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How to Grow Culinary Herbs

Ask This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook gets a lesson from horticulturist Carrie Kelly on growing herbs you can eat

Ask This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook gets a lesson from horticulturist Carrie Kelly on growing herbs you can eat.

Steps:

  1. Fill the clay pot about halfway with soil with compost and perlite.
  2. Remove an herb plant from its temporary plastic pot and tease out the roots gently, then place it in the clay pot.
  3. Fill in empty space with more soil. Don't pack in soil too tightly.
  4. Put a quick pour of organic fertilizer in a watering can and give the plant a good soaking.
  5. If you're planting herbs together, try to group them according to needs. For example, chives, parsley, and tarragon all require about 6 hours of sunlight a day and need to stay moist.
  6. Rosemary, thyme, and oregano can also be grouped together. They like about 6 to 8 hours of sunlight and can dry out a bit.
  7. Always plant mint alone because it will spread out and overwhelm anything else that's in the container.
  8. To harvest, let your herbs grow to be about 6 inches tall.
  9. Basil can be pinched off at the top to encourage new growth.
  10. Parsley can be pinched off on the outside, with the new growth coming from the center.
  11. Chives can be cut right off the top like a haircut.
  12. If the herbs are not getting enough sunlight, consider buying a grow light as a supplement.