Culinary Planting

Planting herbs you regularly use for cooking is fresh and a great way to always have them on hand.

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Patio Planters Grow Herbs for the KitchenEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

A sheltered sunny space just by the kitchen door or on the patio next to the barbecue is ideal for a couple of planters containing all the herbs you regularly use. Intersperse the ordinary culinary herbs, such as mint and thyme, with a few other more esoteric or seasonal varieties, like basils (Ocimum) or garlic chives (Allium sativum). Also try the more colorful sage, Salvia officinalis "Icterina," which has oodles of flavor combined with a striking appearance. Treat this planting as a temporary buffet that can be harvested as often as needed, or as a plot where you can trial new finds before planting out in your main borders or herb garden.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 x Salvia officinalis "Icterina"
  • 1 x Mentha "English Garden"
  • 1 x Petroselinum crispum
  • 1 x Origanum vulgare "Aureum"
  • 1 x Foeniculum vulgare "Purpureum"

Container Basics

Size 18x18 inches
Suits Any style of garden
Soil Multi-purpose compost with added coarse sand
Site Full sun by kitchen door

Planting and Aftercare

Fill your containers with multi-purpose compost mixed with approximately 20 percent coarse sand. Make sure the drainage holes are clear of the ground using pot feet or supports to aid drainage. Position your plants so the trailing herbs are on the edge and taller plants, such as the fennel (Foeniculum), are in the center. Water in well and keep moist in summer. Lightly trim or pinch out the tips regularly. Replace tired plants by digging out the rootball with a couple of handfuls of old compost. Replant with fresh transplants, filling in with fresh compost as needed.

Salvia officinalis "Icterina" (image 1)

Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites, Well-drained soil, Full sun, Award-winning plant.

Mentha "English Garden" (image 2)
Fully hardy plants, Well-drained soil, Moist soil, Full sun.

Petroselinum crispum
Fully hardy plants, Well-drained soil, Moist soil, Full sun, Partial or dappled shade.

Origanum vulgare "Aureum"
Fully hardy plants, Well-drained soil, Partial or dappled shade, Award-winning plant.

Feoniculum vulgare "Purpureum"
Fully hardy plants, Well-drained soil, Moist soil, Full sun.

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Herbs

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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