10 Perennial Herbs For Hot Summer Climates

Herbs - Hot Summer Climates
Herbs - Hot Summer Climates


10 Perennial Herbs For Hot Summer Climates

Granny Mouse Country House & Spa, with its serene and picturesque location along the Lions River, is known for its beautiful garden setting and its fabulous food, offered in the Bistro and superb Eaves restaurant.

General Manager Sean Granger says that many guests tell them that, on returning home, they feel inspired by the gourmet offering and to begin transforming their own gardens.

“Well, we have plenty of suggestions for combining the two”, smiles Sean. “With these herbs creating beauty and aromas in your garden, you will want to add those fragrances and flavours to your meals”.

1. Sweet basil does best with morning sun and afternoon shade.

Grow in fertile, well-composted soil that drains well. For lush leaves water regularly and feed with a liquid feed once a month. Pinch off the white flower heads to prevent plants going to seed. Purple basil and cinnamon basil are also delicious in salad.

2. Dill grows 1m high and needs full sun and well-composted soil.

Don’t plant it with fennel or tomatoes. The fresh leaves are more flavourful than dried. It attracts beneficial insects.

3. Parsley grows best in fertile soil in sun or semi-shade.

It requires consistently moist (but not waterlogged) soil and should be fertilised once a month as it is a heavy feeder. The tastiest leaves are produced in the first growing season, so regard it as an annual and replace every season.

4. Mint is available in a number of flavourful varieties.

Plants spread quickly and grow in sun or semi-shade. They like plenty of water, but well-drained soil. For bushy, healthy plants cut back regularly. Check their spread as they can be invasive.

5. Origanum is a low-growing, frost-hardy evergreen herb.

It does well in full sun, in well-composted soil that drains well. For variety, plant spreading or upright golden origanum and cream-and-green ‘Country Cream’. All varieties are equally flavourful.

6. Thyme or lemon thyme

Is a hardy, bushy little perennial that grows in full sun, in ordinary garden soil. Regular picking keeps plants bushy and prevents them from getting woody. Also grow French thyme for culinary use.

7. Rosemary

Is one of the best heat tolerant herbs and thrives in hot, dry conditions. It has needle-like leaves and a woody stem. It can be propagated from seeds or cuttings, and it can grow quite tall if left to its own devices.

8. Chives

Are clump-forming perennials that grow to a height of 50cm, with deep green, onion-like leaves and heads of mauve-pink flowers in summer. Chives grow easily in any soil, in full sun or partial shade and need regular watering.

9. Rocket

Is probably the easiest herb to grow from seed. Kirchhoffs has two types available in seed packets: wild rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) and garden rocket (Eruca sativa). Both rocket varieties like rich, well-composted, friable soil and plenty of water. Sow directly or into containers, in full sun or semi shade. Wild rocket, with edible yellow flowers, has a stronger flavour than normal rocket. It can be sown all year round in mild climates and is slower growing than garden rocket, with a garden height of 20cm. Garden rocket can grow up to 60cm.It does better as a cool-season crop because the flavour of the leaves gets stronger as summer progresses and if it flowers. Rather remove flowering stems. For a longer harvest, sow a small quantity at a time, and then succession sow every 2 – 3 weeks. Water regularly and feed weekly. Harvest constantly and cut down 2 – 3 times during the season.

10.  An evergreen, lemongrass

Is very easy to grow, needing rich, well-draining soil and a moderate amount of water. Plant in full sun or morning sun with afternoon shade, and feed at the beginning of spring for optimal growth. This grass comes from the tropics and is not cut out for frost. It will most likely die back over winter but should sprout once again in spring. Plants should be cut back in spring to encourage new growth. The best news? It’s almost impossible to kill in the garden! Lemongrass is seldom affected by pests or diseases, but fungal diseases can be a problem during long rainy spells. The easiest cure for this is to cut the leaves right back and dispose of the affected matter. In the garden, you can use the cut leaves as an insect-repelling mulch around your ornamentals or other veg. It can be planted with other herbs, especially lemon balm and thyme or mint, and also does well when grown alongside lucerne. If you have a steep bank that needs stabilising, lemongrass could be the answer – it is used for this exact purpose in Asia.

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