I love herbs in cooking and we really enjoyed the supply for fresh herbs from the allotment last summer. But getting fresh herbs that would have cost a fortune from the shops is not the only reason to sow these handy plants in your garden. Various different herbs can attract a host of beneficial insects and can aid other plants when placed alongside them.
Today I got around to sowing some herbs indoors. These are not all the herbs we will be growing by any means, but just the seeds I happened to have to hand:
– Parsley (moss curled): As well as having some for cooking, some parsley will be placed next to the tomatoes as a trap crop to prevent insects who would otherwise spoil the tomato plants.
– Thyme: This can be used to attract beneficial hoverflies (who eat aphids) and also useful pollinators to various areas of the garden. It is useful also as a companion plant, repelling pests from, amongst others, potatoes and tomatoes.
– Coriander: This is another attractant for hoverflies and other predatory insects and repels aphids and other pests. Both the leaves and seeds of coriander are useful in the kitchen.
– Chervil: If grown next to radishes, chervil will make them spicier – good if you like a bit of a kick in your salad. Chervil is also an excellent shade tolerant plant, so it should do well in shadier areas of the orchard.
– Dill: Ladybirds and other aphid munchers really love dill. Somewhere away from the coriander so the two don’t spoil each other, dill will eventually live happily beside some fennel, which all other plants dislike. Fennel will also bring ladybirds to the garden.
– Herb chives: Chives, like all alliums, have a range of uses. But I will mostly be using mine alongside the onions to confuse carrot flies and stop them from destroying my carrot crop.
I also currently have oregano which has survived the winter on the windowsill and is throwing up new shoots. Oregano, along with basil to be planted later, will act as some ground cover underneath the tomatoes and reduce any aphid problems.
Also on the wish list for the garden are lavender, mint, rosemary, sage and tarragon, all of which I would also find multiple uses for.