Plant these perennials once for years of convenient flavor
The classic herbs no chef would be without are also the easiest to grow. They're all perennials, so you don't have to plant them every spring or summer the way you do cilantro or basil. You don't need an acre to grow them, either ― especially if you choose dwarf varieties.GROWING TIPS
Site: Choose a spot that gets full sun (afternoon shade in hottest areas).
Soil: Herbs can tolerate a range of soils, but they need good drainage. If your soil is heavy clay, add compost before planting.
Irrigation: Like most plants, herbs will appreciate routine watering their first year. Once established, most tolerate drought; mint, though, prefers lightly moist soil (grow it in a pot to keep its invasive roots from spreading).
Fertilizer: The herbs listed here generally thrive without fertilizers. But if you're harvesting heavily and want to encourage more growth, scatter a small amount of complete fertilizer, such as 5-10-10, among plants at the start of their growing season.
Chives look prettier if you snip off a few grassy stems down at the base as needed, rather than cutting across the entire clump. This technique also allows you to enjoy and use chive flowers as well as leaves.
Mint should be harvested aggressively to encourage fresh growth. Its youngest leaves always taste the freshest.
Winter savory's new side shoots make the best seasoning; harvest those first. The older stems are still tasty, but woodier, requiring more labor in the kitchen.
Info: Order from Mountain Valley Growers (559/338-2775).