QUESTION: How long do herbs take to grow? I was thinking about growing some herbs that I would use in my kitchen so they’d be fresh instead of dried. – Kathleen A
ANSWER: There’s no quick and easy answer for this one! The length of time it takes for herbs to grow from planting to harvest depends upon the type of herb you’re growing.
For this reason, I’ve selected the five most commonly grown herbs and am sharing a brief description of how to grow them.
This should provide a timeline of when you can expect to harvest these popular herb options.
Parsley is our first commonly grown herb. This plant prefers full sunlight and can handle partial sunlight in extremely warm climates.
This is a biennial plant which means in planting zones four through nine, the plant will produce greenery the first year and seed the second year.
However, you may grow parsley as an annual as well. When growing parsley be sure to plant in nutritious, well-draining soil.
Leave eight-inches of space between each plant and ensure you keep your herbs well watered during their growing season.
In general, you should expect to harvest this plant within three months. If you grow the herb by purchasing and then transplanting it into your garden, you should be able to harvest sooner.
If you start parsley from seed, it could take three months before you receive a harvest.
The next common herb is chives. These are gorgeous plants that produce vibrant color and flavor for your food.
Chives prefer to grow in full sunlight and well-draining soil. You should plant them in the spring after all threat of frost is over.
This is a perennial herb in planting zones three through nine. All the plant needs is adequate water and should be fertilized with a diluted fertilizer once every two months during the growing season.
Chives should be ready to harvest approximately one month after transplanting them outdoors.
Our next herb to discuss is basil. This is probably one of the most commonly grown herbs because of how easily you may grow it indoors or out.
Basil prefers full morning sunlight but should receive afternoon shade. You should grow this herb in well-draining soil that’s kept evenly damp.
You may grow basil from seed by either starting the plants indoors or by directly sowing the seeds outdoors after all threat of frost is over. The seeds should germinate in approximately ten days.
No matter how you grow basil, the herb is an annual and will need to be planted each year. It’s wise to pinch the tips of the foliage to encourage fuller growth.
If you provide adequate care to basil, you should expect to receive a harvest in approximately one month after transplanting.
Cilantro is our next herb. This is an amazing plant as it provides both a green herb and coriander seed which is also used for culinary purposes.
When you harvest this plant, cilantro is the foliage and coriander is the seeds of the plant. You may grow cilantro in spring or fall.
It prefers temperatures between 50- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit. Once you know the temperatures are right, you’ll need to select an adequate growing space.
Cilantro can grow in a garden plot or in a container. The plant thrives in areas with full sunlight and nutrient-dense, well-draining soil.
You may grow the herb from seed or by purchasing seedlings. Once the plant is established, ensure you keep the soil evenly damp.
You should be ready to harvest cilantro approximately one month after transplant. This is an annual herb, so you’ll need to plant it each year.
Our last herb to discuss is mint. Mint may be planted in spring after all threat of frost is over. You should provide two feet of space between each plant.
Select a growing location with full sunlight and well-draining soil that’s high in nutrients. Be sure to keep the soil evenly damp throughout the growing season.
Mint is a perennial herb that remains hardy in planting zones three through eight. The one thing that’s important to note about mint is that it can become invasive.
For this reason, we recommend you grow the herb in a container or raised bed to keep it contained with each passing year.
As long as your mint remains healthy, you should expect to be able to harvest it within a month after transplant.
These are a few ideas of when you should expect to harvest some of the most commonly grown herbs in the garden.
Be sure to do research on the specific herb you’d like to grow to get an even better idea of how long it might take to receive a delicious return on the time you invest into the herb of your choice.