Herbs are a great addition to a home garden and can be used for a variety of reasons such as medicinal, ornamental, culinary, fragrances, and more.1. AngelicaHow do you grow angelica and what is it used for?
Sow in summer as soon as seed is ripe, thin out seedlings, and transplant following spring. Soil should be moist and fairly rich. Light shade is beneficial. The seeds are slow to germinate. The plant is biennial under some conditions, so it is better to sow a few seeds each year to maintain a supply. The steams and leafstalks are used for salads and candied to decorate confections; the seeds for flavoring and for oil. The plants tend to self-sow and the resulting seedlings can be transplanted.2. AniseCan you give me some information on growing anise?
It is an annual, so it must be sown each year. The seeds should be fresh because old seed will not germinate. Sow when the soil has warmed a little (about beginning of May) in rows where the plants are to stand (anise does not transplant readily). Prepare the soil deeply and make it very fine. Sow in rows 15 ins. apart and thin the plants out to 9 ins. apart in the rows. Water in very dry weather.3. Balm or Lemon-balmIs balm difficult to grow? Is it a useful herb?
Lemon-balm (Melisa officinalis) is a hardy perennial of easy culture. It can be grown from seeds sown in prepared soil in July or August; the seedlings are transplanted, when large enough, to their flowering quarters. It can be propagated by division in spring. Any ordinary garden soil is satisfactory. The leaves are used for seasoning, particularly liqueurs. They are also used for salads and for potpourris.4. BasilCan you give me information on growing basil? When should I sow the seeds?
Seeds are sown outdoors after settled warm weather has arrived; or they are started indoors in April and the seedlings transplanted outdoors later. Allow 12 ins. apart between plants. Basil yields abundantly. When cut, it repeatedly sends out new growth. Plants can be lifted in the fall and potted for winter use if desired.5. BorageIs borage annual or perennial? Can it be grown from seed?
An annual, easily grown from seed in any good garden soil. Sow in spring when all danger of frost is past. The seedlings can be transplanted if care is exercised, but the plants are better if grown undisturbed. About 15 ins. should be allowed between plants.6. CamomileIs Anthemis nobilis useful as an herb?
Yes indeed, this is the old-fashioned Roman comomile, with finely cut fragrant leaves and white daisy-like flowers, which have been used in making a medicinal tea. It is also used as a ground cover.7. CarawayHow is caraway grown?
From seeds sown outdoors in late May in rows 2 ft. apart. The plants are thinned to about 9 ins. apart. The first year low-growing plants are formed; the second year seeds are produced; then the plants die. Seed is most abundantly produced if the soil is not too rich. Do not water much, as this tends to keep the stems soft and causes the blossoms to fall before setting seed. Dry, sunny weather favors this crop.8. ChervilHow is chervil grown?
From seeds sown in spring where the plants are to grow. Thin plants to stand 9 ins. apart. Light shade is beneficial. Chervil is an annual. A second sowing can be made in early summer.9. ChivesCan chives be grown from seeds or must I buy plants?
They can be grown from seeds sown outdoors early in spring (but buying a plant is easier). Thin the little plants to about 1/2 in. apart. They are hardy perennials, multiply rapidly, and need little attention. Divide every second year. They like a moderately moist soil.10. ClaryIs clary difficult to grow?
Clary (Salvia sclarea) is a biennial and dies after flowering. Sow seeds in early spring; thin to 6 ins. apart; as the plants develop, pull out every other one. Those removed can be dried. The plants bloom and set seeds the second year. A rich soil is advantageous.11. CorianderIs it easy to grow coriander seed?
Yes. Sow (thinly) in spring in well-drained, average soil and in sunny position. Thin to stand 9 or 10 ins. apart. Plants and fresh seeds are unpleasantly scented, but ripe seeds become very fragrant as they dry.12. CostmaryHow is costmary grown?
Propagate it from seeds or by root division. Plant in full sun or very light shade. Space plants about 3 ft. apart. Lift and replant every third year. A freely drained soil is needed. (The botanical name is Chrysanthemum balsamita.)13. DillHow do you grow dill?
Dill is a fast-growing annual that matures in about 70 days. Sow in early spring in well-prepared soil, in rows 2 ft. apart, where the plants are to remain. The plants grow about 3 ft. tall and make a good-sized bush. Thin out the seedlings to 3 or 4 ins. apart at first; later give a final thinning so that they stand a foot apart.14. Dittany of CreteWhat is dittany of Crete and how is it grown in the herb garden?
It is Cimaracus dictamnus. Increase it by seeds or cuttings. It is not hardy where winters are cold and must be wintered indoors in pots. A sandy soil, perfect drainage, and full sun are cultural desiderata.15. FennelHave you data on perennial fennel that grows 10 ft. tall?
The common fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) has escaped to the wild in the South and grows 8 ft. in heigh. In colder climates, fennel is less tall, rarely reaching 4 ft. and usually grown as an annual.How is Florence fennel grown?
As an annual. Seeds are sown in spring where the plants are to mature. The seedlings are thinned out to 6 ins. apart. The plants mature in about 60 days.16. FoxgloveIs the foxglove (digitalis) a perennial?
No, a biennial, although occasionally a plant will persist for 3 years. Sow seeds each June. They need a well-drained soil that is deep and fairly moist.Can digitalis (foxglove) be grown in partial shade?
Yes, if you are growing it for its decorative effect; but when raised commercially for drug purposes it must be grown in full sun, as the valuable alkaloid does not develop satisfactorily in shade-grown plants.17. GarlicWill garlic live over winter?
It is often treated as an annual sine it is the young bulblets at the base of the plant that are used in cooking. If the winters are not too severe, and if winter cover is given properly, garlic can be treated as a perennial.18. GingerCan ginger root be grown in New York State?
Common ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a topical plant adapted for culture only in warm climates. The wild ginger (Asarum canadense) is a native of our own rich woodlands. It responds to cultivation if given a rich, rather moist soil. There is also Asarum europaeum, a good ground cover.19. HyssopWhat are the cultural requirements of hyssop?
Give this perennial full sun or light shade, and a warm, freely drained well-limed soil. Allow about a foot between plants. Trim plants back after flowering. Easily propagated by seeds, cuttings, or root divisions.20. Lavender
See Growing Lavender21. Lemon-verbenaHow is lemon-verbena grown?
Lemon-verbena (Aloysia triphylla) is a tender shrub which, in cold climates, must be taken in for the winter. Cut plants back in fall; water just enough to keep them from drying out. In February bring into the light, in a cool temperature. Re-pot and set out again in the garden when danger of frost is past.When should cuttings of lemon-verbena be made?
In fall, when the plants are trimmed back before being brought inside; or in spring, when new growth is made. Give same treatment as advised for cuttings of lavender.22. LovageIs lovage suitable for a tiny herb garden?
Hardly. It is a perennial 6 or 7 ft. tall, and plants need to be spaced about a yard apart.What soil and culture for the herb lovage that has flavor of celery?
Propagate by seeds sown in early fall, or by root division in spring. Provide a rich, moist soil in full sun or light shade.23. Marjoram
See Growing Marjoram24. MintWhat is the culture of peppermint? How is oil extracted from it?
Grows best in deep, rich, humusy soil which is open and well drained. The runners are planted in spring, 2 to 3 ft. apart, in shallow trenches. Keep well cultivated and free from weeds. When in full bloom the plants are cut and cured like hay. The oil is extracted by distillation with steam.25. ParsleyCan parsley be dug in the fall and potted for winter use in the home?
Yes. No herb garden is complete without a few plants of parsley. Usually a biennial, propagated by seed best sown in early spring in a pot indoors on a warm window sill, since it is very slow in germinating.26. Pot-marigoldWhat is pot-marigold? What is it used for? Is it hard to grow?
Calendula officinalis - one of our most useful decorative annuals. As an herb, the flower heads were used for seasoning and coloring butter. It thrives best in cool weather. Sow outdoors in spring, or indoors in March for spring planting. Transplant 12 ins. apart. Sow again about July 1 for fall crop. The plants from this sowing will grow on into late fall and will survive light frost.27. RosemaryWhat is the best way to grow rosemary?
Rosemary is a tender shrub, not hardy in the North; but it may be plunged outdoors in a sunny, sheltered spot during the summer, and carried over winter in a cool, light room. Pot in well-drained soil to which a sprinkling of lime has been added. Propagate by cuttings.What is the best protection for rosemary in this location? (Illinois.)
It is a tender shrub and must be brought in for the winter in cold climates. If there is not space for so large a plant, make a few cuttings, which will root readily in moist sand and be ready to set out in the spring.28. RueIs rue hardy in northern gardens? Could you give its culture?
Rue (Ruta graveolens) is hardy to Long Island, N.Y. It will not winter over outdoors in very severe climates, so it is much safer to keep it indoors during winter. It is easily grown from seeds sown early in spring in rows 18 ins. apart. Thin seedlings to 8 ins. apart, and again removed every other one. Keep the soil well cultivated. The leaves can be used whenever they are large enough. Any ordinary garden soil is satisfactory.29. SageWhich variety of sage is used for culinary use?
Salvia officinalis.I have been unsuccessful in growing sage. What are its needs?
Sage enjoys best a sweet, well-drained, light sandy soil. Sow seeds in very early spring, or in August; or set out good-sized plants in early spring. Sage is not difficult. Give very little water; cultivate during the early part of the season. In spring give a light dressing of bone meal. Easily propagated by means of cuttings.Can sage planted from seed be used and dried first year it is planted?
Yes. Don't strip the whole plant bare, however. Take only the largest leaves, or a branch here and there.When is the best time to "pick" sage; and what is the best method of curing it?
Harvest in late summer. Cut shoots before they bloom, tie into bundles, and hang up; or strip leaves and place loosely in shallow trays in a warm, airy place, not exposed to sun.30. Salad burnetIs salad burnet a good herb for the herb garden?
Yes, it is easily grown and is often a weed. Usually perennial in habit, frequently found in dry, gravelly fields or pastures, it is used in salads or iced drinks. Propagated by seeds or division of the plant. Leaves have cucumber flavor.31. SavoryWhat kind of soil and culture does savory need?
There are two kinds of savory: summer savory (annual) (Satureja hortensis) and winter savory (perennial) (S. montana). Both grow best in a rather poor but well-limed soil, in an exposed sunny site. The annual kind is considered better than the perennial. The seeds are very small and are best sown indoors in pots and barely covered. Watering is done by immersing the pot in water, as the seeds wash out easily. Seedlings are set out when all danger of frost is over. Set seedlings in rows, 8 ins. between plants, 15 ins. between rows. The perennial sort can be handled in the same way.32. Sweet CicelyWhat are the garden requirements for growing sweet Cicely?
Sow seed in early fall, in well-drained average soil, and in light shade. When plants are mature they should stand 18 to 20 ins. apart. It is a hardy perennial and may be increased by root division.33. Sweet flagI want to grow sweet flag in my herb garden. Does it need full sun?
Full sun is not necessary for Acorus calamus, but it must have moist soil. It is really a waterside plant. Propagated by division of rhizomes.34. Sweet-woodruffWhat conditions in the garden does sweet-woodruff (Asperula odorata) need?
An open, rather moist soil, where drainage is goo,d and shade or partial shade. A fine perennial ground-cover plant in the right location. The leaves are used to give May wine its special flavor.35. TarragonWhat soil for tarragon? Shade or sun?
Almost any well-drained garden soil. Sun preferred, but will endure light shade.Will you give me all information possible to grow tarragon? When to plant?
Tarragon, a hardy perennial, needs a well-drained soil, moderately rich, with considerable lime. It does best in a lightly shaded location. This plant, since it seeds but little, is propagated by stem or root cuttings, or by division. Stem cuttings are taken any time during the summer, rooted in sand, and planted out. Root cuttings or divisions can be set out in early spring, 12 ins. apart. Do not use chemical fertilizer to force growth, as the quality of the leaves is affected by a too-rich diet.36. Thyme
See Growing thyme37. WatercressHow could I grow watercress for table use in my home garden that has no water?
Watercress is a plant of running water, growing in the edge of clear, fresh streams. It may be grown, after a fashion, in a moist spot in the garden, and the plants will last for a time in such a location if it is shady, but they will not live through the winter unless covered with water. They become true perennials only when grown in running water. As an alternative, you can grow the garden cress, or pepper-grass, Lepidium virginicum. This is an annual, and furnishes salad in 3 to 4 weeks. Sow seed thickly in shallow drills 12 ins. apart. Make 2 sowings, 2 weeks apart in spring, and 2 sowings in August.