Starting a herb garden in zone 8

General    IL, Zone 8a

I have a bed that I would like to plant as a dedicated herb garden, I usually grow veg and know little about herb gardening but I would very much like to learn. I am already familiar with mint! I would really like some advice on some other herbs that will thrive in zone 8a. The bed I am thinking of probably receives about 5 hours of morning sun and is shaded for the rest of the day. Is this enough light?

Posted by: Sharon Conroy (1 point) Sharon Conroy
Posted: March 31, 2013


I have a similar situation with light, and I am able to grow my herbs rather slowly - which for me is better than nothing at all. Some herbs need the heat of the warmer months, however many will be able to make it through your zone 8 winter. I'm in zone 9, and I can keep most of mine going all year round. If you already grow veggies successfully, then you should do fine with herbs too.

Woody perennials like rosemary and sage will need a bigger space - it might be better to find a spot in the ground for them, and save your bed for the smaller ones.

Some easy annual herbs to start with are parsley, cilantro, basil, oregano, and thyme (perennial). I'd suggest picking your favorites from your local garden center and giving them a try. You will soon find which ones do best in your particular garden.

The only herbs I've tried that haven't worked are chives and french tarragon. Those seem to really need more light. My texas tarragon does great though.

Posted by: Amie Frisch (16 points) Amie Frisch
Posted: April 2, 2013

Sharon Conroy commented,
Thank you Amie, I love cilantro and basil so they are a definite addition I think. Also oregano and thyme would be fantastic, pity about the chives, they are one of my favorites, perhaps I can grow them on the edge of another bed with more light and be a bit more flexible with my space
about 11 years ago.

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