Herb Planting Tips

Today we donated herb seedling to the Flavors Of The Valley event hosted by Vital Communities. That got me thinking about suggestions for planting.

We sell annual, perennial and biennial herbs at our green houses and have a few tips below for those of you who are interested.  Many of our herbs are perennials and return for several years. Commonly, they become woody after about four years and may need to be replaced. This group includes Thyme, Oregano, Sage, and Lavender.

Some of our perennials multiply easily by division including Tarragon, Chives and Mint. While Catnip is a perennial in our climate, our active kitties usually necessitate annual plantings.

Curly Parsley is a biennial, which means that it takes two years for it to produce seeds. Usually it returns the year after you plant, but it will become bitter as it flowers.  We recommend planting parsley each spring, while enjoying the tasty early greens from last year’s returning plants. Parsley’s relatives, Chervil and Cilantro are best direct seeded, but can be transplanted successfully in small clumps.

All of the above herbs are somewhat frost hardy in the fall and will tolerate a light frost in the spring if hardened off in advance of planting. Dill, Flat leaf Parsley and Rosemary are also cold tolerant which means established fall plants will survive a light frost, but need to be protected in the early spring. Dill is best planted directly from seed right after your peas, and then several times during the gardening season, just like cilantro.

Borage , Marjoram, Summer Savory, and all the Basils are sensitive not only to frost, but cold as well. So wait until the soil warms up and the temperatures stabilize for the summer (yes, we know that never really happens here) before planting. If your garden is in a cold pocket, we recommend growing these herbs in a pot for the entire summer. Start off small in the spring so the pots are easy to bring in on cool nights. Come by the greenhouses if you have any herb questions and we will try and answer them.