|Like most fall plantings herbs grow best during the cooler drier weather. Now is the time to begin months of great herb plantings that extend through winter and most of spring. Traditionally herbs have been grown in separate gardens but modern planters mix them with flowers and vegetables. Gardeners limited to balconies, patios and even windowsills can enjoy herbs too. In fact many gardeners feel herbs grow best in containers. With these easy to move gardens you are in complete charge of the light, soil, water and fertilizer to ensure the best growth.
Good drainage is one of the most important factors in herb culture. All containers should have one or more large holes in the bottom of the pots. If you are planning a more traditional herb garden consider mounding the soil or using raised beds to ensure the best drainage. Then improve sandy soils with lots of organic matter plus manures and you are ready to plant.
Herbs that grow well in the Fall
The list of basils includes sweet, purple, ruffled lemon and more growing 18 to 24 inches tall. All are annuals started from seed and planted in ground or containers. Use the leaves at any stage and keep the flowers trimmed off for the best production.
Regular and garlic chives are 12 to 18 inch tall perennials that grow year-round in local gardens. Plantings are started from seeds or division of older plants. Trim back the leaves to use at any stage. Garlic chives has the strongest aroma and taste.
Few would guess this herb is really a marigold as the pinched leaves release a familiar tarragon aroma and flavor. The plants grow year-round to 36 inches tall and produce clusters of attractive yellow flowers. Use the leaves at any stage.
It’s hard to pick a favorite when you have peppermint, spearmint, pineapple mint, chocolate mint and more available at your local garden center. Plants grow 12 to 24 inches tall and often several feet wide. Mints can grow out of control so it’s best to restrict them to a small portion of the garden or containers.
It’s fun to just pinch a stem of rosemary to release the spicy aroma. The plant is very drought resistant and should be given the drier location in the garden. Rosemary is a perennial that can grow to 36 inches tall to use as a border or hedge planting.
Keep thyme in a container or allow it to creep out over the garden this perennial only grows 4 to 12 inches tall. You can select thyme with deep green foliage or a variegated variety to add extra interest to the garden. The tiny leaves are best used when young.