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Fresh herbs enrich the kitchen and turn almost every dish into a delicacy. Although you can buy more or less fresh herbs in almost every supermarket today, herbs from your own garden taste much better, are fresher and, above all, are available at any time. A well-assorted herb bed does not even need a lot of space and the need for care is also kept within manageable limits.

planting time

Why the right planting time is important

In order for your herbaceous perennials to thrive, they should be planted at the right time. However, the optimal time can vary significantly depending on which herb you prefer. When you should plant depends, among other things, on the prevailing climate in your area, but also on the winter or frost hardiness of the selected herb plants. In well-run nurseries, potted herbs are usually available at the time when they are safe to plant in the garden, with few exceptions. This often includes the rather sensitive basil.

herbal plants

Most varieties of basil are quite sensitive to temperatures below +15 °C. They are better suited for planting in a pot or on a south-facing balcony than for the garden bed. First, slowly get the basil used to fresh air before putting it in the garden or herb bed. However, even a cool night can be fatal to him. Therefore wait until it is warm enough at night before planting.

Perennial herbs

Hardy or perennial herbs

In general, spring is the best time for planting a wide variety of herbs. However, it is highly recommended to plant hardy or perennial herbaceous perennials in autumn for the coming season. The ideal time to repot or replant these herbs is September and October. This offers some advantages. However, perennial does not generally mean absolutely frost hardy.

If you have already planted your herbs in autumn and if they have grown well before winter, they will sprout again very early in spring. At a time when you can not even think about planting, the first green is already showing on these herbs. The plants are quite resistant to late night frosts, but also to prolonged droughts, which are not uncommon in spring or early summer. So you can start harvesting relatively early.

Good to plant in autumn:

  • mint
  • vermouth
  • thyme
  • tarragon
  • mugwort

Benefits of fall planting

Many herbal plants grow better and faster in autumn than in spring. This is not least due to the wetness of the soil in autumn and winter. It closes tightly around the roots relatively quickly, so that small cavities are filled. By spring, many new roots have formed, which can draw moisture and nutrients from greater depths. This largely prevents drying out or a lack of nutrients.

Mediterranean herbs

  • sage
  • rosemary
  • thyme

Many of the well-known Mediterranean herbs are perennial and conditionally hardy. With these herbs, your region plays an important role when considering the best time to plant. If you live in a wine-growing region where the winters are relatively mild, then you can definitely plant in the fall. You can then harvest from evergreen herbs such as sage or rosemary well into winter or all year round.

Sage in the garden bed

However, if you have a long and/or particularly cold winter, you should plant in spring. Although most herbaceous perennials recover fairly quickly from any frost damage, it does take some time before they are fully sprouted again and ready for the next harvest. In this case, frost-free overwintering and replanting in spring is recommended.

Exotic herbs

  • lemongrass
  • curry herb
  • coriander
  • Thai basil

Even with exotic herbs, you should differentiate between frost-hardy and sensitive herbs and choose the time of planting accordingly. Thai basil and coriander are among the so-called annual herbs that you should plant in the spring. They don't tolerate frost. Plant them in the garden in the second half of May at the earliest. Be sure to check the weather forecast. If isolated night frosts are still expected, then postpone the time for planting by a few days.

Curry herb, Helichrysum italicum

When to plant or sow the most important herbs:

  • Savory: sowing and planting from May
  • Dill: Sow from April
  • Tarragon: Sow Russian tarragon from April, plant French tarragon from the end of May
  • Garden cress: sow in the garden from March, indoors all year round
  • Chervil: Sow from the end of March
  • Coriander: Sow from April
  • Lavender: planting from May
  • Lovage: sowing and planting in April
  • Marjoram: Sowing and planting only after the ice saints
  • Parsley: Sow from mid-March
  • Rosemary: Planting from April
  • Sage: planting from April/May
  • Chives: Sow in the garden from March, indoors all year round
  • Thyme: Planting from the end of April
  • Lemon balm: Sowing and planting from May
French lavender, Lavandula stoechas


When is the best time of day to plant herbs

Gardening is of course the most fun when the sun is shining and it is warm, but this is not the weather for planting. An overcast, only moderately warm day is ideal for this. This makes it easier for the plants. They have less stress, grow more easily and recover quickly. This is especially true for herbs that prefer a warm, sunny location. Planted in the midday heat and not sufficiently used to it, these herbs will burn quite quickly.

In the early morning hours it is usually still relatively cool and the night humidity is still present. If the day is to remain overcast and rather cool, then you can plant your herbaceous perennials in the morning. But if it gets very warm, young herb plants in particular will be limp by the afternoon at the latest. Therefore, it is better to postpone planting until the (early) evening. The soil was warmed up throughout the day, which is also good for the herbs. Water the young herbs well. The moist soil closes tightly around the roots and the seedlings regenerate overnight.

herbs in a bowl

Advantages of evening planting:

  • ground is warmed up
  • no drying out in the midday sun
  • Young plants regenerate overnight

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