These space-saving varieties will grow both indoors or outdoors. Plant them in pots or directly in the ground. Herbs can be grown anywhere, by anyone and are great for beginner gardeners as there are heat and drought tolerant. Suitable for your window sill, balcony, or patio; or go big with an outdoor herb garden. Selected for our short growing season and Canadian climate. Open-pollinated, non-hybrid, non-GMO.
Basil -Sweet Genovese
Green, vigorous leaves that can be harvested all season long. Can be grown indoors in containers, or outdoors in the garden. Can be used fresh, dried, or frozen.
Starting: Sow indoors 1-2 months before the last spring frost or sow directly in the ground after the threat of frost has passed. Sow seeds 0.3-0.6cm (0.25”) deep and 30cm (12”) apart; if indoors sow 3-5 seeds per pot. Recommended row spacing is 30cm (12”). Germination in 7-14 days. Likes rich and well-draining soil. If you’re planning to keep your basil indoors indefinitely, the seeds can be sown at any time, it’s not necessary to wait for spring.
Growing: If started outdoors, thin the seedlings to 38-35cm (15-18”) inches apart when the seedlings are 8cm (3”) high. If you see flowers, remove them, flowers can make the plants taste bitter. Likes full direct sun and can tolerate partial shade. If kept indoors in containers, provide very bright light.
Harvesting: Mature in 85 days if harvesting all at once. Can also be harvested continually as soon as a few sets of leaves have developed. Height of a mature plant is 30-60cm (12-24”). Harvest basil by pinching off the stem or picking individual leaves. Do not use a knife, because it can leave bruises. Make sure to leave at least 3 leaves on the bottom of the stem so that plant can regrow. Frequent harvest will prolonged the plant’s life.
Seed Saving: To save seeds, do not pinch off the flowers. Instead, let the flowers mature. After flowering, seeds will develop. When the seed pods turn yellowish-brown, remove them and let them further dry for 1-2 weeks. Remove seeds.
Companion Planting: Plant with: pepper, tomato, chamomile, and oregano. Don’t plant with: Cucumber, fennel, thyme, or sage.
Cilantro - Common
This bolt-resistant, high-yielding herb is a popular ingredient in various dishes around the world. The plant is grown for its leaves which are called Cilantro and seeds called Coriander. It grows very quickly and in a wide range of environments. It can survive both frost and drought. Annual.
Starting: Sow directly into the ground in the late spring when the frost has passed, 0.6cm (0.25”) deep. Sow again in the fall for a winter harvest. Needs 7-14 days for germination. Keep 20cm (8”) between seeds. Row spacing 25cm (10”). Likes full direct sun but tolerates shade. Plant every 2-3 weeks for continuous harvest. For growing indoors, start at any time of year, plant 3-5 seeds per pot.
Growing: Thin seedlings to 23-30cm (9-12”) apart when the leaves start to appear. Water cilantro evenly and keep it hydrated. Control and remove any weeds.
Harvesting: Average height when mature is 70cm (28”) tall. Mature in 60 days. Harvest weekly. Cut the top ⅓ of the plant, leaving several leaves still on the plant so it can continue to grow.
Seed Saving: Once the flowers mature, the seeds will develop. When they become straw coloured, remove the seed heads and lay in them the shade. Once dried completely, remove seeds and keep them in a cool and dry place.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Mint, yarrow, basil, tansy. Don’t plant with Tomato, pepper, eggplants, or potato.
Dill - Bouquet
A great addition to any garden. The main ingredient for pickling. Attractive to birds, butterflies, and bees. Nice-looking plant with lacy foliage, fragrant colors, and yellow flowers. Grows 90-120cm (36-48”) tall. Annual.
Starting: Can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Doesn’t like to be transplanted. Start in early spring for a summer harvest and again in fall for a winter harvest. Sow 0.6cm (0.25”) deep and 2.5cm (1”) apart. Average row spacing is 60cm (24”). Needs 10-21 days to germinate. Likes full direct sun and well-draining, fertile soil. If growing indoors, plant 3-5 sees per pot at any time of year.
Growing: Thin to 15cm (6”) apart once the seedlings develop. Keep seedlings watered evenly and constantly moist. Control weeds.
Harvesting: Mature in 70 days. When the plant is 15cm (6”) tall you can start harvesting. Harvest the heads (before they flower). It’s best to remove heads in the morning.
Seed Saving: Let the dill plant flowers bloom and produce seeds (instead of picking them to eat). After the seed heads finish forming, around 12 weeks, cut off the flower heads once the seeds turn brown and hang them upside down for drying. Keep them away from direct sunlight. After drying, rub and remove seeds.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Lettuce, onion, cucumber, and corn. Don’t plant with: Carrots, tomatoes, or pepper.
Parsley -Moss Curled
This annual parsley has deep-green, curled leaves with deep crevasses. Matures early. One of the most important herbs in cuisine worldwide. Tolerates cold weather very well.
Starting: To start outdoors, sow seeds 3cm (1.25”) deep and 8cm (3”) apart in early spring. If using a cloche, parsley can be grown outdoors during winter in many parts of Canada. Row spacing 30cm (12”). To start indoors, sow (0.5”) deep, 3-5 seeds per pot. Germinates slowly, takes 10 to 28 days. Likes full, direct sun and partial shade. Prefers well-draining soil.
Growing: Keep soil hydrated and evenly moist. Thin seedlings to 15cm (6”) apart. If started indoors, transplant when the soil warms up (late spring), 15cm (6”) apart.
Harvesting: Mature in 70 days if harvesting all at once. Can also be harvested continually as soon as a few sets of leaves have developed. Grows 30cm (12”) tall. Remove the largest leaves first. To keep the plant healthy, remove 25cm (10”) of stem along with the leaves. You can cut the entire plant if you want rather than harvesting a little at a time; to do so, cut it off slightly above ground level, it will regrow.
Seed Saving: Stop harvesting from the plant to let the flowers and seeds develop. Pick one by one as they get dry. Further dry them in indirect sunlight for 1-2 weeks.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Carrots, tomatoes, asparagus, and chives. Don’t plant with: Onions, shallots, garlic, or lettuce.
Summer savory - Common
An aromatic and delicately flavoured herb. Can be used both fresh and dried. Used in recipes with salads, eggs, meat, and beans, and Italian dishes. Annual plant that repels insects.
Starting: Can be started outdoors directly in late spring, or started indoors 6-8 weeks prior to the last spring frost. Germinates without soil cover in 10-21 days. Lay seeds on top of the soil or sow shallowly with a depth of 0.6cm (0.25”) and 30cm (12”) apart. The average row spacing is 45cm (12”). Likes full direct sun and rich, well-draining, sandy soil. If only growing inside, plant 3-5 seed per pot, any time of year.
Growing: Don’t over-water once seedlings are established, prefers a dry environment. If started indoors, transplant when the seedlings are 15cm (6”) high and the risk of frost has passed.
Harvesting: Mature in 60 days. Grows 45cm (18”) high. Once the plant reaches the height of 15cm (6”) start harvesting leaves. Pick them in the morning for delicious taste and fresh flavor. Remove the whole stem and hand it upside down to keep it dry.
Seed Saving: Can be propagated from cutting or from seed. Once seed heads have matured, remove them from the stem and let them dry out. After drying, remove the seeds and keep them in a dry and cool place.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Tomato, beans, rosemary, and marigolds. Don’t plant with: Fennel, kohlrabi, brassicas.