Growing Herbs

Fresh Herbs at your finger tips.





Fruiting Vegs.



Lovage Growing in a Kitchen Garden


Plant Fundamentals
Plant Care
Garden Design
Vegetable Garden
Gardening Gourmet
Page  4
Fresh Herbs in the Kitchen Garden.


            Lovage  is a very vigorous, hardy  plant,  whose leaves can be harvested  to give flavouring  to soups  or casseroles, or used  raw for salads while young .The  seeds  are used in baking.  Lovage  has a taste reminiscent  of celery.  Sow seed  indoors in spring, then transplant  out of doors in early summer  into moist, rich soil. Alternatively  divide in early spring or take stem cuttings in the summer.  Lovage  is happy growing in sun or light shade.
Flavoursome  lovage:  This  unusual hardy perennial  has a strong flavour,  similar to celery. Lovage  grows best in partial shade or sun in well-drained  soil and spreads to form large clumps. Top-dress  with well-rotted compost in autumn.
Architectural  angelica: This giant herb is a biennial  and grows to several metres.  The stems of second-year  plants are used in confectionery  and baking.  Macerate  a few pieces of angelica  in white wine  to make a delicious aromatic  wine cup, or use it to flavour cakes and cooked fruit. Angelica produces huge amounts of seed, which will self-seed  copiously  if you leave it all on the plant.
  • Once  angelica  has set seed, the plant dies and you need to remove old plants.  You can hoe off any unwanted  plants in spring, leaving a few to develop.
Horseradish - strong sensations  guaranteed: Horseradish is a perennial plant that produces large, elongated leaves  and a head of white flowers  in summer.  The plant is grown for its white roots,  high in vitamin  C, calcium  and magnesium.
  • The variegated form of horseradish is particularly decorative. Horseradish  spreads from root cuttings,  so when you dig it out, take care not to leave behind pieces of root.
Old-fashioned  horseradish fungicide: Gardeners  used to steep  chopped horseradish leaves  in water, then filter the liquid and use it to spray  fruit trees for the brown rot that attacks them. It was thought that if it was caught early enough, this spray  would help to combat  the fungus.
Top tips for mint: There are many species  and varieties of mint. Low-growing types,  such as Corsican mint,  are best grown as ground  cover  rather  than  for culinary uses. Here are a few of the most popular and best-known  varieties.
  • Spearmint : A mild flavoured  mint, this is used to flavour cucumber,  yoghurt and tabbouleh,  and to make mint tea.
  • Peppermint or black peppermint:  More strongly  flavoured than  other varieties, peppermint  is used  to make infusions.
  • Eau-de-cologne  mint: A mint with green, purple-veined foliage,  it is highly prized for culinary use.
  • Pennyroyol  mint: This strongly  scented wild mint has medicinal  properties.
  • Bowles  mint: This  is the best mint for making  a strong-flavoured  mint sauce.
Keep mint in check:  Mint is well known for its vigorous, invasive  habit,  spreading by means of creeping underground stems. To prevent it from taking over completely, plant it in a large  planter with drainage holes - if the planter does not have drainage holes the mint will become waterlogged  and rot. Sink the planter into the ground  so that its rim is just above  the surface of the soil.  Check  the rim of the pot from time to time  and cut off any escaping  runners.
Deterring flies:  A sprig or two of mint in a glass  of water  is said to be a good way  to keep flies out of a room. You will find that the mint roots  very quickly in water  and in no time you will have extra plants to give to your friends.
Sun-loving perennials.
True and false camomile: Camomile  is an evergreen perennial  herb. Apart  from the common  or Roman  camomile used as sweet-smelling  lawns, there is German camomile, which has  medicinal  properties.  Feverfew is also regarded  as a camomile,  and it is said to be effective in treating  migraines and headaches. It has  pale  green,  sometimes  golden, foliage and lots of tiny white flower heads  with yellow centres.  It also has a strongly  aromatic  foliage and its flowers  are thought to be beneficial  in deterring  insect  pests from invading  other garden  plants.


Did You Know
        Some herb seeds need light to germinate. Basil, savory and sorrel are among the herbs that need to be sown on the soil or compost surface so that the light can reach them. Before sowing, water the compost or soil, then sow  seeds onto the surface. Cover with a light sprinkling of vermiculite, and if seeds  are in planters or seed trays, place in a sunny position. They will germinate much quicker with this method.

Marigolds in a garden bed
The bright orange  flowers of the marigold  last throughout the summer.  The flowers have long been harvested for medicinal  purposes and the petals can be used as a colouring  as well as a flavouring in many dishes, besides being eaten raw in salads. The  leaves  can also be eaten, shredded  and added to salads while still young  and tender. Grow marigolds from seed  sown in early spring or autumn. Once  established,  they  will self seed freely.
Lemon Balm
Lemon balm in garden
          Lemon  balm is a vigorous, hardy  plant, perfect for a sunny  border  among the flowers as well as in the kitchen garden.  Use the sweet, lemon  scented leaves to make  tea, which will soothe headaches,  or else in salads and as a flavouring  in cooking. Lemon  balm leaves also have a soothing effect  when they  are rubbed  on insect stings.  Grow lemon  balm from seed  sown in the spring or else propagate by division in the autumn.

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