Choosing What Herbs to Grow

Choosing what herbs to grow is probably one of the toughest decisions you'll have to make on your herb-growing journey! Our kits come with six different types of seeds to choose from. Pick your favourites for the three pots, and after you've grown them, you can reuse your terracotta pots and plant the other three. The guide below will help you make a decision and also let you learn more about the specific herbs you've chosen.

Choosing which seeds to grow depends mostly on your lighting conditions

South-facing windows have the brightest light and most hours of sun during the short, cool winter days. Good choices for these locations are plants that come from warmer climates, such as rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano.

East- and west-facing windows receive bright sun for about six hours in the morning or afternoon, but east windows remain cooler. Good choices include mint, parsley and chives which thrive with less intense light and prefer slightly cooler temperatures. Here's a guide to help you decide: 

Ease of Growth

Ideal Light

Water per Week

Soil Temp

Days to Germination

Chives

 

1

2

3

18-20 °C

14-21

Mint

 

2

2

3

18-20 °C

14-21 

Parsley

 

1

2

3

18-20 °C

28-32 

Basil

 

1

3

3

20-22 °C

21-28

Coriander

 

1

3

3

20-22 °C

21-28

Oregano

 

2

3

3

20-22 °C

14-21

Rosemary

 

3

3

1-2

20-22 °C

21-28

Thyme

 

3

3

1-2

20-22 °C

21-28

 

Ease of Growth:    

(1): Easy to grow  (2): Requires some care  (3): More challenging 

Ideal Light:   

(1): Little light      (2): 6-10 hrs of light per day      (3): 10-12 hrs of light per day


 Our Seeds and Herbs

 

Basil

A favourite herb in cuisines around the world and a great pairing for tomatoes, basil is easy to grow indoors. Pinch off individual leaves and add to salads, sandwiches and sauces. The standard culinary basil, typically used for pesto and Italian cooking, is called Genovese and those are the seeds included in our kit. 

Basil is a hot weather plant and thrives in a warm, bright location, such as a south-facing window that is sunny for most of the day. Avoid cool, drafty spots, especially in winter. Basil has a lower germination rate than many seeds, averaging just 60 percent. With this in mind, our seed packets contain many more seeds than you'll need to ensure that even if only 40% germinate, you’ll still have a pot full of basil.

Germination:   

21-28 days

Moisture:   

Well-drained

Light:   

Full sun ideally

Water:   

Moisten the soil 2-3 times a week

 

Two months after planting, you can enjoy the aroma of basil by running your hands over the small leaves. Three months after planting, you should have enough basil leaves to impress your friends with homemade pesto! If the leaves start looking pale green in color, you could add some plant food or liquid fertiliser. Note: Basil is not a long-term houseplant. You can expect to keep and use it for several weeks, until the stems start to grow woody. After that, you’ll need to plant new seeds again.  

Parsley

Parsley is one of the most popular herbs used for cooking in the UK today. It’s a versatile herb that can be added to a number of dishes, including fish and potatoes. It can also be used for a delicious parsley sauce which can be added to all sorts of meals. With a stronger flavour than curly varieties, 'flat-leaf' or 'Italian’ parsley’ makes a wonderful low maintenance addition to herb gardens.

Parsley seeds can be difficult to start. They often take four to five weeks to germinate and then grow slowly (especially in wet, cold soils). Parsley also needs plenty of light to germinate, so only cover with a very fine layer of compost when sowing. Parsley likes warm weather and keeping it at/above 20°C will make it grow faster. Although you can start harvesting parsley any time, you can expect the plants to mature in about 75 days. Top Tip: The germination process can be sped up a little bit soaking the seeds in warm water overnight before planting them. 

Germination:   

28-36 days

Moisture:   

Well-drained

Light:   

Full sun ideally

Water:   

Moisten the soil 3-4 times a week

 Chives

The tips of chive leaves have a mild onion flavour. They make a delicious accompaniment to potato salads and fish dishes. The spiky leaves of this onion-flavored herb add a mild kick to eggs, soups, and salads, and make pretty garnishes.

There's nothing fussy about chives. They require almost no attention, except for a little water when conditions are very dry. They love full sun, but are also happy in partial shade. They do take longer to grow big enough to harvest though, when compared to other herbs.

Germination:   

14-21 days

Moisture:   

Well-drained

Light:   

Bright spots or partial shade

Water:   

Moisten the soil 2-3 times a week

 

Coriander

Coriander (also known as ‘cilantro’) is probably one of the best known herbs and is used in all kinds of dishes, particularly in Mexican and Asian cooking.

Sow coriander seeds at least 1cm apart and 1cm deep. It might take a couple of weeks for the seeds to germinate if the soil is cool. If kept at around 20-21°C, the plants grow quickly. Coriander enjoys plenty of sun, but appreciates a little shade during the hottest part of the day in summer.

Germination:   

21 days

Moisture:   

Well-drained

Light:   

Full sun with some shade during the hot summer days

Water:   

Moisten the soil 2-3 times a week

 

Oregano

Oregano goes particularly well with tomatoes, aubergine and lamb and is generally added just at the end of cooking. It can be used to add a little zing to cuisines from across the world – its subtle lemony notes bring out the flavours of everything from traditional British roast potatoes to Mexican fajitas. Oregano is well suited to being grown in pots. It grows best in full sun, in a well-drained soil.

Germination:   

14-21 days

Moisture:   

Well-drained

Light:   

Full sun with some shade during the hot summer days

Water:   

Moisten the soil 2-3 times a week

 

Peppermint

Mint traditionally complements lamb dishes. It’s widely used in Middle Eastern and Greek cooking, including with salads, side dishes, and sauces. Fresh mint is also a favourite for herbal tea.

Mint is tolerant of almost all conditions, however it does prefer a well-drained, fertile soil. It enjoys a fair amount of moisture, so will do better in a moderately shady spot, where the soil won’t dry out as quickly as it would in a very sunny area. Keep the soil and pot moist by misting it every other day.

Mint seeds are extremely small, so be careful when handling them as they can disappear between your fingers very easily. When sowing your seeds, place them gently on top of the firm level soil and do not cover them with compost. It might take a couple of weeks for the seeds to germinate if the soil is cool, but if kept around 20-22°C, the plants grow quickly.

Germination:   

14-21 days

Moisture:   

Well-drained

Light:   

Moderate light and partial shade

Water:   

Mist or moisten the soil every other day

 

 Happy growing!  :)