Growing your own herbs

You can’t beat the taste of fresh herbs, particularly rosemary, thyme and parsley, that have been freshly picked from your own garden

You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to figure out just how much flavour fresh herbs from your own garden add to home-cooked food.

Once you’ve started growing herbs, you’ll be hooked, a true GIY enthusiast and will never look at dried herbs in the same way. Absolutely never!

Most popular herbs for Irish gardens

All herbs are pretty easy to grow. At CountryLife, we stock lots of different seed. But among the most popular year in year out tend to be rosemary, thyme, parsley as well as chives and, of course, coriander. If you’re starting out, try one of the starter seed packs we sell for those starting off.

If you don’t fancy growing yours from seed, we also sell herb plants in store. These are grown by Irish nurseries Youngs in Limerick and Rentes in Co. Kildaere. They are a world away from the herb plants you find in supermarkets. Ours are hardy plants and love being outside as well as indoors. Most of our herbs are in our 4 for €10 mix and match range.

Getting started growing herbs

My first advice for people starting out is to grow what you will use and only as much as you will use. I’m a particular fan of rosemary –not just for the Sunday roast either. Rosemary has lovely blue flowers and I particularly like to buy a creeping one and put it up against the back wall. I’ve planted mine with some rosemary, sage and thyme and recently stuck in some chives too.

Rosemary in flower. Credit: Hans Braxmeier, Pixabay.

Growing guide

If you don’t have the specific herb pots, use any sort of pot you have to hand, they’re not fussy. And if you have room, herbs are great on a raised bed.

Chive flowers look great and they are edible too, try them in a salad!

Your parsley and coriander will need to be replanted each year. Most of the others come back again and again, as long as you don’t skelp them too much. Never cut into the dead wood part or you’ll damage next year’s growth.

At CountryLife, we recommend using a good compost and an organic feed such as chicken manure, or Seaweed feed

Feed once a month. Again, herbs love sunny spots so water them as required if they’ve not had a splash of rain for three days or more.

Whether you have a herb garden or just a windowsill, you can be enjoying your own home-grown herbs in no time.