Best Herbs for Spring

The best herbs to direct-sow in spring

May 29, 2013

Spring Herbs

These herbs may thrive in cooler temperatures, but some seeds, such as those of parsley, can take up to a month to germinate, especially in cold spring soils. Soaking the seeds overnight and planting in raised beds will help speed germination of direct-sown seeds.




Two different forms include the familiar curly parsley and the more flavorful flat-leaved Italian version, with leaves like celery and cilantro.


Sow: Direct-sow seeds or set out six- to eight-week-old transplants about a week before the last spring frost, spacing seeds or seedlings 8 to 10 inches apart.

Grow: Tolerates full sun or partial shade.




The emerald leaves have a distinctive flavor that combines parsley, sage, and citrus; and its seed (coriander), which is reminiscent of citrus and spice.

Sow: Direct-sow seeds a week or two before the last spring frost and again in late summer.

Grow: Best in full sun, with some afternoon shade in hotter regions.




The leaves resemble parsley in appearance and taste, with delicate overtones of anise.

Sow: Sow seeds directly into the garden about three to four weeks before the last spring frost and again in late summer; thin seedlings to 6 to 9 inches apart.

Grow: Prefers part shade.




Dill combines well with fish, mild cheeses, and vegetable dishes.

Sow: Best sown directly into the ground four to five weeks before the last spring frost; thin seedlings to 6 to 18 inches apart.

Grow: This aromatic annual thrives in full sun.




Regular chives have a delicate onion flavor; garlic chives are milder.

Sow: Grow by seeds, transplants, or divisions, with plants spaced 8 to 12 inches apart. Sow seeds in clumps or set out six-week-old transplants about four weeks before the last spring frost; divide existing clumps every two to four years.

Grow: Likes full sun to part shade.

Keep Reading: 10 Best Herbs for Indoors


Next Up From Rodale's Organic Life

EPA Bans New Toxic Weedkiller
The "stacked" formula was designed to spray on GMO crops.
What Gardeners Really Want For The Holidays
Wrap up one of these sustainably-minded presents for the special grower in your life.
Where Backyard Birds Go During Winter
Fix up your yard to be hospitable to year-round avian visitors.