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Herbs can add a lot to our enjoyment of food and have many uses in the kitchen. They are versatile plants that can be grown in most spaces but planting them in a pot has several advantages.

Firstly, you can grow a lot of herbs in a small space. Secondly, a pot outside the back door will be easy to access, no trudging down the garden in the rain required!

Good herbs for year-round containers are rosemary, bushy thymes, winter savory and bay, although rosemary will need protecting from frosts.

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Basil: Photo: Markus Spiske/Unsplash

Annual herbs such as basil, coriander, chives and parsley can be grown from seed indoors. Use our seed sowing guide. Once they become young plants, and the risk of frosts has gone, they can be transplanted into a container outdoors.

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Container herbs: Photo: Markus Spiske/Unsplash

Select your pot or container and where you are going to place it – most herbs like somewhere sunny.

Add gravel to the bottom of the pot. This will ensure water drains away and roots don’t become waterlogged.

Fill the pot with a mix of potting and multi-purpose composts and add your herb plants. Place the tallest ones in the centre and smaller ones around the edges.

If you have supermarket herbs, dividing them can give you more plants. Sage, thyme and rosemary can be divided in spring and then grown on in pots before being planted outside in containers or borders.

Water the herbs and then gently prize them from their pot.

Carefully pull and separate the herb’s rootball so you have several sets of plants with roots.

Fill a new 9cm diameter pot with multi-purpose compost and put in one of the herb clumps so it is almost level with the top of the pot and then firm it in.

Chop back the foliage to lower buds and place the pot somewhere warm and bright so new shoots can start growing.

Whatever way you grow them, the rewards of herbs are not just in their taste but in the act of nurturing them.

Herb-infused oils

Infused oils are a great way to add flavour to cooking and to use as a dip for fresh artisan bread. As well as herbs, you can use other plant-based ingredients.

Find out more