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10 easy herbs to plant (and cook with) this summer

These herbs will bring flavour to your dishes. And they can all be grown easily right in your backyard.
10 easy herbs to plant (and cook with) this summer

10 herbs to plant (and eat) in your garden


Used predominantly in strongly flavoured, savoury dishes, oregano is brilliant for Greek food, spaghetti sauces and hearty stews. 

How to care for: This herb can be started from seeds or from a rooted plant. It spreads quickly, so consider planting it in a pot (this will make it easy to bring inside during the winter months). Oregano loves the sun — keep it in a spot with good drainage. 

Other varieties: Golden, Italian, sweet marjoram

Try it in: Grilled lamb chops with ratatouille.

10 easy herbs to plant (and cook with) this summerPhoto, Instagram/Santahorta.

English lavender

Lavender’s calming scent and pretty purple flowers make it a popular garden perennial. English lavender grows best in North American climates, and it’s often called for in Provençal recipes; it brings sweet, floral notes to a dish. 

How to care for: Plant in direct sun and water frequently, but make sure the soil drains well. Lavender doesn’t do well sitting in damp soil. During winter, protect your lavender plant from the cold with mulch or burlap. 

Other varieties: Hidcote, arctic snow, blue rider.

Try it in: Lavender shortbread bars.

10 easy herbs to plant (and cook with) this summerPhoto, Instagram/Des_tiny_lee.


Cilantro’s bold flavour is a bit sweet and sour. It’s best used fresh and should be added to a hot dish at the last minute.  

How to care for: Cilantro has a rep for being finicky, and it doesn’t like hot climates. It thrives in sunny but cool conditions. Plant it somewhere where it gets sun in the morning but shade for the rest of the day.

Try it in: Grilled steak with spicy cilantro sauce.

10 easy herbs to plant (and cook with) this summerPhoto, Instagram/Kekoachang6.

Garden sage

Garden sage is the most common variety used for cooking. A strong, aromatic herb, it can be a bit bitter—so use it sparingly for best results.

How to care for: Sage is easy to maintain and doesn’t need a lot of care—it’s relatively disease and bug free. Plant in full sun and don’t overwater (sage likes dry soil). If planted from seed, the sage should be about seven centimetres tall before transplanting outside. 

Other varities: Pineapple sage, purple sage, golden sage. 

Try it in: Barley and squash risotto. 

10 easy herbs to plant (and cook with) this summerPhoto Instagram/Lefarq.


Lovage belongs to the parsley family. It’s often used in soups and potato recipes because of its intense celery-like flavour. 

How to care for: This perennial herb can grow two metres tall or higher, so plant somewhere where it has lots of room. Plant in sun or partial shade. You’ll get the best tasting leaves from April to June—the herb can turn bitter when it’s hot out. 

Try it fresh on: Chicken and tomato soup.

10 easy herbs to plant (and cook with) this summerPhoto, Instagram/Kleiner_liebling.


This kitchen staple has sweet, fresh flavour notes. Sweet basil is the most common variety and it can be eaten fresh or dried. 

How to care: Best grown in a cool location with full sun. Water frequently, especially during hot weather, as it’ll wilt in dry conditions. 

Other varieties: Use Genovese basil (a variety of sweet basil) to make pesto. Other varieties include Thai basil, holy basil and lemon basil. 

Try it in: Classic basil pesto.

10 easy herbs to plant (and cook with) this summerPhoto, Instagram/finurligefinesser.

Chocolate mint

This cocoa-minty herb will make your desserts and drinks shine. 

How to care for: Chocolate Mint grows quickly and can take over, so plant it in a contained pot in full sun (part shade also works). Keep soil damp.

Other varieties: There are over 600 mint varieties. The most common include peppermint, spearmint and flavoured mints such as grapefruit mint.

Try it in: Refreshing drinks like iced tea or lemonade, or as a sweet cake topper.

10 easy herbs to plant (and cook with) this summerPhoto, Instagram/Wheely_cool.


Chives are delicious, but their purple blooms also look beautiful in a garden. Its sharp onion flavour is nice in stir-fries, omelets and vinaigrettes.

How to care for: Chives are easy to grow and maintain. Plant them in full sun, and don’t let the soil get too dry. You can start growing chives from seed outdoors (after the last frost, when soil is warm) or inside in a pot. If left inside, make sure the plant gets lots of sun. Snip off the chives with scissors near the bottom of the clump, making sure to leave about half an inch of the chive in the soil (they should grow back quite quickly). When your chives flower, cut them off — they’re edible, too! 

Other varieties: Common chives are the most popular variety. Others include Chinese chives and garlic chives. 

Try it in a: Breakfast omelete.

10 easy herbs to plant (and cook with) this summerPhoto, Instagram/Funch1234.


This aromatic, perennial herb has needle-like leaves. It’s often used with lamb and in Mediterranean cuisine. 

How to care: Rosemary thrives when planted in a container that’s minimum 30 centimetres in diametre. This herb is great for balcony gardens — rosemary needs to be kept sheltered. Water only when soil becomes dry. In the winter, shift your plant inside to a sunny spot. Spritz the leaves with water to prevent them from drying. 

Other varieties: Arp, Tuscan blue, salem.

Try it in: Potato pizza with caramelized onions and rosemary.

10 easy herbs to plant (and cook with) this summerPhoto, Instagram/Heajiez.


A flexible kitchen herb, thyme can be used fresh or dried, and its flavour holds up under heat. It’s particularly well-suited to soups and stews.  

How to care for: Thyme likes to be planted in soil that’s easy to drain, in a sunny spot. Water as needed, but make sure soil dries out before the next water.

Other varieties: Lemon, red creeping, French.

Try it in: Thyme and lemon bundt cake.

10 easy herbs to plant (and cook with) this summer Photo, Instagram/Kitchentablestories.

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