Know and Grow your Herbs


Kitchen gardening

Know and Grow your Herbs

Grow herbs for the kitchen and for health; in the garden or in pots. When grown in pots indoors, remember to keep them in full sun and away from dry air. A sunny windowsill is ideal.


Annual herbs are easily grown from seed every year. Do not allow the plants to flower, form seeds and die too early. Pinch off the flower buds as soon as they appear, but stop doing so at the end of summer, when they reseed. The seeds can then be harvested for sowing.

Annuals include :

Basil: There are many varieties, including anise-flavoured Thai Basil. Early Romans thought that the seeds would grow better if they planted them while cursing loudly.

Borage: Has star-like blue flowers, is hairy and self-seeds abundantly. Use the flowers and young leaves to give a cucumber flavour to soups and salads. The ancient wisdom thought Borage would drive away melancholy when added to wine.

Chervil: This herb is used in classic French cooking. It prefers cool weather and grows quickly. It is best sown successively in Spring and late Summer. It is thought that Chervil stops hiccups.

Dill: This herb grows up to one metre and is grown for the strong flavour of its leaves and seeds. Sown a a Winter annual, it prefers cool weather and needs frequent watering. A drink made of Dill lulls children to sleep.

Nasturtium: This herb thrives almost anywhere and self-sows abundantly. Nasturtiums bear bright red, yellow and orange flower which, together with the peppery leaves and seeds, are all edible and piquant ingredients in salads. Has natural anti-biotic properties. The Nasturtium was used as a victory flower in the Middle Ages.

Perennials: Many kitchen herbs are perennial and are easy to grow. Most perennial herbs prefer well-drained, sometimes poor soil. Plant in full sun and never fertilise, as too much nourishment makes for weak, not hardy, growth and dilutes the concentration of the flavourful oils in the leaves. A light bark mulch, kept clear of the plant