Carson Arthur’s Top 10 Herbs For All Growing Conditions
In his new book, Vegetables, Chickens & Bees, Canadian gardening and outdoor design expert Carson Arthur reveals his go-to herbs for every type of garden.
How to Grow Basil
Favourite conditions: Full sun, swell-drained soil.
Pros: This herb likes it hot! Lots of sun, lots of water and pot with holes in the bottom is all it really needs.
Cons: Harvest often! If basil goes to seed, it stops producing the yummy leaves. When in doubt, pinch off the tops.
How to Grow Chives
Favourite conditions: Sun or semi-shade.
Pros: The easiest herb to grow. Chives are the first one up and the last one to bed in the growing season.
Cons: These plants can spread! Beware of chives taking over your garden with new plants starting from roots off the mama plant.
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How to Grow Cilantro
Favourite conditions: Does best with some shade from noon to 3 to prevent it from going to seed.
Pros: The green shoots are the cilantro. When the hot summer weather hits, you get seeds, which are called coriander. It’s a two-for-one herb!
Cons: Doesn’t like to be moved. Find a good spot and let it grow. Don’t bother starting indoors.
How to Grow Dill
Favourite conditions: Loves the sun! Happy dill can grow up to six feet tall.
Pros: Super forgiving herb. Needs very little from you once it’s in a sunny space.
Cons: Beware of the seeds. Dill likes to spread everywhere. If you don’t stay on top of it, you can have a dill forest pretty quick.
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How to Grow Mint
Favourite conditions: Sun or semi-shade is best. Needs 6 hours of bright light per day and regular watering.
Pros: With thousands of varieties and so many new flavours, there is a perfect mint for everyone.
Cons: Super aggressive in the garden. Beware planting this outside of a container.
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How to Grow Parsley
Favourite conditions: Parsley is a biennial herb, which means it grows for two years before you need to replant. Choose a warm, sunny spot with well-drained soil.
Pros: Great in containers on the patio or in pots in the garden.
Cons: Not so good in the house, as it needs lots of sun to stop it from going floppy over the sides of the pot.
How to Grow Rosemary
Favourite conditions: Grow in containers. Loves the heat. Find it a happy spot and leave it there.
Pros: Nearly impossible to kill.
Cons: Doesn’t like to be moved, which makes it tough to bring in for the winter.
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How to Grow Sage
Favourite conditions: Medium soil, medium light and medium water! Sage doesn’t have any special needs.
Pros: Loves other plants! Put it in a planter with other fragrant plants like oregano and rosemary and enjoy the smell all summer long.
Cons: No real negatives—just stay away from fertilizers, and remember that too much food makes it taste bland.
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How to Grow Thyme
Favourite conditions: Bring on the heat! Thyme loves lots of sun and very little water, making it perfect for rock gardens.
Pros: Simple to grow and easy to spread, thyme an be split over and over to fill lots of areas in the yard.
Cons: Make sure to choose a variety specifically for food. Many of the ground cover options have no taste… At all.
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How to Grow Oregano
Favourite conditions: Does best with little attention or fertilizer. Plant in part to full sun, water sparingly and enjoy!
Pros: Both the Mexican and Mediterranean varieties are easy to grow and taste amazing. Plant this with your veggies, as oregano is a great companion plant.
Cons: Keep an eye on it! Some varieties will spread fast through your space. If it does, just rip it out and dry it for winter use.
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Carson Arthur's Vegetables, Chickens & Bees: An Honest Guide to Growing Your Own Food Anywhere
For more growing tips from gardening and outdoor expert Carson Arthur, check out his new book, Vegetables, Chickens & Bees: An Honest Guide to Growing Your Own Food Anywhere (Appetite by Random House, 2019). With helpful hints on how to grow everything from thyme to tomatoes, it’s required reading for veteran gardeners and brown thumbs alike.
Excerpted from Vegetables, Chickens & Bees: An Honest Guide to Growing Your Own Food Anywhere by Carson Arthur. Copyright © 2019 Carson Arthur. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
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