Herb Care

Herbs are fun and typically easy to grow plants that add interesting flavour profiles to recipes. When transplanting herbs to new pots or in the ground, they will require additional watering for the first few days to adjust to their new home. It can also be helpful to water them in with seaweed extract. Once established, be sure not to over water or under water by checking soil moisture before watering. Healthy soil is also key to successful growing.

Aromatto Basil

  • Botanical Name:Ocimum basilicum ‘Aromatto’
  • Common name: Aromatto basil
  • Sun requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Water requirements: Moderate.
  • Soil requirements: Wide range, but does best in rich well-drained soil.
  • Spacing: Plants 6 to 12” apart.
  • Height: 18 to 24” tall.
  • Harvest tips: Pinch out the top growing buds to make a bushier plant when there are three pairs of leaves. Pinch right above the second pair of leaves from the bottom. This is also the first harvest. Pinching will cause the plant to make two stems from the pinch. In a week or so, pinch the new growth on the new stems (it the very top growth). Continue harvesting through the season.
  • Notes: Will have purple and pink flowers in the summer to fall and can be added to flower bouquets. If the plant is continually cut and harvested, it will prevent flowering. Protect from frost.

Italian Basil

  • Botanical Name:  Ocimum basilicum
  • Common name: Italian large leave basil
  • Sun requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Leaves can become sun burnt if in direct hot sun for long durations.
  • Water requirements: Moderate to moist. Basil is not drought tolerant and can be damaged by heat stress.
  • Soil requirements: Moderately rich, moist soil.
  • Spacing: Plants 4 to 8” apart.
  • Height: 24 to 30” tall.
  • Harvest tips: The same instructions as aromatto basil above.
  • Notes: Not frost tolerant.


  • Botanical Name: Coriandrum sativum
  • Common name: Cilantro or coriander
  • Sun requirements: Full sun or partial shade during the heat of summer to avoid bolting.
  • Water requirements: Moderate.
  • Soil requirements: Rich, well-drained.
  • Spacing: 2 to 4” with rows 12 to 18” apart.
  • Height: 12 to 17” tall.
  • Harvest tips: Leaves can be harvested from establishment until flowering, typically when leaves have reached about 4 to 5″ tall. Plant can be cut back nearly fully to the ground and it will regrow back again. Mature seeds are produced about 3 months after planting and are harvested when dry on the plant.
  • Notes: Plant can usually regrow from harvesting in about 14 days.


  • Botanical Name: Anethum graveolens
  • Common name: Dill
  • Sun requirements: Full sun.
  • Water requirements: Moderate.
  • Soil requirements: Rich light soil, but will tolerate most.
  • Spacing: 2 to 4” within rows and about 12” apart between rows.
  • Harvest tips: Leaves can be harvested from establishment until flowering, when plants are about 6 to 10” tall. Harvest before the plant flowers. Leave 1 to 2″ of growth behind in the ground to obtain multiple cuts in cooler weather (usually only one cut in summer heat). Seeds can be harvested when they turn brown.
  • Notes: Self-seeding. Can become weedy. Leaves and seeds can be dried for future use.

Korean Mint

  • Botanical Name: Agastache rugosa
  • Common name: Korean mint, purple giant hyssop
  • Sun requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Aroma will be weaker in shady area.
  • Water requirements: Moderate to moist. Requires additional watering when transplanted.
  • Soil requirements: Moist, moderately well-drained. Needs drainage through the winter months to survive.
  • Spacing: 12” in rows and 18” between rows.
  • Height: 16 to 40” tall.
  • Harvest tips: Pick leaves at any point in the growing season once plants are well-established. In the spring, the first harvest can cut the plant to 1 inch above the ground and it will grow back. Harvest in midday for the strongest flavor when essential oil concentrations are high. Either take leaves for eating or cut portions of the stem. The plant will branch below where it is cut.
  • Notes: Used as a salad green or dried and used as seasoning. Has a strong licorice-mint flavor. Bees and butterflies are attracted to the blue-purple flowers. In Korea it is used in pancakes and stew. Can also be drunk as an herbal tea. Grows as a perennial and needs lots of space. Roots can be dug out in autumn or early spring and divided then planted at 12” spacing. Deadhead the flowers to promote additional blooms. Take cuttings from containers in late summer for overwintering. Plants can spread in the garden by self-seeding, so be sure to plant in a long-term space.


  • Botanical Name: Petroselinium crispum
  • Common name: Giant of Italy parsley
  • Sun requirements: Full sun.
  • Water requirements: Moderate to moist. Water during dry spells.
  • Soil requirements: If in well-drained soil, it can usually be overwintered to produce an early spring crop.
  • Spacing: Plants 8 to 12” apart.
  • Height: 18 to 20” tall.
  • Harvest tips: Harvest leaves when plants are 5 to 6″ tall. Leave 2 to 3″ of growth at the base of the plant. Can get multiple cuts in cooler temperatures, but usually only one in the summer heat.
  • Notes: Can store in fridge or dry to store for longer periods.


  • Botanical Name: Salvia officinalis
  • Common name: Common sage.
  • Sun requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Water requirements: Low water inputs.
  • Soil requirements: Most soils, but requires good drainage with a fair amount of nitrogen.
  • Spacing: 12” apart between plants is ideal.
  • Height: 16 to 30”. tall
  • Harvest tips: Individual leaves may be harvested the first year once plants have become established.  The plant can also be harvested in sprigs. In the second year and following years, cut stems to within 6″ of the base of the plant just as flowers are starting to open. Pick the leaves as desired as long as you don’t cut back more than half the plant. If you do it may stop producing.
  • Notes: With good drainage plants can live as a perennial. Plants become woody after 3 to 4 years and may need replacing. Sage does best with mulch over the winter.