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5 Golden Rules for growing herbs

Here are the Little Groves 5 Golden Rules for growing herbs which should help you to grow a bumper crop of herbs and help avoid some common problems:

1) Grow what you like to eat

Be led by your stomach, you'll have greater success if you enjoy eating what you grow.

2) Feed you herbs
If your herbs are in the ground then use some good compost to plant them into.  If they are in pots then pot them on into a bigger size pot as soon as you buy them.  If you can't pot them up any bigger then feed them every 2 weeks with a general fertilizer such as miraclegro, Phostrogen or Tomato food.  Feed your herbs and they'll feed you!

3) Drainage,  Drainage, Drainage
Many herbs (especially the sun loving ones such as Thyme, Rosemary, Sage and Lavender) need good drainage, even if they are in pots.  We recommend using a ratio of at least 1 third grit (such as 6mm gravel) to 2 thirds compost. 

4) Treat you herbs 
Think of what each plant needs to get the best from it. Don't mix shade or moisture  loving herbs (such as mints, parsley, chervil, sorrels)  in with sunny or well drained soil loving herbs (Thyme, Rosemary, Sage) in one pot - treat them to 1 big pot each and put them in the position / soil they prefer.

5) Pruning & harvesting
Herbs are there to be used so get snipping!  Just think about how you are harvesting.  Cut them so you still have some growing shoots left (i.e. don't cut basil at ground level, leave some leaves there to grow on).  If you haven't cut them much this year then give your woodier herbs (such as Rosemary, Lavender, Sages, Thymes, Savoury) a trim over by the end of August so they can heal and toughen up again for winter.  This keeps them in a good shape and gives you a great harvest!  If you can use it all at once then put them into sandwich bags and put them in the freezer - it's a really easy way to store your herbs for use all year long!

Posted by Becky Stork

Becky Stork (nee Groves) is part of the 6th generation of Groves' who run C.W. Groves & Son.  She is the nursery manager both at Little Groves and at HQ in Bridport. 

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