Most herbs have more than one use so it is easy to have a multi-purpose herb garden without choosing one particular theme. However, in this article I will be focusing on the herbs that are most useful if you want to use them in your cooking.
There are so many culinary herbs to choose from, so I have included lists of herbs that go with particular herbs in my ebook so that you can choose the most useful ones that go with the type of food that you tend to eat.
With a culinary herb patch, you’ll even be able to pick yourself (or give away) an edible bouquet!
It helps to have your herbs close to your kitchen purely because you are more likely to see and use them if they are close by. However, if close to your kitchen is not a good spot e.g. it is very shady, it is better to plant the herbs in the sunniest part of the garden so that they thrive and give you a better harvest to use in your kitchen.
My own herb garden is not next to the kitchen for various reasons so if it is going to be a wet week I harvest the herbs at the beginning of the week and place them in a glass or jug of water in the kitchen windowsill so that I don’t forget about them! I also place some of the cut herbs like chives in bags in the salad drawer of the refrigerator to use through the week. You could also freeze chopped herbs in ice cube trays for use in the winter months.
When deciding on the locations for a culinary herb garden try to avoid areas close to busy roads, places pets frequent (if you know what I mean!), places close to areas sprayed with weed killer or other sources of pollution.
If you use a commercially available liquid feed for your herbs make sure that the bottle states that it is suitable for use on edible plants and wash the herbs well before eating.
A useful layout is a ladder shaped bed; this works well along a path and allows you to have a separate area for each herb near to the kitchen if this is in a sunny position. As a guideline, a maximum depth of one metre ensures that all herbs are within arm’s reach. If the depth is more than this, you can place some kind of stepping stone within the bed.
Some ideas for your kitchen herb garden:
Chives or Garlic Chives
Fennel or bronze fennel
Summer and Winter Savory
Shortlist of culinary herbs
If you are looking at this list and don’t know how to choose and/or have limited space, I would suggest you start off with how ever many of the following 15 herbs that you have space for: bay, basil, chives, chervil, coriander, dill, fennel, lemon balm, sweet marjoram, apple mint (Mentha rotundifolia), oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme.
You can of course mix these in with vegetable crops such as tomatoes, lettuces, peas, radishes and so on. (You can find a herb companion planting guide in the ‘Resources’ section of my other website – www.worldwikaniko.co.uk – under ‘gardening’).
If you have any essentials that you use in your cooking, feel free to leave a comment below.