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Herbs are tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions and they grow well with very little maintenance. However, for best results we have divided the herbs into four categories. If you follow the growing hints for each group, your herbs should be healthy, flavoursome and fragrant.
Soil preparation and aspect
Soil preparation is the same as for vegetables. Generally, herbs prefer a light, well-drained, crumbly soil, but most will grow satisfactorily in fairly heavy soil provided there is good drainage.
Before planting, dig the soil to a depth of about 25 cm. Remove all weeds and break up clods to bring the soil to a moderately fine texture. If the soil lacks humus, place 5-10 cm of organic matter on the surface and dig in to spade depth. At the same time, apply animal manure, blood and bone, or a complete fertiliser. Agricultural lime or dolomite would also be beneficial if mixed in at the rate of about half a cup to the square metre. If possible, prepare the soil several weeks before planting.
For best results, plant herbs where they will receive sun all day. Some, such as parsley and mint, are tolerant of partial shade.
1. Vegetable Culture Herbs
Anise, Basil, Caraway, Capsicums (Sweet Peppers and Chillies), Catnip, Chervil, Chicory, Chives, Cumin, Coriander, Dill, Endive, Fennel, Garlic, Horseradish, Land Cress, Lovage, Parsley, Rocket, Salad Burnet, Shallots.
2. Mediterranean Climate Herbs
Catmint, Chamomile, Curry Bush (Grey Leaf), French Tarragon, Germander, Hyssop, Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Marjoram, Nasturtium, Oregano, Pineapple Sage, Pyrethrum, Rosemary, Rue, Sage, Santolina, Savories, Scented Geraniums (Pelargoniums), Thyme, Wormwood, Yarrow.
3. Ample Summer Moisture Herbs
Angelica, Baytree, Bergamot, Cardamon, Comfrey, Elderberry Five-in-one, Heartsease, Lemon Balm, Lemon Grass, Lovage, Mints, Sorrel, Water Cress.
4. Suit Most Conditions
Aloe Vera, Borage, Feverfew, Purple Coneflower, Tansy, Winter Tarragon.