Herbs are a simple and increasingly popular way to add edible plants to your garden. Most herbs are very versatile and grow well in the ground, in containers or even on a sunny windowsill indoors. Many gardeners purchase herb plants each spring but you can save some of your hard-earned dollars by planting them from seed instead. Here are 5 herbs that are easy to grow from seed:
Basil is a mainstay of classic Italian dishes and its eye-catching bushy plants are suitable for garden beds or containers. Basil plants are sensitive to cold temperatures so start basil seeds indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before your final frost date or plant basil seed outside after all danger of frost has passed. The soil should be evenly moist but not soggy and you should space plants about 1 foot apart to discourage diseases. Grow this tasty herb in a sunny spot, and you'll enjoy the rewards of flavorful foliage in shades of green, purple, or bronze for months to come.
Dill grows to about 3 feet tall and its fern-like foliage and clusters of delicate gold flowers are as beautiful as the herb is tasty. It attracts butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects which make it a great companion plant. Dill thrives in dry, sunny spots, and plants self-seed to keep the crop coming back year after year. Plant the seed early in the spring, as dill prefers cool temperatures and to ensure a steady supply sow seeds every four weeks during the growing season. This tasty herb is great for salads, soups and egg dishes.
This perennial herb enhances the taste of tomato sauces, pizza, and Mediterranean cuisine. You can start Oregano seeds indoors or plant them directly in the soil in mid-Spring. Oregano needs full sun and soil that drains well. Pinch and harvest the leaves from the plants frequently to keep them bushy and prevent them from going to seed. Plant Oregano in a pot near the kitchen with Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme for easy access to a quartet of tasty herbs. This is also a great herb to dry and store for the winter.
Jazz up your yard and your meals by adding parsley to your garden. This easy to care for herb requires full sun to light shade and loose soil that retains moisture. Planting this herb from seed takes patience as it can take several weeks to germinate but once it does all you have to do is harvest it! Curly Leaf Parsley is often used in French dishes including salads, vegetables, and herb butters. Flat-Leaf Parsley has a stronger flavor that holds up well in Italian cooking. Both Parsleys thrive as edging in flower beds or in containers with Chives and Basil.
This sun-loving, drought-tolerant perennial thrives in well-drained soil. Drought conditions enhance the essential oils in thyme; the drier the growing conditions the better the flavor. You can start Thyme seed indoors or plant it outdoors in the spring. It can be used in containers, rock gardens or even as a ground cover. Thyme flowers attract honeybees, so add thyme near your vegetable garden to attract a large supply of pollinators. Thyme introduces a savory flavor to dishes, such as roasted vegetables, soups, and sauces. It is also used to enhance the flavor of poultry, beef, pork, or seafood.
So there you have it. 5 easy herbs to grow from seed and you can even start that seed right now if you like!