Herbs are a great addition to the garden. Many herbs live for years with minimal care and provide not only beauty to your home but also functionality. Other herbs, like basil, need to be planted yearly. It's hard to beat freshly grown herbs, and it's especially nice to know exactly how they were grown.

Below are a few things to consider when deciding where and what to plant.

Where to Plant Herbs

Herbs can be planted in a sunny to partially sunny area. In very hot climates, partial shade is best, but some herbs like thyme, rosemary, and sage thrive in full sun locations. Herbs can be planted in the ground, raised beds, or containers. Many of the herbs can be planted together in containers for convenience.

When planting mints, we recommend keeping them contained by planting in a container or other confined area. They have a tendency to spread and can take over a garden bed in no time. Of course, if that is your goal, then plant your mint and watch it spread.

When to Plant Herbs

Many herbs can be planted year round. These herbs include rosemary, thyme, sage, mints, parsley, chives, and a few others. Some herbs do not grow in the winter months and need to be planted each year. These herbs are typically planted in the spring and include herbs like basil and cilantro.

Things to Consider

Think about what herbs you like to use the most when deciding on what to plant. Remember, herbs can be grown in containers for easy harvesting or in raised beds or directly in the ground. Some herbs, like basil and cilantro will need to be replanted each year.

Most herbs are available in containers and many are available in seed packets. We carry a large assortment of herbs in 3 inch and 4 inch containers (some in gallon containers) from about the middle of March through October of each year. During the winter months, there are fewer varieties available.

Below are descriptions of some of the herbs we carry.


BASIL (Ocimum basilicum)
Varieties -Sweet Basil (large leaf). Bush Basil (small leaf), Lemon Basil (lemon scented): Annuals that grow to 24". Full sun. Plant 12" apart. Strong, sweet minty taste and aroma. USES: Goes with tomatoes, cheese, poultry, eggs, vegetables. Used in pizza, pesto, Italian, French, and Greek dishes. Add late in cooking. GOES WITH: Bay, chives, dill, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley, savory, and thyme.

CHAMOMILE (Matricaria recutita)
Plant in Full to Partial Sun. Plant 4" to 6" apart. USES: Tea from fragrant leaves or from dried flower heads.. Leaves or flowers for scented sachets.

CHIVES (Allimum schoenoprasum)
Perennial 12". Sun. Plant in clumps. Mild onion flavor, thrives on being cut back to base. USES: Herb butters, potatoes, vegetables, eggs, fish, soups, salads, sauces. Need little cooking. Flowers are edible. GOES WITH: Basil, cilantro, cress, dill, lemon balm, marjoram, oregano, parsley, sorrel, tarragon, thyme.

CORIANDER or CILANTRO (Coriandrum sativum)
Annual to 18". Sun. Bolts in heat, plant 6" to 8" apart. Produces Coriander seeds used in baking. Leaves of the plant are known as cilantro and resemble parsley foliage with bittersweet orange-sage flavor. USES: Mexican dishes. Use as a topping with hot peppers, tomatoes, chicken, seafood, beef. GOES WITH: Chives, garlic, marjoram, oregano, onions, parsley.

DILL (Anethum graveloens)
Annual to 24". Sun. Plant 8" to 12" apart. USES: Leaves or seeds for "dill" flavor in pickles, bread, eggs, cheese, fish, meat, salads, soup, seafoods, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and vinegars. Cooks satisfactorily but stronger flavor raw. GOES WITH: Basil, bay, chives, garlic, mint, parsley, sorrel, tarragon, cress.

LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis)
Perennial to 24". Sun or partial shade. Plant 12" apart. USES: Lemon flavored teas, soups, salads, replaces mint in recipes, fruit, fish, chicken, rice, butter sauces. Overpowered by stronger herbs. GOES WITH: Chives, dill, mint, parsley,shallots.

MARJORAM Sweet (Origanum marjorana)
Perennial to 12". Sun. Plant 6" to 8" apart. Pungent, sweet aroma, mild flavor. USES: meats, vegetables, poultry, game, fish, beans, pizza, stuffings, cheese, egg dishes. Strip leaves from stems for use. GOES WITH: Basil, bay, chives, cilantro, garlic, oregano ,mints, parsley, sage, rosemary, savory, thyme.

All are perennials to 18". Sun or shade. Plant 8" to 10" apart, they spread rapid ly. Peppermint (Menta piperita) Sharp, spicy fragrance. USES: leaves for flavoring tea, peas, lamb, veal, green or fruit salads, fish, poultry. Use sprigs or chopped leaves. Orangemint (M. p. citrata) very fragrant orange smell. Spearmint (M. spicata) Mild fragrance, most characteristics of Peppermint.

PARSLEY, Curly (Petroselinum crispum)
Biennial treated as annual, to 8" to 10". Sun or light shade. Plant 6" to 8" apart. Faint, celery-like flavor. USES: Flavors virtually all foods, good garnish. GOES WITH: All herbs.

PARSLEY, Italian Flat Leaf (P.c. neapolitan)
Most of the characteristics of curly parsley but with stronger flavor. Known as the gourmet's parsley.

ROQUETTE OR ARUGULA (Eruca vesicaria sativa)
Annual to 10". Sun. Plant 8" to 12" apart. Strong tasting, almost bitter. USES: Salad greens, butters, sautee with other greens, egg dishes. GOES WITH: Basil, cress, dill, mint, sage.

ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Perennial. Sun or light shade, likes air circula tion. Plant 12" apart. Known as "Queen of Herbs", associated with Christmas. USES: Grilled meats (pork, veal), lamb, poultry, vegetables (potatoes, beets, cabbage, beans, spinach, zucchini) stuffings, soups, marinades, breads, vinegars. Use sprigs or strip leaves, whole or chopped. Add to vinagrette. Bold and assertive. GOES WITH: Bay, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley, sage, savory, thyme.

SAGE (Salvia officinalis)
Perennial to 36". Sun. Plant 12" to 18" apart. Strong aroma and "sage" flavor. USES: Sausage, stuffings, game, fatty meats, vegetables, veal. Lay cut branches on grill for sage flavor and aroma. GOES WITH: Other robust herbs, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, thyme.

SORREL, French (Rumex acetosa)
Perennial to 12" first year, sun, plant 12" apart. Lemony, tart flavor, spinachlike, harvest leaves when they are 4 to 6". USES: Soups, green salads, sauces, garnish. Use whole or shredded, add to cooking at last minute. GOES WITH: basil, chives, dill, garlic, parsley, tarragon.

TARRAGON, French (Artemisia dracunculus sativa)
Perennial to 24". Sun. Plant 12" to 18" apart. Handle carefully, bruises easily, suffers in wet conditions, grows slowly. Harvest selectively the first year. Piquant, mild licorice flavor. USES: Seafood, poultry, fruit, pork, herb butters, marinades, salad dressings, vinegars. Use sprigs or strip leaves, whole or chopped. Called "King of Herbs" .GOES WITH: Basil, garlic, parsley, dill, mint, savory, sorrel, thyme.

THYME (Thymus vulgaris)
Perennial to 12". Sun. Plant 6" to 8" apart. Spicy, slightly sweet flavor. Pungent. USES: Chicken, veal, vegetables, marinades, soups, stews, Creole dishes, mandatory in French cooking. Also butters, dips, vinegars. GOES WITH: Basil, chives, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon.