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What Are the “Best Herbs to Grow”

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Herb Growing: A satisfying Hobby:

Growing herbs can be a very satisfying hobby because they can grow quickly. They are also quite hardy and have many practical uses. For beginner gardeners it is important to understand it is never too late
to take up herb gardening, and it can be a lot of fun.

There is nothing more satisfying than harvesting aromatic herbs during a warm summer morning. Often the fragrances will waft throughout the garden, and those herbs that might be planted in among pavers or stones on the garden path, will crush underfoot as you walk along, releasing some incredible intoxicating scents. It is a wonderful, relaxing way to spend your leisure time.

As a beginner, to get you started there are various necessities and instructions that you will need to understand. For one you will need to make sure you have all the
essential tools you will require before you start creating a herb garden. Secondly you must be aware of which herbs are suitable for your location and soil conditions. So grab your Spade, Hoe, garden rake and wheelbarrow and get busy.

But don’t forget your plants. Most local Garden centers or plant nurseries will stock a huge range of plants. Simply talk to the expert in these centers to find out which herbs best suit your climatic conditions.

It is never advisable to try growing every herb at once, but you can choose a few easier to grow varieties to begin with. Start with about five or six species that will satisfy your personal requirements and provide you with seasoning for your recipes. This way you will be able to test out if they are the plant for you and just how easy they will grow in your conditions. Once you find that your initial plantings are beneficial to you and growing well, then you can become more adventurous and try other varieties.

Generally, herbs types, like other plants are classified according to the length of their growing season and usages.

There are three major categories which are:

annuals:

Which are planted at the beginning of each growing season and only last for one season. You will need to replant new ones of these every year.

Some more popular annual varieties include basil, cilantro, anise, borage, chervil coriander, dill, fennel, and summer savory.

Annuals will not survive extreme cold weather.

Perennials:

They are planted once and will survive for many years. In colder climates certain varieties will die off in winter, becoming dormant, and return every
spring with a new flush of growth.

Herbs in this category include, oregano, tarragon, bee balm, mint chives and winter savory.

Biennials:

These are plants that survive for at least two years as they require two full seasons to complete there life cycle.

The seeds of this type are usually sown in the last days of spring on moist soils that have been prepared to a fine texture.

Some of these types of herbs include; angelica, parsley, and also caraway.

Types according to their usage:

Herbs are also grouped into categories according to their various usage.

Culinary herbs:

For most gardeners,
culinary herbs are the favorites because of their multiple applications in the kitchen.
They can be used as food flavors, in various recipes or used as a garnish.

Examples of culinary herbs include bay leaf, coriander horseradish, curry leaf,
garlic, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, lemon balm marjoram, safflower, saffron,
sage, savory, rosemary, ginger, star anise, tarragon, tamarind, thyme.

Varieties that are fantastic in salads include; Angelica, basil, celery, chervil, fenugreek, chive, dill, fennel, cress,
mint, oregano, onion, parsley.

Aromatherapy herbs:

These types of herbs are a fine choice for the beginner gardener who has just started growing herbs. They are often used in cottage gardens or even container gardens, where their aroma’s can permutate from outside, through an open window and into the home. Some are used for toiletries and others used for perfumes or simply used scent linen and clothing.

Aromatic herbs include; Sage, vanilla, lavender, peppermint, chamomile, rosemary, bergamot, and
cinnamon. Many of the above herbs, when dried, are used to make potpourri, creating a long lasting fragrance for the home.

Medicinal herbs:

For thousands of years people have been using various herbs as cures for different ailments, and for purification for different transendencies in ancient civilizations.

It is becoming an increasing practice today to grow herbs for medicinal purposes. Because of
various side effects of many over the counter drugs, many people have grown a
tendency to turn towards natural herbal cures. However, it is always advisable to
seek professional help before deciding to use any herbal mixture for curative
purposes.

The major examples of these types of herbs are; bee balm, ground- ivy catnip and the red clover. Lavender can be used to relax spasms; rosemary for headaches, etc.

Herbs are not only used for physical illness. Mental and emotional treatments are usually alleviated by
natural treatments, for example, you can use chamomile tea or a lavender bath
to relieve anxiety. Try it sometime and you will feel the stress melt away.

Readily available herbs can be used to keep your mind refreshed and calm. Helping you to deal with mood swings that can often cause you lose your self-esteem.

Ornamental herbs:

These are herbs used or grown for their beauty, most of them have bright colors or foliage.
They can range from white, light colors through to the richer tones of say, Valerian, which
has reddish blossoms. Other ornamental herbs include borage, and chicory which also have gorgeous blue flowers.

Many of the herbs included in other categories, such as lavender, are also included as being ornamental.

There are other herbs which have multiple uses like mint which is used for cooking, like herbal tea and
even used for pest control. You can keep all your refreshed herbs readily available
by developing your own herb garden. You will find the whole experience, inexpensive, calming, and invigorating.

“Herb Growing” Can Be lots of Fun.

Know that you know what are the “best herbs to grow”, there’s nothing to stop you from starting your own little plot. Growing your own herbs will guarantee that you have what you want, when you need it, readily on hand. Why not plan and decide to start one today. All you will need is a small area somewhere in the garden to begin. Or you can simply grow them in containers.

==>If you enjoyed this article about herb growing then why not click here for more information<==

Happy Gardening. Jim

Jim Kulk

46 Comments

  1. This is a lovely subject area, and nicely written. I would also be interested in any advice about growing herbs indoors. Thank you.

    • Hi Joanne. Thank you for ready my blog on herbs. In a future article I will be looking at growing both herbs and other plants indoors. Look forward to your comments on that blog. Jim

  2. I’m not much of a gardener, although I like the idea of just reaching out to your own planting, when cooking a meal. I actually made some attempts with herb seeds that every supermarket sells during spring. It took ages before I could even see anything and when it was grown, it was disappointingly little yield. So I decided it’s easier to hit the next florist and buy the fully developed product. Some suggestions, what I’ve done wrong?

    • Hi Felix. If you’re just starting out growing herbs I’d suggest you stick to seedlings such as Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, Rosemary and Basil. These are easy to grow from seedlings. Seeds , especially Thyme, can be more difficult to start off. Some take longer then others to germinate. Jim

  3. I really like Ornamental herbsThese look really cool and have a lot of tones. I will recommend my aunt to have a look at this as she always looks for this stuff.

    • Thank you Furkan. It’s my pleasure to bring information on herbs. Tell your Aunt to look out for my A to Z of Herbs coming out soon. Jim

  4. My favorite herb to grow is dill. It grows to five or six feet and looks incredibly wild. It kind of takes over the garden. I love how it scents the air though. My garden smells like a pickle.

    • Hi Melinda. Yes, Dill is a fantastic herb to grow and looks great in the back of any herb garden due to its height. Like many other herbs, it does have a fantastic scent. Jim

  5. This is a great subject. I enjoyed it and was pleasantly surprised with your presentation of the many ways to use the herbs. I can see where it is also an expansion on my own interest. You have a lot of great information and you know your subject . Great post! Keep up the good work!

  6. My grandma is a big fan of Culinary herbs and have been growing her own for many years. I always love tasting her favorite ones and listening to her stories about how she grew her herbs, how long it took her etc. But man, no one can beat her herbs yet, no matter where I go they don’t even come close to hers! I had no idea herbs can be used for physical AND mental treatment. This is a big eye opener and I can’t wait to ask my grandma about this, I’m sure she has lots of stories.

    PS: Do you recommend planting them in the garden or a container?

    • Hi Brandon. I would love to hear from your grandma on this subject. Maybe she would like to write a guest blog on my site about her experiences with herbs? As for where to plant them, this depends on factors such as climate and available space. Personally I like to grow them in the garden and in containers. Jim

  7. Hi Jim thank you for this wonderful information. Your article shows that you are very fond of gardening. You have such great knowledge of herbs and their usages. Today our planet’s biggest concern is global warming and your website is a big step to motivate others towards plantation and gardening. In India, we have great importance for herbs in Ayurveda and it can be used to cure many diseases. I would again like to thank you for such a great article. 

    • Hi Sourabh. I feel honored that you appreciated my blog on herbs. Please look out for a more comprehensive guide to these fascinating plants that will arrive on my site shortly. Thanks Jim

  8. Thanks for the informative post.  We just planted our first garden this year and we started out small.  A few tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, etc.  We may have gone overboard with the tomatoes.

    I was looking to start a few herbs but wasn’t sure where to start.  Of course I want herbs from all 3 categories LOL.  I was looking at oregano, tarragon, basil, cilantro and parsley.  Is there one you’d recommend starting with?  What are your thoughts on growing indoors vs in an outdoor garden?  These will be used for culinary purposes.

    Thank you

    • Hi Scott. Oregano, Basil and Parsley are all herbs that are easy to grow and widely used in the kitchen. Perhaps you should start with these. Most herbs can be grown either indoors or outdoors, it depends on your climatic zone and how much space you have available. We have a large garden but we still like to grow herbs in pots as well, so you can do both. Hope this helps. Jim

      • Thanks Jim,
        It looks like I have my first 3 choices then :). Oregano, Basil and Parsley it is. We just recently remodeled the kitchen and I have a lot of counter space now. I’m thinking of getting one of those little desktop grow kits with lights and all. Out of curiosity, are there any you’d recommend?

        Thanks again,
        Scott

        • Hi Scott. I must admit to knowing very little about these ‘desktop grow kits’, But it is something I’ll look into as soon as I have a chance. In the meantime I know they have them available at Amazon. If you follow any link on one of my review pages it should take you there. Happy Gardening. Jim

  9. Hi, JIM 

    WOW, I read every single word with you, it is  what I will try next summer, and I like to try it indoors too, then I can try it now in the winter, I want to grow Medicinal herbs since I’m very interested in Medicinal herbs and have been that for many years, I can hardly wait to get started, looking forward to seeing your next article.

    Thank you for your excellent article.

    Best regardsSalomon.

    • Hi Salomon. I’m glad you enjoyed my article. Please do return, I’ll be adding far more blogs about herbs shortly. Thanks Jim

  10. Hi Jim.  I love this post about herbs.  I absolutely love herbs but they can sometimes be expensive to buy fresh.  I recently started my own herb garden.  I have decided to start with spring onions, chives and cilantro.  Are spring onions and chives considered herbs?  

    Do you have any advice on the best way to preserve these for later use?  I want to start a stock pile for the winter months. 

    • Hi Rika. Yes, spring onions and chives can be classified as herbs. Why not try some thyme, rosemary and Basil as well. All these are easy to grow and will add some beautiful scents to your garden. All the best. Jim

  11. Hello,

    I love growing herbs. I enjoy growing many different kinds but my very favorite is lemon thyme. It has such an amazing lemon flavor! I don’t have room for a real garden anymore but herbs can be grown in pots on a small balcony or even in a windowsill. This summer I had thyme and catnip outside on our balcony for the cats and I often have basil, mint or rosemary growing inside. Herbs are generally hardy and easy to grow so I agree, there is no reason not to try some!

    I miss having old, large chive plants. When I was growing up we had old clumps that just thrived. I love the pretty purple flowers and we put fresh chives in everything. When I buy chive starts they never do very well now since I haven’t overwintered them so they can get bigger over the years.

    I saw you mentioned tamarind in the list of culinary herbs. I don’t think of tamarind as an herb…is it?

    Thanks!

    Jessica

    • Hi Jessica. The fruits of the Tamarind are considered to have herbal properties. Herbs aren’t necessarily restricted to being small plants. There are many larger, shrub like plants as well. Thyme is certainly a fascinating plant, it can come in many gorgeous flavors (as I like to call them), including your Lemon and orange and many others. They would be great planted in a pot on a balcony, you could rub them with your fingers every time you venture out there, this will release those incredible scents. Thanks Jim

  12. Great post and very educating. Make you really want to grow your own herbs. At my parents house, my mother used to grow. it was always a pleasure to drink tea out of her garden. Right now i’m considering growing parsley in my garden. I live in QLD Australia. Do you have certain tips? Is the weather good for this kind of herb?

    • Hi Nir. Yes, Queensland is perfect for many of the herb species. Parsley will grow well but you will need to put in new plants every year, particularly in the wet season. All the best. Jim

  13. Jim, hello. You ask the question: “What are the best herbs to grow?” And you answer with this your “delicious” article. 

    You answer exactly with the Chinese saying: “Let all the flowers grow.” 

    Your post does not need advice and remarks. It smells of herbs. Keep writing for your readers. 

    You see how many comments you get.And I’ll go count my herbs in the garden. 

    They do not freeze in the climate of Jerusalem. My wife loves growing herbs and we will ask your advice. 

    She cares about this activity and will certainly ask you.

    • Hi Kabakov. Thank you for your wonderful comments. I hope your wife enjoys the article as much as you do. Please keep an eye open for my future blogs on herbs. I will be constructing an A to Z of herbs soon. Thanks Jim

  14. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for this very informative article! It helps me boarden my knowlege more about how many kinds of Herb there are. I have to admit that I only know few kinds of herb, not until  after reading this wonderful article that I found myself with loads of information about the usage of a particular herbs and the perfect season for planting of a particular herb that you could benefit from.

    Glenda

    • Hi Glenda. Thanks for reading my article . Herbs are definitely fascinating plants. The more you grow them, the more you want to grow different varieties. I hope you return for further blogs on this subject. Jim

  15. A really helpful article mate!

    We’ve purchased an allotment about twelve months ago to grow simple vegetables with the kids (we live on the outskirts of London). We started off pretty simply really with carrots, potatoes and runner beans in season, but I don’t really know where to start with herbs, even though we’d like to. 

    Could you maybe give us an idea of two herbs which are resilient and simple enough to grow in our part of the world? We would love to have some sort of starting point! 

  16. Hi and thanks for creating a very interesting post, and I think it’s great that you highlight this a ms a potential family activity too. I had no idea that there are so many types of herbs to grow. I will be looking at your site again and I hope you will have some more useful content in the future too. Thanks a lot, kenny

  17. Hi Jim. You might already know that me and my son have started doing some gardening this year. Because he absolutely loves it, I think I can try this too. I’m gonna follow your advice and start with some easier to grow varieties.

    Thanks for giving me all these ideas. Love your site.

  18. Hi Jim, I love growing herbs, I have started with simple things like the lavender, and I love the wild garlic (not really a herb) but on list of favourites anyway, I also have parsley and oregano growing at the moment, they are easy to grow and easy to take of, as you mentioned in your post the smells that they give is refreshing, some herbs actually keep fly’s and other annoying insects away as well so they not only good for making the garden smell and look pretty but they have other uses that are beneficial as well. 

    Thank you for the great advice. 

  19. Wow Jim:) Thanks so much for this excellent array of advice for the best herbs to grow. you really have provided me with the ability to my great plan of having fresh herbs all year round, I really appreciate the broadness you have you have given in this subject. By far one of best pages to make decisions and get started.

  20. Hi Jim, I love your post on best herbs to grow, i have always had an interest in gardening but growing herbs were always somthing i struggled with as i live in a very hot climate and could never find the sweet spot they need. your information has certainly been interesting to read and discover there are so many and you have put them into categories which is very useful. Now i can stop wondering why an annual herb like basil doesn’t come back next year i thought it was just me.

    Thanks and best of luck, Shane.  

  21. Hi Jim, thanks for a great article.  I have been growing herbs I would say haphazardly over the years namely chillis, basil, rosemary and corriander as we love to use them in cooking – they just add so much freshness and flavour to any meal.  You are right that it is fun and my little one has also taken a keen interest.  

    My method has been to plant, hope they grow and water daily with mixed results.  After reading your article I have so many questions  hahaha..  I hope this is ok but I have three:

    1.  When Basil starts to shoot up those little seed stems, do I need to snip them off straight away or are they ok to leave?  Oh, and does it need to be fertilised regulalry?

    2.  Should I keep parsley in a pot to stop it spreading everywhere?

    3.  Does Coriander need to be pulled once the leaves start to look like dill (I hope this makes sense).

    Sorry for all the question but just couldn’t help myself…  I have bookmarked your site as I will be back for sure

    Paul

  22. This is a good read. Although I am not into gardening, but planting herbs sounds great. 

    But I don’t have a garden, will I still be able to plant it indoors? How much sunlight an herb plant needs? How do you water them? correct me if I’m wrong but herb plants look sensitive.

    I am really interested, so sorry for bomabarding you with questions. 

  23. Hello, Jim. I used to grow grape tomato but I never grew herbs in the past. I have a friend who thought me the basics of growing herbs but I never got into it more precisely. Thanks to your article, I am now motivated to start growing some herbs.

    But, as far as I know some Culinary herbs are really hard to grow like saffron. What do you think is the easiest one to start with? I don’t want to screw in my first attempt :))

    Thank you for your comprehensive guide.

    Best,

    Albert

  24. Hi, Jim.

    I think herbs can be fun for beginners because it’s easy to grow. You have divided them into their usage, and my favorite is culinary herbs, for its use to be a part to cook some meals. For the fragrance, I love the smell of lavender. Thank you for sharing this article.

  25. I was just looking for good references for the planting, my wife and I just moved in and in our new house we have a planted area and of course we would love to use, but we are not experts in this topic, and somehow we enjoyed reading a lot your post, has given us an idea of what we could plant and above of all, we can make use of it.

    Thank you

  26. My Grandpa also had Green fingers! Like he could plant stuff in a desert and it could grow. I think herbs are cool because of the way they grow and their applications in natural medicine (which is probably better than the chemical stuff right?)

    I have said before that if more people gardened the world would be a better place. Gardening creates a deep of respect for nature and life. It also teaches discipline, responsibility and patience (things we all need more of). Humans are destructive by nature (Its a fact look around!). 

    If we could all learn how to respect the environment and be more responsible I think that we would be on the better able to use the finite resources available to us. Gardening may seem like a hobby, but in fact learning more about it could help us solve a lot of problems (like pollution). Plants are a renewable resource that are essentially self sustaining and 

    they can be medicinal, herbal, aromatic, culinary and ornamental (cool word!). And to think all of this potential comes from a seed!

    • Yes indeed Renton. We underestimate the healing abilities of plants. You hit the nail on the head, plants are renewable, especially if we keep the seed, grow from cuttings and divide the clumps. If we look after our planet and grow the right foods there would be no reason for either starvation or ill health. Jim

  27. You made me remember my late father, he was a gardener and he would grow different types of flowers and when any of our family members fell ill, he would just go into the garden for the proper medicinal herb. 

    So in our view, we thought of them as flowers because the herbs were mixed up with all sorts of flowers. You could barely see him at a local hospital, he had a strong belief that pharmaceutical drugs were not good for health. And for sure, they are because there is hardly a drug you will get from a pharmacy that has no side effects but this contrary to natural herbs. 

    Do you have any top recommended “must have” herbs you encourage anyone to grow?

    Thanks so much for a well-detailed article.

    • Hi Ngonidzashe . In the end a herb is just another plant and can be used in any garden setting to add color and texture. It’s always fantastic to use herbs for ailments and health benefits. We grow Aloe’s in our garden which are fantastic to use if someone burns themselves, the sap is very cooling and seems to numb pain quickly. As for herbs that I would suggest for the average garden., well I think you couldn’t go past the basics such as Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon and Parsley. Jim

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