Sow herbs in pots

Plant now to add aromatic flavour to home-cooked dishes

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It’s time to start getting your herb garden flourishing for the year! Herbs are nice easy plants to grow, with the added benefit of being wonderfully aromatic and edible, transforming your cooking from humdrum into heavenly. Anyone who’s added rosemary or bay to a stew or roast potatoes will know the richness and depth of flavour that herbs can bring. And they bring lovely flowers and attractive form to veg gardens and patios, too.

Most herbs can be grown in containers, in fact some need to be grown like this as they’re either more tender (basil) or too invasive in the open ground (mint).

Annual herbs that aren’t as hardy as others such as sweet basil and marjoram can be sown now under glass for planting out in the garden during May or June. Perennials such as chives, rosemary, hyssop and thyme can be sown direct outdoors. The compost shouldn’t be too rich or dense, and should be kept nice and light and gritty, with a light watering to keep it just moist. Use a general balanced fertiliser if need be, to encourage leafy growth and not flowers. Liquid seaweed helps herbs grow nice and lush and flavoursome.

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