• Bring herbs indoors, late fall–early spring.
• Consider growing herbs from seedling plants. Although seeds cost less, some herbs take months to grow big enough for harvesting.
• Most herbs require soil that drains well; dense or heavy clay soils will rot them. A good potting mix will contain wood chips or compost, to provide nutrients, perlite or sand that increases drainage, and coir, a peat substitute, that absorbs water.
• Don’t over-fertilize. Herbs aren’t heavy feeders, and typically need just good soil, sunlight and water.
Thyme – This easy-to-grow herb can be grown in tiny spaces, and subjected to all manner of neglect, but it just keeps coming back, and is available in many varieties. Lemon thyme pairs well with fish.
Marjoram – Sweeter and more aromatic than its cousin, oregano, as well as drought-tolerant, marjoram is easily grown in containers of all sizes. Prune when it starts to look weedy, to encourage bushy growth. Great in stocks, soups, and sauces.
Rosemary – Slow-growing but hardy, rosemary loves the sun and can be grown in pots of all sizes, up to the size of a large shrub. Great with lamb and roasted potatoes, the versatile rosemary is said to relieve a headache, when steeped in hot water for an herbal tea.
Sage – Sage wants a sunny spot with lots of good drainage and airflow – if kept too damp, it will mildew. Its strong taste is goes well with poultry.
Harvesting Your Herbs
Refrigerate – Place the stems of harvested herbs in a cup of cold water in the refrigerator, trimming the leaves as you need them. Many herbs will last for several weeks, if you change the water twice a week.
Dried – Hang fresh bundles of herbs in a dark, dry place with good air circulation. To protect against dust, poke holes in a paper bag and place it over the bundle. Once dried, store herbs in glass jars in a dark cupboard. Crumble herbs slightly before storage, but wait until needed to fully crush.
Freezing – Chop fresh herbs, place them in ice cube trays, cover with water and freeze. Once they’re completely frozen, remove and store in freezer bags, for dropping directly into sauces or stews.