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Annual Herbs: Care Guide

by dig the dirt editor

Annuals herbs are those plants that complete their entire life cycle in one year or growing season.

Before planting, it is helpful to note if your plant is a perennial or an annual. Annuals are those plants that complete their entire life cycle in one year or growing season. Annual herbs are generally planted in the spring, although some, such as cilantro, parsley, and chamomile, are planted in the fall in mild-winter areas. The list of annual herbs includes summer savory, basil, borage, and dill.


                                                                thai basil






General care for all herbs

  • Watering: Determining how often to water your herbs depends on the season, the plant, ambient humidity, air movement, exposure to the sun, and temperature. In general, plants should be watered before they get completely dry, but not so often that the soil stays soggy. Under most conditions and in most areas of America, a deep (so that the soil is wetted 8"-12" below the surface) watering once a week should suffice after the plants are established. If you are potting your herbs, it is very important to use pots with drainage holes, and that they're not left to stand in water for more than a few minutes at a time.
  • Fertilization: Plants confined to pots need more attention paid to their nourishment than garden plants. The easiest way to accomplish this is by feeding with a weak (1/2 strength) water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks during periods of active growth. A natural, slow-release formula will nourish the soil as well as the plants. When foliar feeding, apply the fertilizer in the early morning hours before the sun has warmed the plants. Scratch pelletized or granular formulas into the top 1 to 2 inches of soil. During periods of dormancy, do not fertilize at all -- the plants are resting and will not benefit from the fertilizer. In fact, fertilizing your plants during dormancy may kill them.
  • Harvesting: Harvest annual herbs in the morning after the dew dries but before the day is hot. Give annual herbs their final cut before the first frost. Wait to harvest perennial herbs the year after planting, doing so only once a year. Avoid cutting into the older woody growth.


Care Guides, Annual Herbs, Dill, summer savory, Basil, borage


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