Alan Titchmarsh’s tips on creating a herb garden | Garden | Life & Style

Basil

Why grow it?

Perfect for patios and windowsills all year round, plant this deliciously scented, flavoursome herb outside from mid-June to early August.

Conditions and care

Water little and often and use a general-purpose liquid feed regularly on plants grown in pots or tubs. Nip off flower buds and sow a new pot every two months or so.

Problems: Greenfly.

Chives

Why grow it?

These come up each year. The stems lend a mild onion flavour to sauces and salads, while the flowers can be used as decoration and will attract bees to your garden.

Conditions and care

Plant April to June and harvest from May to September. Keep it weeded and watered during dry spells.

Problems: Spindly growth may indicate too shady a spot.

Dill

Why grow it?

This tall plant with feathery foliage lends itself to rambling potagers and floral arrangements.

Conditions and care

Sow in tubs or window boxes from April to late June and through the winter for a cut-and-come-again crop. Water sparingly during dry spells and weed regularly.

Problems: Failure to grow well is usually because the soil is too wet and heavy or the spot is too shady.

Lavender

Why grow it?

Lavenders add colour and fragrance to gardens, but whether grown in beds, borders or pots, the flowers and leaves can be used in cookery.

Conditions and care

Plant young pot-grown lavenders in a sunny, sheltered spot with well-drained soil and a little organic matter from late April until the end of July. Lavender can be used in a mixture of dried leafy herbs.

Problems: Rosemary beetle.

Mint

Why grow it?

Few gardeners are ever without this classic herb, but when it is not well grown it tends to spread everywhere and is prone to mildew.

Conditions and care

Between April and June, plant in fertile, moist ground enriched with well-rotted organic matter. Mulch and feed each spring. 

Problems: Dig up in spring every second year and replant a strong section in a new area.

Parsley

Why grow it?

Parsley is ideal for sauces and stocks or raw as a garnish. The plants are best…

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