Hands up who has sad, wilted, brown and dead looking herbs at their place? Look, you’re not alone. Herbs can be tricky little things to get right but we’re here to give you the low down on growing herbs in North Queensland so you can have lush little herb gardens in no time. Okay, lush might be a too much of a leap so let’s just say that we’re going to improve your knowledge on these plants in the hope it will improve your growing skills!
A lot of the popular herbs used in Western cooking originate from the Mediterranean. Meaning they like sun and dry soil that is both well drained and lean on nutrients – except mint and basil, they like to stay moist and won’t tolerate drying out.
Herbs are also annuals or perennials. Annuals need to be replanted each year because they die off in the cold weather. What this means is you didn’t kill your basil! It dies naturally. Popular annuals are dill, coriander, parsley and basil.
Perennials come back each year of their own accord. Mint, thyme, sage, tarragon, lemon balm, lavender & rosemary fit this brief.
Basil is an annual herb and a great companion plant for tomatoes. It likes warm envrionemnets, well-drained moist soil and prefers about 6 hours of sun a day.
Parsley is a biennial, which means it will die after two seasons and will need to be replaced. It likes moist rich soil and can be grown in full sun to part shade.
Rosemary is a perennial and thrives in lots of sunlight! Prune frequently and once established keep on the dry side.
Sage is a hardy perennial and prefers well drained, sandy soil. Resist the urge to over fertilise! The plant will grow well but the flavour won’t be as intense.
Thyme is a perennial that loves full sun and does well in poor soils. Some varieties can be a pretty ground cover around pavers or over rocks in the garden.
Dill is an annual and is easy to grow. It is also a great companion plant for lettuce! Full sun will see the herb get bushier than in partial shade.
Chives is a perennial it loves full sun and rich, well drained soil. To encourage growth of leaves pinch off the heads of flower buds.
Oregano is a perennial and acts as another great ground cover. Do not overwater and plant in full sun for intense flavour.
Mint is a perennial and LOVES to spread. Growing in a container is recommended if you do not want it to take over your garden. It prefers a moist, semi shaded position.
Herbs generally grow really well in pots and containers, most do not like waterlogged soil and mulching tends to help keep weeds at bay!