The Gardening Year for the Herb Garden


As soon as weather conditions permit, plant container-grown herbs in prepared ground or in pots. Newly planted herbs should be watered and fed on planting; delay until late spring for established plants. Sow seeds of perennial herbs such as chives, and sow a succession of regularly used annuals and biennials such as dill and parsley.

Cut back herbaceous plants before growth starts, and repot or top-dress plants in containers. Shrubby herbs such as lavender and thyme should be hard pruned to encourage new sideshoots. Shrubby herbs may also be mound layered to produce new shoots for propagation.


Container-grown herbs may be planted out into the garden, and seeds of annuals and biennials sown. Feed and water young plants and those grown in pots. Harvest leaves, flowers and seeds throughout the season; deadhead spent flowers unless seed is required.

From mid-summer, semi-ripe, softwood and stem cuttings may be taken for propagation. Cut back herbaceous plants after flowering. Shrubby herbs should be trimmed back in late summer, to encourage bushiness and low branching. Take the flower stems down to the first leaves and nip out the tips out of the main new young shoots.


Continue to plant out herbs whilst weather conditions permit. Sow annual and biennial seed in early autumn.

Harvest roots and seedheads as appropriate and cut back dead foliage of herbaceous perennials. However, in cold areas, this foliage should be left to provide the plant with some protection against frost and wind. Protect tender herbs and those in containers. Lift, divide and pot up mature plants for winter use indoors.


Browse through planting catalogues and order seeds ready for planting in spring. Prepare the ground for spring planting.