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Grow Your Own: The 7 Best Herbs To Grow Outdoors

Growing your own herbs outdoors is not only fun and rewarding, but it's also a budget-friendly way to add fresh flavours and aromas to your meals. The UK's climate, with its mild winters and cool summers, offers the perfect environment for various herbs to flourish. This post will share the 7 best outdoor herbs to grow in your garden or balcony.


Grow Your Own: The 7 Best Herbs To Grow Outdoors
Grow Your Own: The 7 Best Herbs To Grow Outdoors

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Here are the 7 best herbs for culinary delight to grow outdoors.


1- Mint (Mentha)

Plant mint in containers to contain its vigorous growth. This hardy perennial loves partial shade but can also handle full sun. Mint's refreshing aroma is ideal for teas, cocktails, and culinary recipes. Just remember, it likes to spread, so keeping it in check is important.


2- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary is a robust and aromatic herb that prefers sunny spots and well-drained soil. It's not just a culinary favourite for Mediterranean dishes; its needle-like leaves and blue flowers add beauty to your garden. Rosemary is relatively low-maintenance, only needing water during dry spells.


3- Thyme (Thymus)

Thyme thrives in the sun and tolerates drought, making it perfect for the UK garden. It's adaptable to both garden beds and containers, requiring well-drained soil. Use thyme to enhance a wide range of dishes, and enjoy its bee-friendly pink or purple flowers.


4- Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

Growing parsley, a kitchen staple, requires moist, rich soil and partial shade or full sun. Though it's a biennial herb, most people in the UK treat it as an annual. Parsley's clean, fresh flavour brightens up many recipes. Regularly harvest the outer leaves to encourage new growth.


5- Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Chives can withstand the UK's varied climate, flourishing in full sun or partial shade. These low-maintenance perennials need watering during dry periods and are rewarded with edible flowers in summer. They are perfect for adding colour and a mild onion flavour to dishes.


6- Sage (Salvia officinalis)

With its strong flavor, sage is a favorite for seasoning poultry and meat. It seeks out sunny locations and well-drained soil but watch out for winter wet, which it dislikes. Sage's grey-green leaves and purple flowers are also a visual treat.


7- Lavender (Lavandula)

Lavender, known for its beauty, fragrance, and versatility, fits well in the UK garden, loving full sun and well-drained soil. It's drought-tolerant once established and attracts pollinators, making it a garden must-have for more than just its culinary uses.


Tips for Success

  • Prepare the soil well, ensuring it's well-drained to suit most herbs.

  • Water new plants regularly and established plants during dry periods.

  • Avoid over-fertilising, as this can reduce the herbs' flavours and scents.

  • Harvest often to encourage new growth and prevent the plants from becoming woody.


Choosing the Right Planters for Your Herbs

When it comes to growing herbs, selecting the right planter can significantly affect their health and productivity. Concrete planters are an excellent choice for several reasons. They're durable, withstand the UK's variable weather, and provide good root insulation, helping regulate soil temperature.


Their weight also makes them stable and less likely to tip over in strong winds, an important consideration for outdoor gardening. Additionally, concrete planters offer a modern, aesthetic appeal that complements traditional and contemporary garden designs.


However, ensure they have proper drainage holes to prevent waterlogging, which can harm herb roots. If you're looking for variety, terracotta pots are another great option. They are porous and allow the soil to breathe, reducing the risk of root rot.


Consider vertical planters or hanging baskets for those with limited space to maximise your gardening area. Whatever your choice, make sure it meets the specific needs of your herbs, taking into account factors like size, depth, and material to ensure your herb garden thrives.


Managing Pests

Inspect your plants regularly for pests like aphids, spider mites, and slugs. Encourage natural predators, such as ladybirds, to keep aphid numbers down. Use neem oil or insecticidal soap for a gentle solution to outbreaks. Deter slugs with crushed eggshells or copper tape, and keep your garden clean to reduce pest-hiding spots. Managing, not eradicating, pests will help maintain your garden's ecosystem balance.


Supporting Bees with Your Herb Garden

By planting your own herb garden, you are also supporting bees and other pollinators. Choosing bee-friendly herbs such as lavender, rosemary, thyme, chives, and sage provides these crucial pollinators with a rich nectar source.


These plants not only add beauty and aroma to your garden but also create a nurturing environment for bees, who are essential for pollination and the health of our ecosystem. As bees visit your garden, they pollinate your herbs, contributing to a thriving and more comprehensive ecological balance.


In essence, your herb garden becomes a small but vital oasis for these pollinators, helping to sustain their populations and ensure the continued growth and diversity of plant life.


Best Herbs To Grow Outdoors In The UK: Wrapping it up

Growing herbs outdoors in the UK is a beautiful way to enhance your garden and kitchen. With these tips, you can enjoy a range of fresh, aromatic herbs throughout the growing season AND support the well-being of bees and other pollinators!

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