Tricks of the trade…growing basil, coriander and rosemary

basil

These are three of the most popular herbs to grow and they are all relatively easy, as long as you look after them the right way. Here are our top tips for growing them:

 

pinch out basil

Basil

Basil is best grown indoors with plenty of sunlight. It needs to be kept consistently moist. The best thing to do is to lightly water basil every day (preferably at noon in bright sunshine which is what it loves most!)

To keep your basil plant nice and bushy it’s important to harvest it the right way. If you look at a basil stalk, you’ll see that in some places a pair of small leaves appears between the stem and the larger leaves. Pinching off the stalk just above these leaves will allow the plant to keep growing and give you a more bushy shape. It is a good idea to do this anyway if  you see flowers forming.

Coriander

Coriander is a little prone to bolting. To prevent this, we’d recommend growing it outside in a spot that gets a good dose of morning sunshine but that is a bit shady in the afternoon. You also need to keep the soil nice and moist, not too dry but not waterlogged either.

To keep it going longer, harvest it by cutting off the top third of the stalks at regular intervals, the remaining two thirds will continue to grow nicely.

Coriander
Rosemary

Rosemary

Rosemary needs a lot of sunshine and quite dry, gritty soil, so plant it in full sun and don’t be tempted to overwater it (especially if you’re growing it in the ground). Make sure you let the soil dry out before re-watering. If you’re growing it in pots, it is really good to add plenty of stones to the base of the pot, and even in mixed in with the compost to help with drainage during wet weather. A handful of wormcast fertiliser mixed in with the compost in pots will really help.

If you want to keep your rosemary plant growing, use secateurs to cut stalks halfway down when you harvest them. If you cut them all the way to the base the stalk will stop growing.