~ Seed for HERBS ~
Herbs can be some of the most rewarding plants to grow, with even a few plants providing flavouring for many different meals, as well as filling the garden with scent and colour. Many of the herbs we offer can be grown very successfully in containers if you have limited garden space or want to cheer up a patio or balcony.
~ (i) BASILS ~
Tiny, strong-scented bushes.
Order HeFB - 400 seed £1.78
We had to put these two together! This is the largest-leaved basil we could find. Relatively compact (30cm) plants, but they have large 'lettuce'-type leaves. An excellent sweet basil flavour for salads and other dishes. We like it in tomato sandwiches as each leaf will cover an entire slice of tomato!
Note: several people have pointed out that this has a slightly more aniseed-tinted flavour than other basils. We like it! But we also now have a different sweet basil as well - see below.
Green, huge leaves.
Order HeMB - 400 seed £1.79
Sweet Genovese Basil
This is a medium-sized sweet basil from Genoa - which we have added for those of you who requested a traditional pesto variety.
Green, medium-sized leaves.
Order HeGB - 400 seed £1.78
Lemon Basil NEW IN 2012
Our latest - and very popular - basil has a real basil scent but with strong lemon overtones. Use it anywhere that you would use normal basil, but we find it particularly good in salad dressings, with fish dishes, and on fresh garden peas. You can also use it to make a nice herbal tea.
Green, lemon-scented basil medium-sized leaves.
Order HeLB - 400 seed SPECIAL PRICE £0.92
Give outdoor parsley some protection with a cloche or sow a late crop in a polytunnel for fresh leaves right through the winter.
It can a bit hard to germinate, but is easy to grow once sprouted, and we give you loads of seed. The trick you need to know is that both light and moisture are needed for germination - so don't sow too deeply. Sow in small pots/trays under cover in late spring or early summer, just gently pressing seed into the compost without covering.
Either plant outside once the weather has warmed up, or pot on into a larger container. Site in full sun or greenhouse for the best scent.
A member of the mint family , this strain has leaves that are vivid green. It has a “minty-fruity-basil” flavour. It has all sorts of uses. Put it in salads, or add to a dressing. Used as a garnish, the shredded leaves are put on rice, pasta and noodle dishes, or added to soups. Or whole leaves can be fried up with garlic and ginger as a side dish.
It is also very pretty in the garden, releasing its scent as you brush past it.
Order HeGP - 1g (lots of seeds) £0.79
Chinese Chives (a.k.a. Garlic Chives)
We particularly like them snipped into an omelette. They actually make an underground rhizome and come back year after year, so once you have a clump established you have them forever.
Order OnCC - (lots of seeds) £1.73
Melissa (Lemon Balm)
Pretty easy: Sow the seeds on the surface of the soil in trays or pots in spring, pressing them in gently. Don't start too early as the baby plants don’t like frosty weather. Once they have germinated, pot them up, harden them off and plant them out. Once established, they are make a robust perennial bush, and you can pick the leaves as they are required. If the plants get a bit tired and tatty-looking, you can cut them back to encourage a new flush of growth.
Makes a sweet & calming tea
Order HeML - 2g lots of seed!) £1.36
'Frise Vert Fonce' Parsley
It has a good strong parsley taste - try a 'pesto' sauce made by blending lots of this parsley, cashew nuts or almonds, garlic, olive oil and a splash of vinegar plus a little warm water if needed to help it blend. Delicious!
An essential herb for the kitchen . Tightly curled.
Order HeFV - 2g (lots of seed!) £1.57
'Gigante di Napoli' Parsley
Order HeGN - 2g (lots of seed!) £1.57
Coriander - leaf selection (Coriandrum sativum)
If you want to grow coriander for the fresh leaves (rather than for seed), it is important to grow a variety selected for this purpose - like this special strain which is very slow to flower, and produces nice bushy plants. Keep well watered and pick very frequently to maximise production, and make two or three sowings at monthly intervals to make sure you always have fresh leaves to pick.
Coriander grows well outdoors from late spring through into summer. You can extend the season by sowing under fleece or (ideally) in a polytunnel in early spring or in autumn and then you can have fresh coriander almost all year round.
Slow to bolt, for fresh leaves
Order HeLC - 120 seed £1.93
'Amsterdam Cutting' Celery
Cutting celery is the same plant as normal celery, but bred for lots of leaf production rather than making thick stems.
It is an easily grown and very useful garden herb, as you can just cut a few leaves when cooking.
Order CeAC - lots and lots of seed, (at least 400) SPECIAL PRICE £0.99
'Quillquiña' (Porophyllum ruderale)
The plants have pointy leaves with an attractive blue-green colour & grow eventually to around waist high. Particularly good with bean dishes and potato cakes.
3' Tall. Spicy-citrus flavour.
Order HeQU - 40 seed £1.59 - Seed produced for us by Anne Bartlett
'Papalo' (Porophyllum coloratum)
Bright green plants with pretty round leaves grow 2' to 5' tall, and need a warm sunny spot. Ben's favourite, makes fantastic refried beans and chillies.
2' Tall. Nice spicy-lemony flavour.
Order HePA - 40 seed £1.45 Seed produced for us by Anne Bartlett
'Dutch Mammoth' Dill NEW
Dill is very easy to grow, and we give you lots of seeds. Sow thinly direct into well prepared soil once the weather has warmed up in spring, and just keep the soil moist until plants are established. Dill grows up to 3’ tall, so allow a reasonable amount of space! It does tend to bolt (run to seed) relatively quickly, especially in hot dry weather, so sow short rows two or three times over the summer for a constant supply of leaves. Harvest the seed to use in cooking over the winter - and of course to sow next year!
The feathery leaves are used in all sorts of fish dishes and cucumber pickles, but also in soups, salads, stir-fry, omelettes, chicken and seafood dishes as well. The plants are very pretty when in flower. Our favourite uses for dill are for potato salad, and in mustard-dill mayonnaise.
Order HeDM - 1g (lots of seeds) £1.69
the seed is very pretty, too.
Saving Herb Seed:
It is different for each herb, but in general with the herbs, you get a lot of seed for not too much effort.
You need to grow only 1 variety of each herb (which is pretty normal anyways) to avoid crossing, and let it flower.
Let the seedheads dry on the plant, and then cut and hang in a cool dry, airy place until brittle.
Usually you rub or stomp out the seed (the rubber mat from your car is ideal for this!), and then pass it through a sieve to get rid of the big bits of stalk etc.
The pictures show basil seed being done by Ben.
Basic seed-saving instructions are included with your seeds, so you can do this yourself.
There are more detailed home-seed saving guides (printable) over to the left of this page,
in the box titled 'SeedSaving', with sheets on drying and storing your seed too.
And of course, seed-saving is only possible because these are all real, non-hybrid varieties.