Photography by Daniel Harrison Image by: Photography by Daniel Harrison
Planning on using an herb, such as fragrant lavender, for a decorative flowerbed border? Growing from seed is less expensive when looking to cover a large area. Otherwise, it's much easier and faster to purchase plants, says Westcott-Gratton.
Most herbs require full sun. "Direct sunlight beating down on the leaves makes the plant produce oils that give the flavour. That's why herbs don't produce as strong a taste when grown inside on windowsills," says Westcott-Gratton.
Other than mint, which is best planted only in pots (as it can take over entire flowerbeds), most herbs grow equally as well in pots or beds. Westcott-Gratton recommends combining sand or cactus mix (a fast-draining potting soil available at most nurseries) with potting soil for container-grown herbs.
"Herbs prefer to be on the dry side," says Westcott-Gratton. "Stick your finger in the top centimetre or so of the soil; if it's moist, leave it alone." Soil dries more rapidly in small pots, so consider grouping herbs in a large container to save on watering time.
In bright sun, most herbs play well with others. Avoid planting them in beds near black walnut trees which give off a substance called juglone that stunts the growth of surrounding plants.
Add one—or all—of these homegrown healthy greens to your herb collection.