Growing herbs is an exciting way to add flavor, life, and texture to gardens and kitchens. Knowing when to plant herbs will ensure a plentiful, fresh supply for recipes and fragrant additions to the garden.
Outdoor herbs prefer direct sunlight, but many can be planted in containers on patios, balconies, or other relatively sunny places. This means they can provide a great solution if space is limited while still keeping an ever-present supply of herbs close at hand.
For indoor herb gardens, it’s vital not only to know when to plant herbs but also what time of year. Some varieties, such as rosemary, require warmer temperatures than others, like thyme, which can usually easily survive colder climates.
It’s important to use compatible containers that can retain moisture or herb saucers if placed near windowsills where extra care must be taken for large fluctuations in temperature between day and night. Read on to find out more about the timing.
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The Perfect Time to Plant Herbs
It is important to consider what type of herb you plan to grow. Basil, dill, coriander, and parsley, which are biennial herbs, should be planted each year from seed between March and August for a continuous supply of fresh herbs.
These herbs are best picked young, so making successive sowings at three-to-four weekly intervals throughout the growing season is important. Perennials, such as rosemary, sage, and thyme, should be sown undercover with warmth in spring before being transplanted outside once the soil has warmed up.
Planting these herbs earlier may increase the risk of frost damage in colder climates. It might be better to wait until conditions are more suitable before planting out for them to establish themselves quickly and thrive.
Outdoor Herbs Timing
There are quite a few considerations when it comes to planting herbs outside. Generally speaking, they should be planted in spring in a sunny spot with fertile, free-draining soil – though some may need special care.
Annual and biennial herbs can be planted outdoors from March until August and can even be given a head start earlier in the season by planting them under cover. Plants such as dill, however, do not take kindly to being transplanted; these should be direct sown outside when possible.
Perennial herbs can be raised from seed or cuttings and are best planted out once the risk of frost has passed – usually around late spring or early summertime. It is possible to gain more control over the environment for faster germination periods by sowing in seed trays first, making thinning the seedlings easier once they have sprouted.
Advice is also recommended when starting out on herb-growing ventures; consulting with an herb expert before committing will ensure your plants are as healthy and happy as they can be.
Indoor Herbs Timing
For growing herbs indoors year-round, creating the right conditions and knowing when best to plant them is important. If you are lucky enough to have a heated greenhouse, then any time of the year is suitable for planting seeds in pots or trays of moist peat-free seed compost – cover with a thin layer of compost and remember to water regularly.
Additionally, these should be kept inside a propagator or covered with a polythene bag. For windowsill gardens, they should ideally be in sunny south-facing positions and planted in spring when temperatures are more stable.
In winter, however, when the sunlight decreases and temperatures drop, the growth rate of herbs will slow dramatically; windowsills may become much colder than the room temperature, which can cause stress on plants, so they should be avoided in northern climates. Using hindsight can save you a lot of trouble – experiment with different light situations at home beforehand to know what works best for your herbs.
Here are Some Herb Recommendations
Basil is a must-have for any kitchen garden. From the classic Italian herb used to flavor pizzas and pesto to more exotic variants used in salads, sauces, and cocktails, basil is just as at home on the windowsill as it is in a greenhouse or outdoor space.
Its sweet aroma makes planting it even more of a joy – it makes the garden look pretty, and its beautiful scent can fill entire rooms and yards.
With its delicate leaves and pretty white or purple flowers, basil can easily be paired with other herbs such as oregano, thyme, and sage to create an edible hedge or visual interest in your garden. As long as you give it enough room with 12-16 spacing between seedlings and trim regularly, you’ll be rewarded with fresh basil whenever you need it for cooking.
Whether you grow indoors or outdoors doesn’t matter – what matters most is that you get growing so you can enjoy the delicious taste of freshly picked basil.
Chives are a hardy perennial that will reward you with fragrant leaves all year round when given the right conditions. Unlike basil, they can be planted either indoors or outdoors in containers or on the ground and require minimal maintenance – just harvest regularly to promote new growth. They grow best in sunny spots with moist soil and can be easily divided every few years to propagate more chives.
Chives are a great addition to salads, dips, sauces, and soups – their mild onion flavor adds depth and texture to any dish. Harvest them in the morning for the best results when the leaves are still fresh and fragrant.
Parsley is an easy-to-grow herb that can be grown indoors or outdoors all year round. It’s a great source of vitamins and minerals, and its distinct flavor makes it a delicious addition to salads, pasta dishes, soups, and sauces.
When planting parsley seeds, use moisture-retentive soil, as this herb prefers damp conditions. Make sure to regularly give them enough space for air circulation (around 8-10 inches) and water to keep the soil moist. Parsley is a fast-growing herb, and you should be able to harvest it within 8 weeks of planting.
4. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is a refreshing and fragrant herb that can be planted in the early spring or late summer. It prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Planting lemon balm in the garden requires some patience, as seeds take about three weeks to germinate.
When planting lemon balm from seed, sowing them directly into the ground is best. To keep it from taking over, you can also opt to grow it in containers. The leaves of lemon balm are quite fragrant and make a delicious addition to salads, teas, beverages, and desserts.
No matter where you decide to plant your herbs, the key is to start early to enjoy them all year round. With careful planning and the right conditions, you’ll soon be able to reap the rewards of a flourishing herb garden.
Mint is an incredibly versatile herb, offering a refreshing flavor to many summer dishes. Whether in cocktails or salads, mint’s distinctive aroma will bring a natural freshness to any meal. The benefits of mint are known worldwide; drinking mint tea can help with an upset stomach, and even brewing up some mint leaves for aromatherapy brings a calming feeling to any room.
One of the great things about growing mint is the variety of options available. Peppermint is most popular for its recognizable scent, but spearmint has a unique flavor that’s great for fusing into everyday recipes.
If you’re looking for something truly special, then chocolate mint might be the one for you – this hybrid type has hints of both chocolate and citrus flavors and the classic mint aroma. Whatever type of mint you choose, your summer dishes will be fragrant.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
1. What Is The Best Month To Plant Herbs?
A cool-weather grower’s best time is September through February, whereas a warm-weather grower’s best time is February through September. These are the best times of the year for growing herbs outdoors. Every country has its own seasons and climate.
2. Do Herbs Like Full Sun Or Shade?
Different herbs have different soil preferences, so research which soils your herbs will need when planting. Most herbs prefer a well-draining loamy soil with a pH between 6 and 7.5. If you’re unsure what type of soil you have, consider doing a soil test or getting advice from your local gardening center. The herb garden should receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily (or partial shade).
3. How Often Should I Water My Herb Garden?
Your herbs must be watered regularly to ensure they stay healthy and productive. The watering frequency will depend on several factors, including the type of herb, the climate, and the amount of sun or shade your plants receive. Generally, most herbs need about 1-2 inches of water per week. Make sure to check the soil before watering to ensure it is dry. If the soil is still moist, you can wait another day or two before watering again.
4. Is Morning Sun Enough For Herbs?
The morning sun is always best so that you don’t have to deal with the scorching heat of the afternoon. You should get full sun if you live in a cool climate or during the winter. It is important to nourish herbs in winter, but water them less often than in summer because they will grow slower.
5. How Long Do Herb Plants Last?
Herbs that grow year-round include basil, borage, chervil, cilantro/coriander, dill, fennel, German chamomile, lemon grass, marjoram, parsley, stevia, and summer savory. In addition to living for two or more years, perennial herbs grow and spread year after year. Spring will see these herbs sprout anew after dying back to the ground in the winter.
In conclusion, herbs are a fantastic addition to any garden – they are easy to grow and provide delicious flavorings for your dishes. So don’t wait any longer: get planting now and enjoy the rewards of homegrown herbs all year round.