Gardening expert shares ‘key thing to remember when growing herbs’ or risk them rotting

Matt James offers tips on planting herbs in feature containers

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Herbs are a great way to add colour, texture and a pleasant scent to your garden. They’re also a perfect accompaniment to a plethora of summer dishes. However, many Britons believe that you need a garden to grow herbs, but gardening expert Matt James has explained how this isn’t the case.

In a 2013 video for Waitrose & Partners, Matt shared how you can plant herbs using bags, baskets and containers.

He said the attractive plant bed will see you through the year.

While sharing his technique, Matt also shared a “key thing to remember when growing herbs” or risk them rotting more quickly.

Matt said: “Herbs aren’t just great for the garden. You can grow them in containers too.

“Now obviously you can grow them in individual containers.

“Alternatively, how about something like this.

“A simple flexible liner which you pop inside the woven willow fence which hides it.

“Now a key thing to remember when growing herbs like basil and thyme is that good drainage is really important or there’ll only rot in double-quick time.

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“So the compost that I’m using here has got lots and lots of horticultural grit mixed into it.

“Fill out the liner and then we’re ready to plant.

“The herbs, I’m using are three fairly basic but easy to grow perennial toughies.

“I’ve got bronze fennel – the taller of the bunch which is going to sit at the back here. Then we’ll have another one.”

At the front of his herb bed, Matt put purple sage and then some chives.

Lastly, he added some more compost “to top it up”.

Matt also shared some advice for picking herbs and making them last longer in the winter months.

He added: “When it comes to harvesting, the more you pick, the bigger and bushier the plants and the better the flavour.

“Potentially, come end of summer you could in theory harvest a whole lot, dry them over the cooker or put them into ice cubes so that you can cook with them all winter long.”

Most herbs thrive in a sheltered position in full sun.

If you don’t have any outside space, you can always grow them on window sill.

Herbs also like well-drained soil that has plenty of organic matter in it.

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