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Herbs masterclass: best expert content


Golden Feverfew flowers from Thompson & Morgan

Herbs like feverfew attract pollinators and provide an edible crop
Image: Feverfew from Thompson & Morgan

Here’s everything you need to know to grow your own herbs. Hugely versatile, herbs are great for adding flavour to food, making fresh tea and even feeding to other plants. Take a look through these independent blog articles, YouTube videos and Instagram posts for a wealth of top growing tips. Want to grow your own? Browse our wide range of herb seeds or pick up a few herb plants to get your kitchen garden off to a flying start.

Carol Bartlett – Thompson & Morgan blog

Dill leaves in ground

Annual culinary herbs like dill are best started from seed
Image: Dill from Thompson & Morgan

What’s the best way to start your culinary herb garden? “If you want to grow from seed, I suggest parsley, coriander, chives and basil – you’ll need a regular succession of these plants to keep your kitchen in business,” says expert Carol Bartlett writing for the Thompson & Morgan blog. And if you don’t have time to start them from seed, Carol suggests a list of herbs that are best ordered as garden ready plants.

Emma – The Unconventional Gardener

Mint plants growing in white container

Mint is an ideal herb to fill containers
Image: The Unconventional Gardener

Brand new to container herb growing? Emma, AKA The Unconventional Gardener, says the first thing to do is get the right pot. “Herb plants are sold in small pots, which will quickly be outgrown,” she says. Emma recommends using pots that are a minimum of 15 cm to keep your container herbs happy. Find lots more beginner-friendly herb growing tips in this helpful article.

Martin – Gardening step by step

Pinching out sweet basil flowers

Pinch out your sweet basil for plenty of lush growth during the summer months
Image: Nancy J. Ondra/Shutterstock

Basil is the king of herbs for blogger Martin, creator of Gardening step by step. His first tip for healthy and flavoursome basil? “Prick out the individual seedlings and grow them in separate pots.” Read this succinct but comprehensive article to find out the next four steps to growing your own brilliant basil!

Peter – A Thorny Pot

Harvesting basil from pots on windowsill

Grow your own herbs on the windowsill over the winter months
Image: A Thorny Pot

Limited space? Grow basil and parsley over winter indoors, says Peter from A Thorny Pot. Not only is it possible to grow flavoursome herbs on the windowsill, it’s also a good way to use up half-empty seed packets. You won’t get the same growth as in summer, Peter says, but if you remove the growing tips, you’ll still get healthy, bushy plants. See the whole process demonstrated in his friendly YouTube video.

Charles Dowding

Man showing no dig herb bed

Charles Dowding shares his no-dig gardening wisdom
Image: Charles Dowding

Looking for herbs that crop well in colder areas? Charles Dowding suggests growing blocks of coriander and dill. Sow them under cover in February, then plant outdoors under fleece to give you a longer cut-and-come-again style crop before they go into flowering mode in early summer, he says. Watch as Charles takes you through sowing, pricking out and planting your herbs in this excellent video.

Carol Bartlett – The Sunday Gardener

Chives on a cutting board next to chive flowers

Chives are fantastic and versatile herbs
Image: Chive seeds from Thompson & Morgan

Looking for herbs to plant in a darker part of the garden? Carol Bartlett, the gardening expert behind The Sunday Gardener, says that coriander, tarragon and parsley are some of the best herbs for growing in shade. Chives also thrive in areas that get less light, with the added “bonus of being really bee-friendly,” she says. Read her full article for more advice on growing shade-tolerant herbs, and see the diverse collection of pollinators covering her chives in her quick video.

Elle Meager – T&M Blog

Lemon balm leaves from Thompson & Morgan

Lemon balm is a hardy perennial that you plant once and harvest for years
Image: Lemon Balm from Thompson & Morgan

Annual herbs are a staple of many kitchen gardens, but perennial herbs save many hours of hard work in the garden by returning year after year. In a guest post for Thompson & Morgan’s blog, Elle Meager shares ten of her favourite perennial herbs. “Perennial herbs get to spread their roots for many years, so they’re great at looking after themselves,” explains Elle. What’s more, they provide you with “harvest after harvest, thriving on little to no TLC.” Simple!

Liz Zorab – Byther Farm

Woman showing off herb raised bed

Liz grows perennial herbs in a special hugelkultur raised bed
Image: Liz Zorab – Byther Farm

YouTuber Liz Zorab at Byther Farm keeps her perennial herbs healthy by giving them a good tidy in March. Find out how to ‘spring clean’ your herbs by watching Liz remove old flower heads along with any plants that didn’t survive the winter. And if you’re left with an unexpected gap in your herb bed, check out another of Liz’s fantastic videos, ‘5 Easy Perennial Herbs’, for inspiration.

Robyn – @go_dig_or_go_home

Raised bed herb garden near house

Plant herbs near the house so you easily add them to meals
Image: @go_dig_or_go_home

Over at @go_dig_or_go_home, Instagrammer Robyn planted her herb patch for two reasons: for pollinators and for cooking. Find out which herbs she chose for flowers and flavour in this lovely post. And if you only have room for a small container, try Robyn’s idea for planting up an upcycled apple crate that can be kept right by your kitchen door.

Mitch – @mitch_grows

Collection of Lavandula angustifolia seedlings in pots

Lavandula angustifolia seedlings need to get a little bigger before planting out
Image: @mitch_grows

Take inspiration from no-dig champion Mitch over at @mitch_grows and plant a low hedge of Lavandula angustifolia around your vegetable patch. A beautifully scented herb grown for its cosmetic and medicinal uses, Mitch says: “They’ll form a fragrant border edging around our vegetable garden, the local bees are going to be very pleased indeed.” Take a look at Mitch’s post to see how he gets his baby lavender ready for hedge planting.

Benedict Vanheems – GrowVeg

Herbs growing in flower border

Herbs look great dotted through the flower border
Image: GrowVeg

There are herbs for every part of the garden, says YouTuber Ben from gardening channel GrowVeg. Try pairing herbs with wildflowers, placing taller varieties (like fennel) at the back of your borders for structure. Or fill decorative pots with ornamental herbs to brighten up your patio, he suggests. Give Ben’s video a watch to find the best varieties for your outdoor space along with some clever herb garden design tips.

Nick and Rich – Two Thirsty Gardeners

Homemade lemon verbena tea

Making tea from fresh herbs is as easy as adding hot water
Image: Two Thirsty Gardeners

If you’re looking for a round-up of the best herbs to grow for a brew, check out 5 best homegrown herbal teas, tried and tested by the Two Thirsty Gardeners. From surprisingly zingy flavours like lemon basil to more traditional ‘tea-like’ herbs, these naturally caffeine-free suggestions make a delicious infusion at any time of day. Read their article for packaging-free alternatives to shop-bought products, and take a look at their brand new book, Wild Tea, for worldwide tea recipes including kombucha, homemade chai and more.

Huw Richards

Comfrey leaves from Thompson & Morgan

Add comfrey leaves to a bucket of water to make your very own liquid fertiliser
Image: Comfrey from Thompson & Morgan

You can get more than one type of harvest from your annual herb plants,” says YouTuber Huw Richards. Deliberately allowing some of his herbs to go to seed, Huw then collects it to dry for homemade spice mixes and pickles. Coriander is his favourite. Another of Huw’s top herbs is perennial comfrey – find out more about this natural fertiliser in his video: Growing and Using Comfrey.

Lucy – @gardening_life_for_me

Lavender cuttings in hand

Lavender will produce roots from cuttings
Image: @gardening_life_for_me

Want to have a go at producing your own lavender plants? Take a look at Lucy’s post over at @gardening_life_for_me where her lavender cuttings from October are looking great six months later. “They actually developed roots so I’ve potted them on into their own 9cm pots,” says Lucy. Check out her post to learn her trick for successful rooting.

Catherine – Growing Family

Herbs being preserved in ice cube trays

Preserve herbs to keep enjoying their flavours in winter
Image: Shutterstock/Ahanov Michael

Are you experiencing a rush of growth from your herbs? Catherine from Growing Family preserves her herb crop by freezing it for use later in the year. “Chop the herbs and sprinkle them into an ice cube tray. Think about how much you’d normally add to a recipe and aim for that amount in each cube,” she says. They’re great for pasta sauce! You’ll find other excellent ways to preserve your fragrant harvest in this helpful article.

We hope you’ve found this herb-growing content helpful. For even more excellent advice, head over to our herbs hub page. And if you have a favourite variety, please share it with us on social using #YourTMGarden. We love to hear your success stories!



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