Summer Herbs

Today was the day to get on top of my summer herbs. I poked and sprinkled seeds anywhere I could find a spare patch of fertile soil. High on my priority list was basil. I just can’t get enough of it. Especially when we have tomatoes in the garden. You know, during summer we virtually live on open sandwiches of fresh ricotta, basil, tomato and pepper. I cannot wait! If you have a cheese maker (or factory outlet) anywhere near your home I beg you to get out there on the day they make their fresh batches of ricotta. It is the most amazing thing to buy fresh from the vat. I’m telling you, where I go, you buy this stuff when it is still warm and there is nothing like it! It’s so light. In texture it’s somewhere between custard and warm poached egg. Ah…

…Ok back to earth now! So, where was I? Oh yes, herbs. Now we are fortunate enough to have parsley popping up all over the place. /don’t tell Paul but, it is due to a little parsley dance I did around the garden after harvesting a particularly good crop of parsley seed. He doesn’t like my style of dancing much =) He banned me from doing the Zorba after I cut my heel open on the couch while watching Vasili on the TV. Too funny!

In terms of parsley, my preference is ‘Giant of Italy’. I’ve been growing it for years and although from time to time I grow the curly leaf varieties, given the size and vigour of the giant it makes little sense to me to grow anything else. I’ll try to give you a photographic comparison of the standard flat leaf and giant varieties.  ‘Giant of Italy’ basically grows in a similar fashion to Lovage.

Speaking of Lovage, I sowed some of that too! There was also some cumin, Echinacea and another round of dill since my current crop is about to bolt.

I popped some coriander seeds into my GreenSmart pots; Delfino at the front door, slow bolting at the back. The ‘Delfino’ is a lovely fine leaf coriander. It has the same flavour as standard varieties but the foliage is somewhere between carrot and dill. I find it a little prone to bolting but, I like to grow both varieties. Chickie Boombah goes mad for coriander so, I put everywhere. The thing is: she really loves coriander and I really love her sweet coriander breath.

When I was down at CERES the other day I picked up some Chervil, Marjoram, Artichokes and Horseradish. They all went in today too.

“Hey Chickie… You got a kiss for mamma babe?”

She’s a smoochy girl!


8 responses to this post.

  1. Oh all those herbs sound absolutely lovely! and I am now wishing I lived in a state that permitted Rabbits as pets, unfortunately QLD doesnt 😦


    • HI Becc,

      Yes, I am looking forward to using the herbs as they grow.

      I didn’t realise that Rabbits weren’t allowed up there. That’s sad but smart I guess. After all Chickie came to us after some boneheads in the rental down the road moved out and left their two rabbits behind. They bred with the wild rabbits and the population went crazy. Shame that a few idiots can spoil it for everyone.

      Btw, I had a quick look at your blog. It looks great. I’m looking forward to reading it.

      Take care,



  2. Posted by Michelle Healey on October 19, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Oh you two are too cute!!! Mmmmm now you have me thinking about herbs and tomatoes…


  3. Posted by Nicole on October 20, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Hi Jo, I always have trouble with coriander going to seed after about 2-3 weeks. Any tips on where I should place my pots or how to get it to last longer?


  4. Posted by pavel on October 21, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    ^^^ Hey Nicole, Coriander bolts as soon as the weather heats up, get hold of some slow-bolting seeds and keep the plants heavily mulched and in the shade then hope for the best. If you can, place your pots under the shade of a larger plant; water, shade, mulch, its about all you can do.

    ^^^ You and me both Ms Healey. Nothing compares to coming in from the garden with a tomato, some basil and adding a crack of pepper to an open sandwich…


    • Hi Pavel and Nicole,
      Pavel, thank you and might I say what an excellent response that was! This demonstrates why you are my best student. Just one thing that I would add and that is that coriander is one of those herbs that has a tendency to bolt when sown at certain times of the year. How I get around that is by sowing seed often so that we always have it on hand.

      Nicole, I hope that all of these tips help you.



  5. Posted by alexa on March 4, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    hi Im in high school and I need to do this hospitality project, part of it is that I have to name 5 summer herbs but Im struggling to find any! I was wondering if you could list a few for me it would really help me, thanx 🙂


    • Hi Alexa,

      Thanks for your question. I can see how this could be quite confusing as there is a lot of talk about herbs on the Internet but, mostly the information is non-specific in terms of their seasonal classification. It can also be tricky in some parts of the world, like here in Australia, where we don’t necessarily have clearly defined seasons. In cold climates for example it would be much easier to tell that you have “summer herbs” because they would be the ones that either can’t survive in winter or go dormant during that time. However, in my garden that is not quite so evident – because many of the perennial herbs that would, in a cold climate garden, go completely dormant, don’t. Sure, they start to look a little tired and die back a bit but, after a good prune they reshoot and continue to grow into the autumn and winter. Mint, sage and oregano are just a few of those continual growing “summer herbs”.

      So, I would say that “summer herbs” are those that like the warmer weather and do most of their growing during the spring and summer. They are herbs that we plant in the spring to enjoy harvesting during the summer months. They will often be the type of herbs that die down at the end of summer (but, not always!) or in the case of perennials, ones that need to be cut back hard before the frost arrives.

      One place that might give you a good clue as to which are “summer herbs” and which are “winter herbs” is to look at a few recipe books. For example mint is one of those herbs that is used a lot in summer dishes and drinks. Basil is another important summer herb – very often teamed with fresh tomato dishes because they share the same growing and harvesting seasons and also because of their naturally superb flavour combination.
      The following are some of the summer herbs that I have growing here in my garden. I have listed their Common names and their Botanical names for easy reference. I hope this helps.

      Every Day In The Garden’s Summer Herb List:
      Basil Ocimum basilicum
      Chamomile Matricaria recutita
      Chives Allium schoenoprasum
      Coriander Coriandrum sativum
      Comfrey Symphytum officinale
      Echinacea Echinacea angustifolia
      Horseradish (or Seeradish) Armoracia rusticana
      Mint Mentha spicata
      Oregano Oreganum spp.
      Lavendar lavandular angustifolia
      Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis
      Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus
      Lovage Levisticum officinale
      Parsley Petroselinum crispum
      Pineapple Sage Salvia elegens
      Summer Savory Satureja hortensis


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