Shopping for herbs

Use the sniff test to choose varieties you'll like

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How many plants?

Use this list as a guideline, adjusting the number to reflect your preferences. If you love to cook with basil, set out six plants to start with, then add more several weeks later to extend the harvest season.

Basil, four to six plants
Chives, three to four plants
Cilantro, two to three plants
Oregano, two plants
Parsley, one to three plants
Rosemary, one to two plants
Sage, one to two plants
Sweet marjoram, two to three plants
Thyme, three to four plants

Mail-order sources

The herbs we list are available in well-stocked nurseries. But for large selections, you may order by mail from:

Mountain Valley Growers, 38325 Pepperweed Rd., Squaw Valley, CA 93675; www.mountainvalleygrowers.com or (559) 338-2775. Sells herb plants.

Nichols Garden Nursery, 1190 Old Salem Rd. NE, Albany, OR 97321; (800) 422-3985, (541) 928-9280, or www.nicholsgardennursery.com. Sells plants and seeds.

Renee's Garden, (888) 880-7228 or www.reneesgarden.com. Sells seeds.

Territorial Seed Company, Box 158, Cottage Grove, OR 97424; (541) 942-9547 or www.territorialseed.com. Sells plants and seeds.

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