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If you are starting a productive garden at home you may be wondering which herbs to grow in your garden. If you are a beginner gardener we recommend going for the herb plants that are relatively easy to grow. So which ones are they?
The top 10 easiest herbs to grow in order of difficulty is provided below;
- Lemon Balm
- Garlic (grown from bulbs)
Lemon balm is a fragrant herb that belongs to the mint family. It has lemon aroma which makes it ideal to adding Fragrance and flavour to any dish. It can also be used to produce lemon teas which are highly fragrant.
We rate lemon balm as the easiest herb to grow because the plans is almost invasive. This herb spreads readily around the garden by seed which means that it germinates easily. Additionally the plant is extremely tolerant of extremes in temperature. It can survive in the garden down to -30C and will also cope with temperatures above 30 degrees.
Lemon balm is also highly tolerant of soil types and light levels and is suitable to be grown in full sun and part shade.
Mint is another fragrant herb that is extremely easy to grow from seed and also from cuttings. It produces a lovely minty flavour which, like lemon balm, can be used to flavour dishes and drinks.
Mint is also extremely easy to grow and is also is highly tolerant of temperature with the plant being able to survive down to -20C. Mint generally prefers moist shady areas but will tolerate some degree of sun.
Mint spreads easily through its rhizomes and can easily take over an area. In most cases, it will crowd out other plants in the area. As a result of these properties gardeners often grow mint in pots or a confined area to prevent it from spreading too far. To ensure the plant gets plenty of moisture pots are often placed underneath taps to reduce the need to water plants.
Chives are another example of a herb that is extremely easy to grow from seed. This is primarily because the seeds of the plants will germinate in relatively cold conditions approaching freezing. This means that chives will germinate in any frost free conditions.
Chives are also extremely cold and heat tolerant and will survive in temperatures as low as -30 degrees. They are also extremely tolerant of light conditions and will grow from full shade to full sun. The only thing to avoid is boggy conditions.
Rosemary is another aromatic herb that is commonly used with roast meats and vegetables and provides fantastic fragrance and flavour to any dish. It is considered a relatively easy plant to grow from seed because it readily self seeds in most gardens in the right conditions.
To grow Rosemary successfully in a garden it is important to ensure that it has full sun and good drainage as it is a Mediterranean herb. However, we do not rated it as quiet as easy to grow as the first three herbs in the list because it is not as cold hardy as other plants on the list with it only being able to tolerate -10C. Additionally, there is potential to kill the herb off if you prune it to aggressively which is only an issue when the when the plant matures.
Oregano is another Mediterranean herb used in greek and italian cooking which prefer similar conditions to Rosemary. Oregano requires full sun and well-drained soils to grow successfully and generally the prefers the hottest locations you can find in your garden.
Oregano is also highly tolerant of low temperatures and will survive down to -30 degrees if the soil does not get too wet. Generally, oregano will fair better in locations that have cold but relatively dry winters. So if you are in places like the UK it would be advisable to grow this plant in a pot and bring it inside for winter.
Sage is an edible member of the Sylvia family that produces a prolific amount of leaves once the plant becomes established. Like many of the other perennial herbs on this list sage is also a very temperature tolerant plant that can survive temperatures as low as -20C. However, due to the relative wide of the leaves of the plant, compared to things like Rosemary it is not quite as heat tolerant as other plants of this list.
In terms of planting location Sage prefers a full sun location, but will tolerate part shade, with moist but free draining soil that does not get to boggy.
Is on our list of the easiest herbs to grow from seed, even though it is strictly not grown from seed but rather from cloves simply because it is just so simple to grow. Garlic plants need to be planted in late autumn and will produce a fantastic crop in late spring.
All you need to do is split the cloves up within a garlic bulb and plant them right side up. There is literally nothing more to do other than wait until the stalks turn yellow at the end of Spring. The good thing is that you do not need to purchase garlic bulbs every single year you can simply replant the best of the Garlic bulbs that you produce in your own garden.
Coriander Is another popular herb that is often used in southeast asian foods to add a bit of spice and flavour. The plant is extremely easy to grow and will germinate readily in moist soil, however, to get the best from your coriander plants you need to plant them in early spring or autumn as they will readily bolt warm temperatures, hich is one of the reasons why we have coriander lower down on our list of easiest herbs to grow.
To extend the period at which you have coriander in your garden it is advisable to plant it in relatively shady area as this will reduce tendency of the plant to bold and run to seed. However it is important to note that once it does run the seed you can allow the plant about flower and then collect the seeds for either cooking or replanting in the following season.
Thyme is another mediterranean herb that is extremely easy to grow and keep alive on an ongoing basis. The plant is tolerant of temperatures as low as -20C. As it is a Mediterranean herb it also prefer to have relatively free draining soil and baking heat. Therefore, it is recommended that placed it in hot area in your garden.
In areas that have cold where the temperature regularly gets below freezing thyme will stop growing and hibernate until the weather heats up again in the following spring. In these condiftions placing thyme near brickwork or walls will increase the temperature by few degrees which will help the plant to survive.
Basil is the only plant on our list that is frost sensitive and needs to be grown as an annual plant. This means that the plant is far more tender than every other plants on this list. However, despite these growing limitations basil is an extremely easy plant to grow from seed as it germinates readily if the temperatures are sufficiently warm.
Due to the frost sensitive nature of the plant we generally recommend that you plant basil in seed trays indoors to ensure optimal conditions. Basil is an extremely useful as a companion plant for other vegetables such as tomatoes. This is because they deter some pests from attacking the foliage or fruit which will help increase the productivity of your garden.
General Seed Planting Advice
Many of the plants on this list are extremely hardy plants that will survive extreme temperatures both hot and cold. However, even though they are temperature tolerant it is still advisable to plants seeds in temperatures between 15 to 20C. This is primarily because for most plants this is the optimal temperature at which seedlings will develop.
To achieve these conditions on a consistent basis we recommend that you plant all seeds into seed trays rather than directly into the garden even if the conditions are starting to warm up.
The optimal time to plant most herb seeds is in early spring in seed trays because this provides an opportunity for the plants to develop in relatively warm temperatures before they face a challenging winter.
When planting seeds it is also advisable to use seed raising mix that is specifically designed for growing seeds rather than garden soil or compost. The reason for this is that garden soil often contains weed seeds and other pathogens which can interfere with the germination of your seeds. Additionally, seed raising mix is a relatively fine mixture which is capable of retaining moisture which will aid in the germination of the seeds.
Finally, we would also suggest that you always plant many more seeds than you think you are going to need as this ensures that you were able to select the very best quality seedlings to put out into the garden which will give you the best outcome.