THE TRIBUTE GUIDE TO GROWING HERBS IN POTS
Blog by the Thirsty Gardeners.
If you’re hoping to develop green fingers during the lockdown then growing herbs is a good place to start. They’re generally easy to grow, maintenance-free plants that provide you with regular pickings to boost your culinary resources. They can all be started from seed and even with nurseries closed, you can still find healthy potted plants in supermarkets (see below). You don’t even need a garden – they’re great in pots with the majority suitable for growing indoors or out.
To get you in the mood, here are our ten favourite herbs for pot grown perfection.
Perennials (they come up every year)
Arguably the most care-free herb around. Its rambling roots (or rhizomes, to be technically correct) spread quickly so give it the biggest pot you can find and harvest regularly.
Some varieties grow huge and, as an evergreen, you can pick it all year round. Rosemary flavoured meals go great with beer (we even use it to brew with) and it’s a winner with barbecued food.
Oregano, and its milder cousin Marjoram, doesn’t like getting soggy so don’t overwater. It does like being sprinkled on pizza.
A tall, splendid looking plant with a celery-like flavour that works wonders in soups and stews. A very underrated herb.
Perfect for pots, this hollow-stemmed, clump forming plant has attractive (and edible) pink flowers and tastes like mild onion. Serve with baked potato, Cheddar cheese and a pint of Tribute.
A relative of rosemary and a favourite of stuffing mixes. Keep pots fairly dry and grow in a sunny spot.
Has a long winter hibernation but then springs to life with vigour. Smells like lemon sherbet and is one for dessert makers.
Annuals (one season wonders)
Easy to start from seed and prefers a cooler spot to grow. Pick leaves for curries but allow some seeds to form – they’re an essential ingredient for Belgian Witbiers and add a citrusy spice to meals.
Best friends with tomatoes. Likes warmth and sun so grow in a greenhouse or on your sunniest windowsill.
It can take a while for seeds to germinate and grow but look after it well and it might last into a second season.
How to grow supermarket herbs
Supermarket potted herbs are tightly packed and grown in a controlled, warm environment so if you want to grow them on, they’ll need repotting. Divide the plants into smaller clumps and rehome them into similar sized pots – you should get four or five from a standard sized supermarket pot.
If you intend to grow them outside, only transfer them when all danger of frost has passed and gradually introduce them to the outside over the course of a week or two – a process known as hardening off.