmarinus Officinalis features green foliage with a shimmer of grey, resembling the mist against the sea cliffs in the Mediterranean- where the plant originates from.
Easy to care for, when growing Rosemary provide well drained, sandy soil in a position that has at least 8 hours of sunlight. They thrive in warm and humid environments and do not like being in cold weather. It is advisable to grow your rosemary plants in containers, as they can be moved indoors if the weather is too cold.
Rosemary plants prefer to remain somewhat dry, but be sure to water thoroughly when the soil is dry to touch- but allow to dry out again after watering. Requiring lots of light, if growing indoors provide a suitable location that is free from drafts.
Herb Borage Thompson & Morgan
A beautiful upright herb with rough leaves covered with silvery hairs and most attractive celestial blue flowers beloved by bees. Borage is an annual growing to 45-90cm (18-36in) which self seeds happily. Cooking: Add Borage to summer drinks and wines because of its, cucumber flavour. Chopped leaves make a healthy soup or YOUNG leaves can be dipped in batter and lightly fried until crisp. Finely cut leaves make a delicious sandwich filling. Companion Plant: Grow it close to tomatoes to attract bees which fertilise the tomato blooms, and anything else in the vegetable garden. Nature’s Remedy: Borage is a fine source of calcium and potassium and is recommended for toning up the glandular system, and all bronchial, lung and chest disorders. Prolonged use is not advisable. Special Note: Always check with your doctor before using herbs for medicinal purposes.
Herb Lemon Balm Thompson & Morgan
A bushy herb, Lemon Balm resembles mint in appearance, with a strong lemon scent when rubbed. The leaves make a calming balm tea. Height to 50cm (20in) but can be trimmed.
Can be invasive. Best grown in a pot/container.
Herb Parsley Laura Thompson & Morgan
A flat-leaved parsley with a more intense flavour than some other varieties, Parsley Laura is becoming increasingly popular in the kitchen, for growing on the windowsill and for a huge range of culinary uses.
Herb Mint (Peppermint) Thompson & Morgan
Very versatile, for tangy mint sauce or garnish on new potatoes or peas.
Cooking: The ideal accompaniment to roast lamb -for an unusual but delicious sauce mix with honey and lemon juice. Add to boiled new potatoes, peas, make mint jelly or garnish summer drinks.
Companion Plant: Mint has a piquant aroma and as such is disliked by much of the insect world. Above all, plant mint close to all brassicas and it will repel the Cabbage White Butterfly and a sprig or two in your wardrobe will keep moths out of your clothes.
Nature’s Remedy: It has a remarkable reputation with indigestion, for calming the nerves, for soothing sleep and recurring sickness. Many herbalists claim it aids virility and can be used against Migraine. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tablespoonful of chopped fresh leaves and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Take as required a tablespoon at a time.
Herb Oregano Thompson & Morgan
A hardy perennial herb, Oregano has sweet smelling, aromatic foliage which can be used fresh or dry for flavouring moussaka, stews, sausages, omelets, stuffings, pizzas and all Italian dishes. Try it sprinkling Oregano on lamb or pork before cooking. The flowers produced in summer and autumn can also be used for flavouring after they have been gently dried. Flowers summer. Height 30-45cm (12-18in) Companion Plant: Plant Oregano among Broccoli to repel the Cabbage Butterfly.