Fragrant herbs will add a flavou
Fragrant herbs will add a flavour punch to any meal, particularly when they are freshly snipped from your own garden. Plant in your garden beds, pots and containers, and you’ll be harvesting a bumper crop of homegrown herbs this season. Get our guide to growing garden-fresh herbs as seen on HOMEmade below.
Download a printable PDF guide here
- Choose a spot outside that is close to your kitchen, or put pots on a sunny windowsill inside, for easy access.
- Next choose your herb plants. There are a variety of herbs to choose from based on your taste and cooking preferences. On HOMEmade the team planted rosemary, oregano, parsley, basil, chives and mint. To add extra interest and colour to the garden space they also planted lavender, Michelia Gracipies, gardenias, Dietes Grandi and assorted potted colour including marigolds for a beautiful herb feature garden.
- Like building a house a good foundation is the key to success in your garden. The better the soil, the better your plants will grow. If you are starting with an existing garden bed dig in organic matter like sheep pellets and Tui Compost to your soil.
- Then you can add a layer of Tui Herb Mix, a free draining planting mix, rich in nitrogen to promote green, leafy growth and continuous harvesting. If planting in pots and containers, fill with Tui Herb Mix.
- If you’re a first time gardener you may find it easier to grow from seedlings, rather than seeds, although seeds are a more economical option. Some herbs are best grown from seed in your garden or pots, such as coriander and parsley. Check seed packets or plant labels for individual planting instructions.
- The best times to plant are early in the morning or late in the day, so the plants aren’t exposed to the hot sun straight away.
- Always water plants well before and after planting.
- Don’t be shy when planting herbs as they quite like close neighbours, and you can always plant herbs in between other plants as they make great space fillers and companion plants.
Directions for planting in garden beds:
- Dig a hole, approximately twice the size of the root ball of your plant.
- Partly fill hole with Tui Herb Mix.
- Fill a bucket with water and add two capfuls of Seasol, a seaweed based plant tonic that promotes strong root growth and reduces transplant shock.
- Soak seedlings in the bucket of Seasol, ensuring they are fully submerged.
- Gently loosen the root ball of your plant and position the plant in the centre of the planting hole.
- Fill in with Tui Herb Mix.
- Press soil gently around the base of the plant.
- Water well.
When planting several herbs at once, it is just as easy to add a layer of the mix to the whole area before planting.
Directions for planting in pots and containers:
- If your container has no drainage holes, add stones to the bottom of the container to act as drainage.
- Partly fill your container with Tui Herb Mix. Tap the container gently on the ground to settle the mix.
- Fill a bucket with water and add two capfuls of Seasol. Soak seedlings in the bucket of Seasol, ensuring they are fully submerged.
- Gently loosen the root ball of your plant and position the plant in the container. Ensure the plant is sitting at the same level in the soil as it was in its seedling container.
- Fill in with Tui Herb Mix, up to 3cm from the top.
- Press soil gently around the base of the plant.
- Water your plant well.
- Feed your herbs and they will feed you. Plants use nutrients from the soil as they grow, so replenishing the nutrients ensures your plants grow to their full potential.
- Feed your herbs with Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser.
- Well watered, well nourished herbs will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay.
For novice gardeners a few herbs grown in pots can be the perfect introduction to the joys of ‘growing your own’. For those more experienced gardeners, get inspired in the kitchen and try growing different herbs that suit your culinary style.
- Most herbs in pots can be grown indoors and outdoors – choose a sunny windowsill when growing indoors.
- If you want to try something different, plant a combination of Vietnamese mint, Thai basil and lemongrass – all wonderful additions to Asian cooking.
- Over summer some herbs like coriander, parsley and basil are prone to go to seed. To avoid, water your herbs consistently, regularly pick, remove flowers and remove parts of the plant that go to seed. If your herbs do go to seed there is an upside – the flowers are great for beneficial insects like bees, and if you let them fully dry out you can collect the seeds for next season!
- Pick fresh herbs and add to your salad or stir-fry.
- If you have an excess of herbs, chop them up and freeze them in ice cubes – these can then be used in drinks and meals later in the year. Mint is especially good for this.
- Hyssop deters white butterfly from brassicas like cabbages and Brussels sprouts.
- Basil improves the flavour of tomatoes when planted alongside.
- Some herbs tend to take over the garden once planted like mint. To avoid, plant in pots rather than garden beds.