With the weather heating up it is the perfect time to get out into the garden and plant some herbs and veggies.
With the weather heating up it is the perfect time to get out into the garden and plant some herbs and veggies.

Best 8 herbs and veggies to plant during spring

THE flowers are blooming, baby birds are chirping and slowly people are shaking off the winter blues in favour of spring.

It's time for longer balmy days and cool refreshing nights and the most productive growing season of the year.

With the warmer days, it's the time to get out into the garden and start planting.

Here are the herbs you can plant for the tastiest spring meals.

■ Basil

Sweet basil is one of the most common varieties found in Australia.
Sweet basil is one of the most common varieties found in Australia.

Used in stir-fries, pasta sauces and salads and of course pesto - basil is a favourite with most people.

Native to South-East Asia, basil grows well in tropical regions like Mackay.

With different varieties available, sweet basil is the most well known and common variety but there are others like Thai basil, spicy basil, sacred basil and perennial basil.

According to experts like Bunnings and Sustainable Gardening Australia, basil grows well in well-drained, moist soil with a neutral pH.

Plant type: Shrub-like fast growing annual or perennial

Sun: Some shade required in hotter regions like Mackay.

Climate: While basil grows perfectly in spring temperatures - it can be sensitive to the warmer temps in summer.

 

■Coriander

Fresh coriander leaves, also known as cilantro is an edible herb.
Fresh coriander leaves, also known as cilantro is an edible herb.

Also known as Chinese parsley or cilantro, coriander is a herb that has been dividing people for years, but whether you love it or hate it - now is the perfect time to get planting.

Coriander is an easy to grow herb that is best planted at soil temperature between 10C to 25C

Plant Type: A herb with feathery leaves.

Sun: Needs a sunny spot but lots of mulch to keep from drying out.

Climate: Coriander doesn't like extreme heat - which makes it the perfect plant for spring.

Experts from Gardenate advise planting coriander in succession (planting new seeds every 2-3 weeks) to get a continuous supply.

 

■Lemongrass

Lemongrass plant adds a zesty flavour to dishes.
Lemongrass plant adds a zesty flavour to dishes.

Used to add a zesty, citrus flavour to soups and stir-fries - this plant makes a great pot plant on balconies as well as a fixture in any garden.

Native to Indian and Southern Asian countries, the two main types are West Indian lemongrass and East Indian lemongrass.

Plant Type: An arching grassy clumpish type herb that looks great in gardens.

Sun: Lemongrass prefers a half day of full sun - it is best to plant in an area of your garden where it will get the sun from lunch time onwards.

Climate: Lemongrass prefers warm dry winters and hot wet summers which makes it the perfect herb for all year round

 

■Mint

Mint has many varieties such as peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint and ginger mint.

A perfect accompaniment to lamb dishes, mint is also great scattered through a fresh salad or muddled in your favourite drink.

Plant type: Mint is a leafy bush plant that has a great aroma. While a great plant, mint can take over the garden if not properly constrained.

Sun: Mint prefers damp, partly shaded areas and will grow for years once it is properly established.

Climate: Like many of us, mint slows its growth in the winter and grows new shoots for spring.

 

■French Tarragon

A native of southern Europe, tarragon is an easy to grow herb for your spring garden.

It's the perfect companion with fish, pork, beef and chicken and can be used in herb butters, cream sauces and soups.

Plant type: A half heardy perennial herb with long light green leaves and tiny flowers.

Sun: French tarragon should be in a sunny position and will do well with either full sun or partial shade.

Climate: Grows well in warm regions and prospers in sunlight and partial shade. Tarragon prefers well-drained soil and a relatively neutral pH.

 

■Ginger

 

Ginger plant has thick rhizomes, and grows perfectly in Mackay’s spring climate.
Ginger plant has thick rhizomes, and grows perfectly in Mackay’s spring climate.

Widely used in Asian cooking, ginger has become a popular ingredient in many Australian dishes. The root is harvested in winter after the plant dies down.

Plant Type: Ginger is a flowering plant whose root is used as a spice.

Sun: Ginger can be grown indoors in cooler areas or in the mild temperatures of spring. Prefers dappled shade.

Climate: Ginger is a warm climate plant, and it is vital to keep it moist. Keep the plant well fertilised.


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