Parsley, rosemary and basil plants are the top sellers in garden centers. We love the flavors these herbs impart to our food and these plants are easy to grow in the ground or in pots.
They don’t need fertilizers and have moderate watering needs. They do best in average, well-drained soil. Here are growing tips for the top three herbs for the Indiana garden:
Parsley (Petroselinum) is a biennial and what we eat is usually the first-year growth. The two basic types are curly leaf and flat leaf. The latter is commonly referred to as Italian parsley and is favored by cooks. Parsley is easy to grow from seed.
Grow parsley in pots or in the ground in full sun. Water when the soil surface feels dry. Harvest this cold-tolerant plant by snipping the stems and leaves. Be warned, the caterpillars of swallowtail butterflies like to eat parsley, too.
Common rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is probably one of the more seductive herbs in the garden with a fragrance strongly associated with remembrance and memory. Unfortunately, the woody shrub is not winter hardy in Indiana, so many gardeners grow rosemary in a pot to bring indoors in fall to extend the harvest several more weeks.
Rosemary does best in full sun in soil with good drainage. Allow the soil to dry out between watering. Harvest the plant by snipping off stems.
Another aromatic herb is basil (Ocimum basilicum), which is easily damaged by frost. Basil comes in flavors, including lemon and cinnamon, but the most popular is ordinary sweet basil. Basil is easy to grow from seed.
Grow basil in full sun in well-drained soil in the ground or in pots. Water when the soil feels dry. Harvest the stems and leaves.