You’ll find a huge range of annual herbs on our seed racks here at the garden centre in London, so drop by this week and pick out your favourites. Annual herbs are super generous as they last just one season, so they grow really fast, producing lush, leafy, fragrant greenery for you to pick within weeks of sowing. Here are just a few you can try:
- Parsley is a traditional favourite; choose between flat-leaved Italian or crinkly moss-curled varieties. Sow into modules, but be patient, as the seeds can take a few weeks to germinate. Parsley needs a shady spot and damp soil to thrive.
- Chervil is an unusual but delicious annual herb with feathery leaves and white flowers. Its leaves add a sweet, aniseed flavour to salads. This is another one that prefers shade; sow direct where it’s to grow and keep well watered.
- Dill looks very similar to fennel, with the same finely-cut, ferny foliage and big, showy yellow flower heads. Sow direct into the soil, where it will grow up to an impressive 1.2m tall. Use the aniseedy leaves in salads, and crush the seeds into curries.
- Coriander is a must-have if you enjoy spicy food. Give it a sunny spot and sow seeds direct. Keep well-watered and it’ll stay leafy for weeks, but if it does bolt (flower and set seed) don’t worry: just collect the seeds once dried and grind those into your curries instead.
- Basil loves plenty of warmth and moisture – it grows particularly large and lush in a greenhouse, or in a container in a sunny, sheltered spot. There are loads of different types to choose from, including burgundy red varieties, Thai and Greek basil.