Tags: garden, home
Which herbs to grow and when

Dill

Plant from September to May in Tasmania

If frosts are a problem in your area, it is best to wait to plant dill until a week or two before the average date of the last frost. Alternatively, dill can do well in an indoor pot. Plant it in a deep container to accommodate its long roots and place it in an area that gets plenty of sunlight. This herb can grow up to 90mm tall, so it is best to plant it at the back of your herb garden. 

Add some fresh dill to the boiling water when you are cooking potatoes, chop it finely to create delicious yoghurt sauces or throw it in a hearty stew.

Chives 

Plant from September to May in Tasmania

Chives perform best in rich, organic soil in an area with a lot of light. They are well-suited to pots and prefer cooler temperatures, so will thrive in the Tasmanian climate. They grow best in full sun with well-drained, moist soil, so remember to water them regularly.

Create a chive and olive oil marinade for fish or cook the herb until crisp and serve on top. They also pair well with butter or cream cheese to spread on a bagel, toast or crackers. Avoid tearing chive stems by using sharp scissors. Take no more than a third of the bunch at a time and leave about 20-50mm of growth so they can re-sprout.

Mint 

Plant anytime in Tasmania

Mint plants make fantastic indoor plants as they are some of the toughest perennials available and can tolerate relatively high temperatures. Choose a pot size that suits the amount of mint that you want as this herb will spread. If you plant mint outside, sinking boards or bricks about 300mm deep can help to prevent this herb’s tendency to overtake your garden. Don’t forget to keep the soil moist and put mint in an environment with moderate to strong light.

When it’s time to harvest, pinch some leaves off to use with roast lambs, soups and salads. Why not also add it to your cocktails on a Friday night or add taste to your daily water?

Parsley 

Plant from September to May in Tasmania

Caring for indoor parsley is easy. It comes in curly or flat-leaf varieties and makes a fantastic addition to your herb collection. Choose a deep pot for this herb, fill it with rich, organic soil and place it where it will receive lots of light. Parsley prefers lightly moist soil but doesn’t like to have the roots sitting in water, so it is a great idea to place it on a saucer to remove any excess water each day.

Pick individual leaves by pinching the stems near the base to use them in some of your favourite recipes. While it is often considered a mere garnish, try making a parsley sauce or create garlic-parsley butter for a juicy steak or fresh fish. 

Coriander

Plant anytime in Tasmania

Coriander is relatively easy to grow, and the seeds can be planted straight into the soil. While coriander prefers a soil temperature between 20 and 10 degrees, it won’t survive frosty conditions. If you want to plant it in winter, do so in a flower pot at least 450mm wide and 350mm deep. Coriander does not take well to being moved, so it is best to plant it in a large pot that can accommodate the full-grown herb. Use fast-draining soil and water as soon as the soil is dry to touch. Place the pot in an area that keeps it safe from frosts but gets a lot of light.

Coriander is best used on salads or in sauces when fresh. That said, it is often used in hot Thai dishes for extra flavour. Add the leaves just before serving to maintain maximum taste.

Thyme 

Plant from September to April in Tasmania

Thyme is an excellent herb for indoors as it prefers to be in a sheltered area with plenty of sunlight, such as on a sunny windowsill or a hanging pot on the north side of your home. Most thyme is drought-resistant, so give it plenty of water each time the soil becomes dry to touch.

Throw fresh thyme in egg, tomato or red meat dishes, including beef roasts, spaghetti or on homemade pizzas. Make the most of this flavoursome herb, but be careful not to cut it down to nothing as it can prevent it from growing new leaves.

Parsley 

Plant from September to May in Tasmania

Plant parsley in a pot or in an area of the garden with lots or light. Water it when the top of the soil feels dry to touch – often around 2 to 3 times a week, but don’t allow it to stand in water as this can cause the roots to rot. If the leaves are starting to yellow, add liquid fertiliser to give it a little more life. 

Add fresh parsley to your winter soups and stews or make some delicious pesto pasta with pine nuts and parmesan.

Rosemary

Plant from September to April in Tasmania

The scent of rosemary is enough to transport anyone to their favourite lamb roast recipe and warm winter meals. This herb prefers cooler temperatures with full sun for 6 to 8 hours a day. Potted rosemary requires proper watering. When the soil feels dry to touch, it is time to water it.

Try putting some sprigs of Rosemary into a bottle of olive oil. Allow it to soak up the amazing flavour and use it as a salad dressing, to drizzle over a roast or to gift to a friend. Alternatively, add this beautiful herb to some Greek yoghurt and use it in a sandwich or as a dip.

Sage 

Plant from September to April in Tasmania

Like most herbs, sage needs a lot of sunshine and thrives in a well-drained, sandy, loamy soil. These preferences make it a perfect addition to your potted herbs. Resist the temptation to over-fertilise this herb. It might grow a bit faster, but you may lose the intensity of its flavour.

Sage is amazing when mixed with butter and added to potato, pasta or fish dishes. It also adds fantastic flavour when infused with honey and used in pesto or tomato sauces.

Winter Savory 

Plant from September to April in Tasmania

Winter savory will add an amazing aroma and colour to your herb collection – indoor or out. If you hope to plant winter savory in your outdoor garden, wait until the final frost has passed. Savory requires regular, even watering until established. From then on, this semi-evergreen bush requires minimal care from you. Keep it in full sun and well-drained, sandy soil and cut it back each spring and you should reap the benefits from this hardy herb for four to five years before needing to replant it.

Winter savory has a strong peppery flavour, which makes it perfect for your winter-warming dishes, including a white bean, kale and sausage soup, in your roast stuffing, added to bread or pizza dough, or sprinkled on roasted potatoes.

The key to most herbs is to plant them in fast-draining soil in an area that gets at least four hours of sunlight each day with minimal frosts. A general rule of thumb is to keep the soil slightly moist but not drenched and fertilise them once or twice a month to keep them happy and healthy.