We love our community of businesses – all doing exceptional things at keeping our town alive and buzzing with sought-after produce, services and a delightful community spirit. And one such business that plays a huge role in keeping our gardens a-flutter with fantastic wildlife-attracting plants, is Little Groves Nursery.
We asked Becky what her 5 Golden Rules are for growing a hearty bunch of herbs.
Here’s what she writes:
Here at Little Groves, as well as having a general nursery, we specialise in growing herbs and grow over 70 different varieties. Over the years we have been asked all sorts of questions so have put together 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 your 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 and mix them together well. This is the mix that we use for all of our herbs on the nursery.
4) Treat your 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, Lavender and 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, Hyssop) 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!
If you have any other questions about growing herbs then please feel free to pop in and ask us or ping us over an email. Our qualified and friendly team are always happy to help! Little Groves Nursery, Tunnel Road, Beaminster, DT8 3HB (find us between the town and the tunnel) Tel: 01308 862030 www.grovesnurseries.co.uk/littlegroves
Thanks Becky and Team! With advice like this, we surely can’t go wrong!
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