What Are the Best Herbs to Grow in My Garden?

Growing herbs in your garden offers numerous benefits, from enhancing your cooking with fresh, flavorful ingredients to providing natural remedies for various ailments. (Usual disclaimers apply, of course.) Here we will explore popular herbs suited for home gardens, along with the considerations for selecting the right herbs and tips for successful cultivation.

Considerations for Selecting Herbs

When choosing herbs for your garden, consider factors such as local growing conditions, climate, space requirements, and whether the herb will be used for culinary or medicinal purposes. Some herbs thrive in specific environments, making it essential to choose plants that are well-suited to your garden's conditions.

Best Culinary Herbs to Grow

  1. Basil: With a wide range of varieties available, basil is a versatile and aromatic herb. It prefers warm, sunny locations and is a staple in Italian cuisine, featuring prominently in dishes like pesto and caprese salad. We love Genovese and Italian Large Leaf.
  2. Parsley: Available in both flat-leaf and curly varieties, parsley thrives in well-drained soil and full sun. It is commonly used as a garnish, but also adds flavor to soups, stews, and sauces. Our recommendation is the AAS winner Evergreen Parsley.
  3. Dill: Typically used as a culinary herb, the fine, tender parts of the plant are finely chopped and added to sauces. Also used fresh in pickling. We recommend Bouquet Dill.
  4. Thyme: Thyme comes in several varieties and can be grown in various conditions, making it a versatile herb. It is used in a variety of dishes, from roasted meats to soups and stews. We recommend Garden Thyme.
  5. Oregano: Another Mediterranean herb, oregano prefers well-drained soil and full sun. It is commonly used in Italian and Greek dishes, such as pizza and pasta sauces.

Best Medicinal Herbs to Grow

  1. Valerian: Valerian is a robust perennial herb steeped in centuries of medicinal tradition. Thriving under the embrace of full sun and in well-drained, moist soils, this resilient plant has a rich history dating back to the 16th century.
  2. Chamomile: This soothing herb prefers full sun to partial shade and is used to make calming teas and other home remedies for relaxation and digestion.
  3. Echinacea: Echinacea, or coneflower, is used to boost the immune system and reduce symptoms of colds and flu. It prefers full sun and well-draining soil. As an added bonus, butterflies and other pollinators love this perennial flower.
  4. Feverfew: Feverfew is renowned for its highly ornamental daisy-like blooms and lush deep-green foliage, making it a favorite in medicinal gardens. In full sun, this plant can reach a tidy 30 inches in height. Its delicate white flowers are not only a visual delight but also hold up well in bouquets and vase arrangements. Feverfew is used in traditional teas and has a long history of medicinal use.
  5. Hyssop: A native to Southern Europe and into the Middle East, Hyssop has been used medicinally since ancient times. 

It's worth mentioning that we have an entire Medicinal Herbs Garden Pack which contains a packet of each of our most popular medicinal herbs.

Growing Herbs in Containers

Container gardening offers several advantages, such as increased mobility, better control over soil conditions, and the ability to grow herbs in small spaces or indoors. Most herbs are perfectly suited for container gardening. Be sure to provide adequate drainage and choose appropriately-sized containers for your herbs.

Harvesting and Preserving Herbs

To get the most from your herbs, harvest them at the right time and use proper preservation techniques. Generally, herbs should be harvested in the morning after the dew has dried but before the heat of the day. Drying and storing herbs is a common preservation method while freezing and other techniques can also extend their shelf life.

Want to see more? Browse our complete list of 67 different herbs.

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