COOL HERBS FOR SPRING
These herbs may thrive in cooler temperatures, but some seeds, such as those of parsley, can take up to a month to germinate, especially in cold spring soils. Soaking the seeds overnight and covering newly seeded beds with clear plastic help speed germination of direct-sown seeds.
If you start the plants indoors, make sure the plants’ growth hasn’t been hindered and that the transplants go into the ground when quite small, and take are not to disturb the roots during the planting process.
Most of the herbs can be sown outdoors six to eight weeks before the last frost.
Note: If you have poor soil, applying aged manure or granulated organic fertilizer to the soil during the seedling stage helps get plants off to a healthy start.
Two different forms include the familiar curly parsley and the more flavorful flat-leaved Italian version, with leaves like celery and cilantro.
Sow: Direct-sow seeds or set out six- to eight-week-old transplants about a week before the last spring frost, spacing seeds or seedlings 8 to 10 inches apart.
Grow: Tolerates full sun or partial shade.
The emerald leaves have a distinctive flavor that combines parsley, sage, and citrus; and its seed (coriander), which is reminiscent of citrus and spice.
Sow: Direct-sow seeds a week or two before the last spring frost and again in late summer.
Grow: Best in full sun, with some afternoon shade in hotter regions.
The leaves resemble parsley in appearance and taste, with delicate overtones of anise.
Sow: Sow seeds directly into the garden about three to four weeks before the last spring frost and again in late summer; thin seedlings to 6 to 9 inches apart.
Grow: Prefers part shade.
Dill combines well with fish, mild cheeses, and vegetable dishes.
Sow: Best sown directly into the ground four to five weeks before the last spring frost; thin seedlings to 6 to 18 inches apart.
Grow: This aromatic annual thrives in full sun.
Regular chives have a delicate onion flavor; garlic chives are milder.
Sow: Grow by seeds, transplants, or divisions, with plants spaced 8 to 12 inches apart. Sow seeds in clumps or set out six-week-old transplants about four weeks before the last spring frost; divide existing clumps every two to four years.
Grow: Likes full sun to part shade.