13 Best Herbs to Plant in Each Season

Kasey Spencer
Best Herbs to Plant in Each Season

Whether you’re a beginner with a small kitchen garden or a seasoned green thumb, understanding the right herbs to grow as the seasons change is key to a thriving, fragrant harvest.

In this post, we’ll explore 13 herbs that flourish in specific seasons, enrich your cooking, and boost your home’s greenery. From the refreshing zing of basil in spring to the robust warmth of rosemary in autumn, each herb brings a unique charm to your garden and your table.

Seasonal herb gardening isn’t just about adding flavor to your dishes; it’s about aligning with nature’s rhythm. Planting the right herbs at the right time ensures healthier growth, less maintenance, and a more bountiful harvest. Plus, it’s a sustainable way to keep your kitchen stocked with organic, homegrown flavors.

Spring Herbs

Spring, with its promise of new growth and warm sunshine, is the perfect time to start your herb garden. Let’s look at some of the best spring herbs to plant, focusing on their growing conditions and unique benefits.

1. Basil

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Basil thrives in warm, sunny environments. This herb loves well-drained soil and requires regular watering, especially in drier conditions. Plant basil in a spot with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. It’s sensitive to cold, so wait until the threat of frost has passed before planting outdoors.

Aside from its essential role in culinary dishes like pesto, basil is also known for its aromatic leaves that can enhance the flavor of salads, soups, and more. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in antioxidants. Plus, its vibrant green leaves make it a beautiful addition to your garden.

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2. Parsley

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Parsley prefers cooler spring temperatures and partial to full sunlight. It can grow in various soil types, as long as it is moist and well-drained. Parsley seeds can take a few weeks to germinate, so be patient!

Parsley isn’t just a garnish; it’s a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins A, C, and K. It’s great for digestive health and can freshen your breath too. Its bright green leaves and subtle flavor make it a versatile herb in the kitchen.

3. Chives

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Chives are one of the easiest herbs to grow in spring. They tolerate many conditions but prefer well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. Chives can be grown from seeds or transplants and will often reseed themselves.

Chives add a mild onion flavor to dishes and are a delightful addition to potatoes, salads, and egg recipes. They’re also beneficial for gardens as they deter pests and attract pollinators. Nutrient-wise, chives are high in vitamins A and C and contain helpful antioxidants.

Summer Herbs

As the warmth of summer blankets our gardens, it’s the perfect time to introduce herbs that thrive in the heat. Let’s delve into some ideal summer herbs, their growing conditions, and their benefits to your garden and kitchen.

5. Mint

A moroccan mint plant
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Mint is a hardy herb that prefers a bit of shade during the hottest part of the day. It grows well in moist, well-drained soil. Be cautious, as mint can be invasive; planting it in containers is a wise choice to control its spread.

The refreshing aroma and flavor of mint make it a favorite in summer beverages and dishes. It’s also known for its digestive benefits and soothing properties. Mint is a wonderful natural repellent for pests, making it a beneficial companion in your garden.

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7. Cilantro

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Cilantro enjoys the cooler parts of summer and may bolt in excessive heat. It prefers well-drained soil and partial shade. Regular watering is key to keeping cilantro happy, especially during dry spells.

This herb is essential in many culinary traditions, adding a fresh, citrusy flavor to dishes. Cilantro is rich in antioxidants and has detoxifying properties. Its delicate green leaves and white flowers can also add beauty to your herb garden.

8. Lemongrass

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Lemongrass loves heat and sunlight. It thrives in well-drained soil and requires regular watering. It can be grown in the ground or large pots, making it versatile for different garden spaces.

Known for its lemony scent and flavor, lemongrass is a staple in many Asian cuisines. It has medicinal properties, including aiding digestion and relieving pain. Additionally, lemongrass is a natural mosquito repellent, making it a great choice for summer gardening.

Each of these herbs brings a unique touch to your summer herb gardening endeavors. Not only do they provide delightful flavors and aromas for your culinary creations, but they also offer various health benefits and natural pest control.

Autumn Herbs

As the air turns crisp and leaves begin to fall, it’s time to focus on herbs that flourish in the cooler temperatures of autumn. Let’s explore some of the best herbs for fall, their ideal growing conditions, and their unique benefits.

9. Thyme

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Thyme is a hardy herb that thrives in well-drained soil and full sun. It’s tolerant of dry, tough conditions, making it perfect for autumn’s fluctuating weather. Plant thyme in a spot that gets plenty of light, and be careful not to overwater.

Thyme is a versatile herb in the kitchen, adding a warm, earthy flavor to dishes. It’s also known for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. In your garden, thyme’s tiny flowers can attract beneficial pollinators, enhancing the health and beauty of your autumn garden.

10. Sage

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Sage prefers full sun but can tolerate light shade. It grows best in well-drained, sandy soil and doesn’t require a lot of water, making it ideal for the cooler, sometimes wetter autumn months.

With its distinctive peppery flavor, sage is a staple in many fall dishes, especially in stuffings and with roasted meats. Medicinally, sage is celebrated for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Its grey-green leaves and lovely flowers also add a unique aesthetic to your herb garden.

11. Rosemary

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Rosemary is a robust, evergreen herb that loves well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. It’s drought-tolerant, making it a great choice for autumn when watering schedules may become less frequent.

Rosemary’s strong, pine-like aroma and flavor make it a favorite in cooking, particularly with meats and breads. It’s also beneficial for memory and circulation. In the garden, rosemary’s needle-like leaves and blue flowers provide a beautiful, fragrant addition to your fall herb collection.

Winter Herbs

Winter gardening can be a challenge, but it also offers a unique opportunity to grow herbs that thrive in the cooler months. In this section, we’ll explore some key winter herbs, their ideal growing conditions, and their benefits to your garden and kitchen during the colder season.

12. Dill

Dill growing in garden
Image: Envato Elements

Dill does well in cooler temperatures and tolerates light frost. It prefers a sunny location and well-drained soil. Dill can be grown in containers or directly in the ground. Dill can continue to grow throughout the season in regions with mild winters.

Dill’s feathery leaves and unique flavor make it a popular herb for pickling and seasoning fish, salads, and soups. It contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like calcium and iron. Dill attracts beneficial insects in the garden and can help protect your winter crops.

13. Oregano

Wild oregano
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Oregano is a hardy perennial that can withstand colder temperatures. It prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Well-drained soil is essential to prevent root rot in wetter winter conditions. Oregano can be grown in the ground or pots, making it versatile for different garden setups.

Oregano is a staple in Mediterranean cooking, known for its robust flavor. It’s also celebrated for its antimicrobial properties and is a source of dietary antioxidants. Oregano’s resilience makes it a valuable addition to your winter herb garden.

14. Bay Laurel

Bay Laurel
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Bay laurel, or bay leaf, is a hardy plant that can be grown as a shrub or small tree. It prefers well-drained soil and can be grown in pots for easy movement indoors during freezing. Bay laurel needs some protection from harsh winter winds.

The leaves of bay laurel are used to flavor soups, stews, and sauces, adding a subtle depth to many winter dishes. It’s also known for its health benefits, including aiding digestion and reducing inflammation. The evergreen leaves of bay laurel add a touch of green to your winter garden.

Embracing these herbs to grow in winter not only keeps your garden active but also enriches your winter meals with fresh, homegrown flavors. These cold-weather herbs are more than just culinary delights; they are a testament to the resilience and beauty of nature, even in the chill of winter.

So, don’t let the cold weather deter you; explore the possibilities of winter herb gardening and enjoy the robust flavors and benefits these herbs offer.

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