Herb Garden Plans

February 24, 2009

I’m itching to go out into the garden and start sowing and planting things in the herb garden but I have to stop myself and you should too if you live in a cooler climate. There are bound to be a few more cold spells and the dead stems of your perennial herbs are helping to protect the new growth.

However, if there is an unplanted area to be prepared for the spring there’s no reason to get started on that.  Also, if you want to move some more established herbs around before they spring into growth this is a good time to do that; it is best to move plants whilst they are relatively dormant.

Instead you could do those jobs that I think we all put off.  Here are a few of them:

  • checking that your pots/trays/tools are clean and in working order
  • if you have a greenhouse, clean those windows so more light can get in
  • clean the benches and sweep up any debris that might be harbouring pests or their eggs.

Don’t fancy any of those?  No, nor did I not this week anyway (too much going on with birthday parties to organise etc) but I have promised myself that I will do it next week!

Instead I did this over the school half term holiday:

  • sketched out the herb garden again and reminded myself what plants are already there
  • listed which seeds I already have
  • which plants I’d like, whether I would grow them from seed or buy the plant in and where to get it from
  • marked where they are to go on the plan so I know what spaces to leave/prepare and what plants may need to be moved around or replaced.
  • Weeded and cleared the long border next to the fence that has just been replaced.
  • My one salad burnet had turned into three plants and had taken over nearly a third of one of the herb beds so I moved the middle sized one into the long border mentioned above, hopefully it will be happy there and there is more space for it.
  • Sowed parsley, coriander, thyme, oregano, basil and chives in pots indoors from the Kitchen Herb Garden Seed Collection. If you’re interested, you can get yours here.

To plan out when to sow seeds, transplant plants and so on I usually write a list of seeds/plants against which month I plan to do it but now I’ve found this really handy  Herb Garden Planner (see photo above) I’ll be giving that a try instead; I’m less likely to lose it!   It’s a free printable PDF from Little House in the Suburbs.  There’s lots of other handy planners there as well plus a whole range of useful information about crafts, cooking, chickens, gardening, green living, home preserving and more!

Off to enjoy looking at the snowdrops, daffodils, crocuses, primroses, jasmine, violets………

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You can’t have missed the fact that Valentine’s day is just around the corner.

Now I know it’s a bit corny and it certainly is over-commercialised but, it’s still a special time for twos. Whether you’re just starting out (again) or a comfortable couple, there’s still an opportunity to make things special.

Are you going out for dinner? You’d better reserve a table today if you haven’t already!

You might prefer to cook a meal in – it will certainly save you money and can be much more fun. The money you save on expensive restaurant bills you can spend on some flowers and at home, you can create that special atmosphere – no pressure, no stress, just a comfortable and romantic evening together.

To help you out there’s a fresh idea from the Two Cook For Two team at http://www.TwoCookForTwo.com.

This is a new book full of easy recipes designed to be cooked for two and eaten by two. I particularly liked the sound of the coriander and lime salmon – quick, easy and healthy recipe that’s got to be good for you. I can’t say the same for the chocolate mousse recipe! There are a few herby recipes in there. I’m looking forward to trying them out.

There’s a rumour that they’re bringing out some extra recipes for a Valentine’s day updates so keep watching!!

The most important thing about Valentines weekend is to chill and take it in your stride. Too many couples suffer when there’s such pressure to be that perfect romantic. Remember – if they want to be with you the other 51 weekends of the year, they’ll still enjoy your company on Valentine’s day. Just add in a bunch of flowers and maybe a candle or two over dinner to make it special.

And as for dinner – anything that get’s us both in the kitchen cooking together without fighting over the chopping boards has got to be worth a try.

Grab your free copy here – http://www.twocookfortwo.com

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Herb seeds are available from a wide range of outlets ranging from your local shops to dedicated herb nurseries.

You can also swap seeds with friends and family, there are various seed events around the country, you can find some of them on the ‘Seedy Sunday’ website here.

Another way to start growing herbs is to buy a herb gift set or even an Aerogarden unit if you want to grow herbs indoors.

However, not all herbs are easy or suitable for growing from seed, so here is a short list (by no means exhaustive) that might help you.

Annual herbs that are relatively easy to grow from seed include:
Dill
Coriander
Basil
Chervil
Calendula(Pot marigold)
Borage

Bi-ennial herbs which can easily be grown from seed include:
Parsley
Evening Primrose
Caraway

Perennial herbs that I have personally had no trouble growing from seed include:

Thyme
Sage
Lemon Balm
Clary Sage
Chives
Savory
Oregano
Sweet marjoram
Sorrel

Herb seeds can be purchased from garden centres, supermarkets, local shops, mail order or online. Below is a list of online suppliers who provide herb seeds as part of their range and also suppliers who specialise in herbs or unusual seeds.

1.       Jekkas Herb Farm

A lovely inspiring ‘taster’ catalogue is available.

2.       Iden Croft Herbs

The display gardens at this nursery are worth a visit in the summer.

3.      Nicky’s Nursery

Over 3000 varieties of seeds including vegetable, wildflower, chilli pepper, baby and
oriental vegetables. They also supply other garden products, garden games and various compost systems.

4.      Duchy Originals

Organic herb seeds (supplied by Thompson & Morgan)

5.      Suffolk Herbs
Well worth getting the catalogue, it’s very inspiring with lovely pictures and descriptions.

6.      Chiltern Seeds

Another good supplier of herb seeds with a large variety of seeds.

7.      The Organic Gardening Catalogue

This has a good range of herb seeds but is mostly vegetable seeds and other handy garden
products.

8.      Thompson and Morgan

9.      Victoriana Nursery Gardens

10.    Garden Oasis

11.    Vegetable Seeds UK

12.    Ebay

13.    Suttons Seeds

14.    Unwins Seeds & Plants

15.    Crocus

16.    Marshland Herb Nursery

17.    Dobies

18.    ANi Direct Seeds (USA)

Wide variety of exotic seeds including chinese and vietnamese herbs.

19.    Green Chronicle

20.    Meadowmania

Organic herb seed and wildflower mixes

21.    Packet Seeds

All packets £0.95 each.

22.   Seeds by size

23.  Territorial Seed Company (USA)

24.   Terwins Seeds

Supplier of organic herb seeds.

25.   Mr. Fothergill’s

26.   Richters Herbs (Canada)

Famous Canadian supplier of herb seed, plants, dried herbs and many more herbal items.

27.   Mountain Rose Herbs (USA)

Not the usual herb seed for growing full size herbs in the garden but they do supply seeds
for sprouting including chia seed, buckwheat, brown mustard, radish, red clover, red lentil,
broccoli and alfalfa amongst many, many other herbal products!

28.  Seeds of Italy

A good range of the more unusual herb seed varieties.  Also a fantastic range of tomato seeds.

If you can recommend any particular suppliers or if I have missed any obvious ones out, please feel free to let me know.

Some suppliers that re-sell from the above companies have been excluded. Also a lot of herb nurseries only supply plants rather than seed so these are not on the list – if you’re interested in a similar list for herb plant/plug plant suppliers, let me know.

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