Cool Season Herbs to Plant Now

Feb 4, 2010

Spring_combo1While city life may not always afford the space to grow all of our own goodies, there’s usually room for at least a few herbs in containers. Now is a great time to plant cool-season herbs for spring harvest. Here are a few of my favorite must-haves for the fall garden:

Dill: One of the easiest herbs to grow from seed, this feathery beauty has many culinary uses. Dill is fantastic added to salads, cream cheese, and much more. Dill prefers a sunny spot but can tolerate some afternoon shade. Swallowtail butterflies will lay their eggs on dill plants, so be prepared to plant a few extra for them!

Cilantro (Coriander): I wish I could grow cilantro year-round, as it’s probably my favorite fresh herb. But, it prefers the cooler temperatures of fall and spring. Plants can be easily grown from seed or planted from transplants. Keep plants harvested regularly to postpone flowering. Pinch off flower buds as they emerge. They young leaves tend to have the best flavor. Full sun or a bit of afternoon shade is best.

: If you’re looking for a way to brighten up your winter landscape, parsley makes a beautiful emerald green companion to your pansies. Parsley is a frost tolerant biennial and will grow from fall through spring. You’ll typically find flat leaf and curled leaf (French) parsley in the garden center. Both types are full of vitamins and minerals. Curled parsley is a prettier ornamental and can be used much like cabbage and kale in the winter garden. Full sun is best.

Fennel: A perennial or biennial herb that looks a lot like dill, but is anise-scented and grows quite large, up to four feet. Plants are quite beautiful, especially some of the bronze-leafed varieties. Fennel, like dill, attracts swallowtail butterfly caterpillars.

All of these lovely and flavorful herbs can be successfully grown in containers.

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