Herb Picking

The best way to enjoy herbs is to have them growing right outside the kitchen where you can harvest them, just when you need them. Just quietly, adding fresh herbs to whatever you're cooking is the easiest way to next-level meals.

Here's a 7-step guide to get your started on creating your very own herb garden.


Beginner Intermediate Advanced
1 hr

7-step guide:

  1. Start by choosing a suitable pot. Preferably a self-watering pot and have clever moisture reservoirs means the plants won’t dry out (even if you forget to water!).
  2. Fill the pot with Yates Premium Potting Mix. It contains slow release fertiliser that'll feed your plants for up to nine months. Adding water storage crystals into the mix improves water retention, which helps to prevent pots drying out quickly.
  3. Sow Yates (of course!) herb seeds into the potting mix. Check the instructions on the seed packet for sowing depth and spacing. Chives, basil, coriander, mint and parsley are all popular herbs to start off with. If you've chosen a large pot, thyme or some upright-growing rosemary will fill out the space. You could even go for a bay tree if the pot is generous enough.
  4. Make sure you position the pot to suit the variety of herbs selected. Most herbs require sun to thrive.
  5. Keep the potting mix moist while seeds are establishing.
  6. Feed the young herbs with Yates Thrive Natural Fish & Seaweed+ Plant Food Concentrate regularly to make sure they grow extra strong and healthy.
  7. Begin harvesting when the herbs have formed plenty of leaves.

Most herbs need sunlight every day, so choose a sunny spot as close to the kitchen as possible. Herbs also need fresh air to thrive – they don't grow well indoors for any length of time. Although they're not as fussy as some ornamental plants, herbs should be planted in a good potting mix to encourage lush, attractive growth.

The best herb plants to grow in pots are the low or dwarf varieties, like chives, parsley, thyme, tarragon, basil, mint, marjoram, oregano, coriander, prostrate rosemary, savory, chervil and dwarf lavender.

Regular applications of soluble fertilisers like Yates Thrive Natural Fish & Seaweed+ Plant Food Concentrate will improve plant growth, particularly if you are picking the leaves for cooking or infusions. Apart from chives (which can be cut down to the ground when ready for harvest), never remove more than one-fifth of the plant in one cut, and let the plant start growing again before harvesting any more leaves.

Herbs with vigorous roots like mint, tarragon and lemon balm should ideally be contained in pots, because they can behave a bit thuggishly in a garden, muscling out other plants.

Dill, fennel and borage are taller growing herbs, although they tend to grow smaller when restricted in a pot. Don’t be tempted to grow these in amongst the more prostrate herbs, or they'll soon overshadow the smaller plants.

Grow aromatic herbs where they can be touched, brushed against or walked on. The fragrance is always a delight and often wards off insects. Scented-leaf geraniums are among the easiest to grow and come in a variety of perfumes, such as peppermint, nutmeg, rose, lemon and a number of other spicy flavours.


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Yates Premium Potting Mix

A premium potting mix, ideal for all potted plants and shrubs, including ornamentals, fruit trees, vegies and herbs.

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