Basil in my vegetable garden
I sow basil every year. Experience confirms that the combination with tomatoes is very beneficial.

Small-leaved basil is an ephemeral perennial. Large-leaved basil is an annual aromatic herb. Basil makes small white / pink flowers in June and July. Squeez them when they emerge so he'll produce more leaves.

Height 20-80 cm Width 20-40 cm

Basil prefers full sun and fears wind and frost : shelter your plants. Keep the small-leaved basil in a cool, well lit place in the winter.

Basil prefers a well drained soil that's fresh, light, loose and rich. He fears drought : water it regularly.

Sow basil in a garden-frame from February to April.

Sow basil in place in April-May, when there is no more risk of frost.

Plant and transplant basil mid-May.

Harvest the basil leaves from June to September. They can be used fresh or dried, or preserved in olive oil, with fish, soups, salads, ice cream, fresh pasta, mayonnaise, vegetables, sauces, herbal teas, ...

Add basil at the last minute to the cooked dishes.

Basil Scented Oil: crush the fresh leaves and put them to soak in a bottle of olive oil.

Good to know :

  • Basil is an anti-mosquito.
  • Choose small-leaved basil : it has much more fragrance.
Chives in my vegetable garden

Chives are perennial bulbs. In June-July she makes pinkish-purple flowers that you can eat. Remove these flowers before they produce seed (otherwise the chives become bitter).

Height 20-30 cm   Width 10 cm

Chives prefer sun, but tolerates partial shade. They prefer a fresh soil, well drained, light, and rich.

Chives are rustic - they even produce in the winter if they're planted in sheltered and quite clear places. 

Watering Water chives lightly but steadily (otherwise the leaves turn yellow).

Sow chives in place from March -> July, in line, not in square.

Divide chives in the spring, every 3 years, to restore their vigor.

Layering No.

Cuttings No.

The chives stems can be used fresh, dried or frozen, with salads, meats, fish, accompanying cheese, ...

Lavander in my vegetable garden

Lavender is a perennial semi-shrub with silvery gray leaves and light blue, purple or mauve flowers.

Height 30-60 cm   Width 60-80 cm 

Lavender prefers full sun and a light soil, well drained, even poor, rocky or limestone. She tolerates drought, so water lightly.  

True lavender is rustic: it withstands temperatures well below zero.

Divide lavender into several pieces when it becomes too large.

Layering Yes.

You can propagate lavender by cuttings in late summer or spring. It's very easy.

Cut lavander in the summer, at the end of the flowering.

You can rejuvenate an old lavender by cutting it severely in spring, when the vegetation begins.

Harvest the lavender stems and dry them upside down in a dry and warm place. Use these bouquets of lavender (or change them into medleys) to perfume your house and your cupboards.

Good to know :  

  • Lavander is an anti-moth and anti-mosquito.
  • The infusion of lavender flowers becomes toxic at high doses!

Mint in my vegetable garden

Mint is a perennial herb that flowers in spring and summer. Its flowers are white or pink.

Height 30 à 60cm   Width 30cm      

Mint grows well in (mid-)shade or sun. It's rustic - it does not fear frost.

Mint prefers a soil that's rich, fresh and moist. It must not dry out in the summer, so water it now and then.

Beware: mint is invasive. Plant it in a separate place, and dig grooves of 10 to 15 cm deep around it.

Plant different varieties of mint to vary tastes.

Mint can be divided into several pieces.

Layering occurs naturally for mint.

Cuttings Yes, very easily.

You can harvest mint leaves almost all year, and use them fresh , dried (and crushed), or frozen in beverages, sauces, salads, tabouli,...

Mint tea favorises digestion and helps you sleep better.   

Good to know :

  • Mint repels aphids.
  • Mint leaves develop aphrodisiac scents in a bath.

Parsley is a biennial cultivated as an annual.

Height 60 cm   Width 30 cm

Parsley prefers partial shade. It's rustic, but it's a good idea to protect parsley from the cold in winter in colder climates.

Parsley prefers a soil that's rich, fresh and light.

Water parsley moderately but steadily.

Positive plant combinations Tomatoes (strengthens their force)

Negative plant combinations Lettuce (lowers their force) 

Sow parsley in place from February or March to September. Put the parsley seeds in water for 24 hours to favorise germination.

Parsley does not like to be transplanted.

You can harvest the parsley leaves from April to November, and use them fresh, dried or frozen, in stews, sauces, salads, ...

Good to know : parsley favorises digestion.

Rosemary in my vegetable garden

Rosemary is a perennial shrub, and is persistentRosemary leaves are dark green on top, and silvery on the other side. Rosemary blooms from May to August, and even in winter in regions with mild climates. It makes gray-blue flowers that are grouped in small clusters. Bees love these flowers.

Height 0,80-2 m. Rosemary grows very slowly.   Width 0,80-2 m

Rosemary prefers full sun and fears the wind. She prefers a soil that's dry, light, permeable, well drained, low on lime, and not too rich. Rosemary tolerates drought, so water slightly.

Rosemary is rustic, but he fears severe frosts. Protect your young plants in the winter.

Sow rosemary in a garden-frame from April to June.

Plant rosemary in the spring.

Layering From late November to end of March.

Cuttings In September or March to April. Plant a branch of 15cm in the shade in the garden-nursery. Transplant it to your vegetable garden the next spring.

Cut rosemary at the end of May if necessary to give it a compact shape.   

Remove the stems that turn brown: your rosemary is probably under a fungal attack.

Harvest the rosemary leaves from April to October. Cut the rosemary stems and let them dry. Then, thin out the branches and keep the leaves. Harvest the leaves before your rosemary blossoms if they're destined to conservation.

Use the rosemary leaves fresh or dried (not crushed) with grills, fish, poultry, soups, vegetables, sauces, .... Put it in your cooking pot at the beginning, and remove it at the end of the cooking process.

Rosemary blends well with thyme.

Rosemary tea is surprising combined with lemon balm, mint, basil or ginger.

Thyme in my vegetable garden

Thyme is an evergreen and perennial shrubThyme leaves are small, narrow and gray-green. It makes small pink, purple or white flowers in May/June.

Height 5 cm (wild thyme can be used as ground cover) - 30 cm.   Width 30-40 cm

Thyme prefers sun (lots of sun improves its perfume), and does not like cold winds. Thyme is rustic, but it fears the frost.

Thyme prefers a soil that's fresh, well drained, dry, light, loosened, and slightly chalky. Do not add organic materials to the earth around the thyme : it will lose its flavor and vigor.   

Water only in case of drought (thyme doesn't like humidity).

Sow thyme in place from March to May.    

Plant thyme in spring or autumn if the meteo is not too cold or wet.

Divide thyme in March / April or September. Every 4 or 5 years. Bury the small tufts of thyme deep enough so that only the upper side of the branches exceeds.

Layering Yes, very easily.

Produce cuttings in July, with young stems of thyme. Put them in a sheltered place or in the garden-nursery. Transplant them during the following spring.

Cut thyme regularly, at least once a year, after it has blossomed.

Harvest the leaves and flowers of thyme throughout the whole year, preferably in the morning. Its taste is stronger when thyme is in bloom, and weaker in the winter.

Use thyme leaves fresh, dried or frozen, with sauces, marinades, poultry,fish, grills, roasts, goat cheese, ... Thyme is a key component of the  "bouquet garni".

Good to know : thyme keeps snails, slugs and aphids away.