There are many types of herbs available to grow in the vegetable garden.
Cumin and caraway produce masses of seeds that lend a distinctive taste to spicy and fragrant dishes.
Cumin is a tender annual. Sow it in a heated propagator in a greenhouse in spring. Transplant into well-drained soil in a sheltered and sunny site.
Caraway is a hardy biennial. Sow seed into rich loamy soil in spring. It grows well in full sun. You can also sow it in early autumn to overwinter.
Chives are hardy perennials, but they die down in winter so they are often sown annually. Sow seed early in trays of modular cells in a greenhouse in spring. Harden off and plant out in late spring or early summer, in well-drained soil in full sun. Alternatively, you can buy small plants from garden centers or herb specialists. Their pink flowers look attractive in the front of a border.
In mild winters, the new shoots may develop early. If this happens, cover them with a cloche or horticultural fleece to protect them and encourage the shoots over winter.
To ensure the plants are vigorous and healthy, divide the clump into smaller sections every two to three years in early spring. Plant the smaller sections 10 to 12 inches (25–30 cm) apart in rows.
Tarragon thrives in well-drained, frost-free and sunny sites. It needs protection at its crown from excessive winter wet. Plant it out into the ground in spring when all danger of frost is past or grow it in a large container. Although it has small yellow flowers, they rarely appear, nor does it set seed in cool climates. It is best to propagate by taking cuttings in spring or early summer.