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6 herbs to grow this summer

14th May 2019

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On the hunt for herbs to grow this summer? Find out Herbal Haven’s top 6

As far as the popular herbs are concerned, the old rhyme Scarborough Fair ‘parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme’ isn’t completely right –basil, mint and coriander have definitely got to be there in the top six.

Basil

Who doesn’t love fresh fragrant basil torn into their pasta or a rich bowl of tomato and basil soup?  Basil has a reputation of being difficult to grow – but this is because it loves the sun and lots of it. Think South of France, Italy, sunny Spain and you get the picture. So, there are a couple of easy rules for basil - don’t grow it outside before the beginning of May and only then if we are having a beautiful summer. If it is gloomy and damp, grow on a warm windowsill inside or a greenhouse if you are lucky enough to have one.

Coriander

Like marmite, coriander is either loved or loathed, but is a must have for curries and South American dishes, and is also good in a simple cheese sandwich. As an annual, it is quick to shoot into flower as the summer gets underway – but planted in the ground in light shade and left to its own devices, it will eventually self-seed, giving you an ever increasing patch emerging each spring. Otherwise eat the flowers and the delicious green seeds when they appear and simply keep planting more. Autumn planted coriander will forget all about flowering and carry on growing well into winter outside.

Mint

Fresh zingy mint, essential for teas, sauces, potatoes and many alcoholic drinks. It is best to grow outside in the garden if space is not an issue – or like most of us, a pot. Give it rich soil, plenty of feeding and then in each spring, tip the whole root ball, chop it in half and then repot one half back into fresh compost for another year.

Parsley
More than just a green garnish, parsley is one of the all-time favourites, adding flavour to many dishes and sauces. There is an old wives’ tale that says the planted seed ‘goes to the devil and back nine times’ due to the time it takes for the seed to germinate. As a biennial, it flowers in its second year when it will need replacing. In the ground it will self- seed and over the years produce the most beautiful clump.

Rosemary and thyme

I think rosemary and thyme would both need an equal spot in popularity. Both add flavour and warmth to food, especially in winter and aroma to all things summer. Give them both a sunny spot with a well-drained soil and enjoy them year round.

Herbal Haven are a specialist herb nursery growing over one hundred and fifty varieties of culinary, medicinal and aromatic herbs at our nursery in the hilliest part of Essex, close to Saffron Walden. To find out more, and to browse their complete range, visit herbalhaven.com

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