Updated May 30, 2023 – A lot of herbs are very easy to grow and make a very useful addition to your vegetable garden. You may like to create a separate section in your garden for growing herbs or you can plant them amongst your vegetables and even ornamentals as companion plants. Here are 3 easy to grow herbs to have in your garden:
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This popular and widely used herb is a great source of vitamins C, K and A as well as flavonoids that act as antioxidants to protect the body’s cells from oxidative damage and stress.
Parsley is a great digestive aid and blood tonic so instead of just using it as a garnish, as you’ll find in a lot of restaurants, eat some every day to give yourself a health boost.
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This herb is very easy to grow however the seeds can be slow to germinate. To help speed things up you can soak your parsley seeds in a wet paper towel overnight before planting. Parsley likes good sunlight, however, it can withstand a little shade and can even be grown indoors in a bright spot. It also likes moisture so keep it well watered.
To harvest your parsley snip stems off close to the ground and choose the stems which are on the outside of the plant to encourage bushier, fuller growth. Once planted parsley will last for years in the ground. You can prune it quite heavily, especially when the seed heads start to form, and it will come back time after time.
Basil is originally a tropical plant so it needs to grow in the warmer months once the frosts are over. Like parsley, basil likes to be grown in full sun and kept well watered. Once growing you can tip prune the plants to encourage bushier growth and also pinch off the flower heads so that the plants produce more foliage.
Traditionally basil is used in Mediterranean dishes and goes well with tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. If you have a few plants you can even make your own pesto. Basil is also used in a lot of Thai and Vietnamese dishes.
Sweet Basil is a rich source of vitamin K, beta carotene and iron and has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Basil can also improve circulation, increase immune function and reduce inflammation as well as other health benefits.
This wonderful herb which we traditionally associate with roast lamb prefers a sunny spot. It will tolerate semi-shade and prefers adequate watering. Rosemary doesn’t tolerate heavy frosts so in cold climates you may have to replant each spring, however, in areas with milder winters, it can continue growing all year round.
You can grow Rosemary from seed, cuttings or by layering. This will enable you to grow some additional plants in pots indoors over winter. Especially, if you live in a very cold climate.
Some of the health benefits of rosemary include relief from abdominal pain, gout and insomnia. Plus, it’s a great antiseptic. It is also thought that the aroma of rosemary helps to improve memory as does the use of rosemary essential oil.
Frequently Asked Questions
Parsley can certainly be grown indoors. However, basil and rosemary do need a fair amount of light. So, if you have a nice bright spot near a window, you can successfully grow these indoors. If you don’t have a nice bright window for growing herbs indoors, you might want to invest in a grow light that will provide some additional warmth as well.
Absolutely! These herbs will grow well together in a single garden bed. However, if you’re growing in pots, you want to provide them with a pot each. This is because rosemary and basil can grow quite large and need a fair amount of space.
In general, parsley and basil don’t require pruning on a regular basis because their annual plants and will complete their life cycle in one season. However, in temperate areas, rosemary can be grown as a perennial, so it will benefit from annual pruning. You want to do this in late spring or early summer after flowering has finished.
Parsley, basil and rosemary can be dried in order to extend their storage time. One of the easiest ways to dry herbs is by using a food dehydrator.
With all these benefits as well as the delicious taste of different herbs, they are certainly worth growing in your own garden. We’ll look at some other useful herbs in future articles.