Herb garden Auckland tips for herb growing

Herb Garden Auckland

Herb garden Auckland. Coriander is a great choice for growing in GreenSmart planters. Do you love coriander or hate it? Most people love the pungent smell but there are a few who detest the smell and compare it to squashed bugs. The leaves are also known as Cilantro or Chinese Parsley. It is a staple of many Chinese and Mexican dishes – two of my favourite parts of the world. However it can be tricky to grow so here are some tips for growing them in Auckland. It has a habit of quickly bolting to seed if the roots get too dry or hot and is fussy about being transplanted too. It is worth checking out more NZ herb growing information at www.fragrantgarden.co.nz  It’s an on-line herb shop.

Growing Conditions

If you want to start the coriander in winter then position your GreenSmartTM pot in a warm place around the house that does not get too much direct sun. Start by soaking seeds in water for 3 days in a warm spot like a hot water cupboard. Then plant at a depth of 6-10 mm with 10 cm between plants. It is worth planting 2 seeds per hole as often you will only get a 50% strike rate. It is a good idea to then plant a succession of seeds every 3 weeks to give continuity. If planting seedlings then choose the smallest but healthiest plants from your garden centre. Gently tease apart the roots without damaging them. Choose a place that gets good morning or late afternoon sun but out of the heat of the mid day sun. Avoid wetting the plants when watering. The plants will grow up to 30-60 cm in height. If planting in summer then choose an outdoors spot that won’t get too hot. ie catch early morning sun but avoid the midday and afternoon heat. ie ensure that the plants have partial shade.


Bury a layer of well rotted manure or a few handfuls of sheep pellets in the potting mix. Blood and bone is good too. Add nitrogen-rich liquid fertiliser directly into the water sight glass.

Pests and Diseases

Coriander has very few serious pests or diseases in your herb garden Auckland to worry about.


Allow for 60-75 days before picking. As long as you can prevent the plants bolting to seed you will be able to keep harvesting leaves for a couple of months. The stems, roots and seeds are all edible. Save the seeds by waiting for flowering then cut off the seed head and drying them in a paper bag for several weeks.


herb growing Auckland

parsley in GreenSmart Pot

Parsley is up near the top of my top ten herbs for a herb garden Auckland*.  Although parsley is often only seen as ‘plate fluff’ it deserves more appreciation. It is a low maintenance herb to grow and has all sorts of attributes. The bright colour looks great in the garden as well as on the plate. It is high in iron, calcium, vitamins A & C as well as some B’s.  The taste has a unique zestiness and it is a breath freshener too. There are two types: Curly Parsley and Flat Leafed Parsley or Italian Parsley. In milder parts of New Zealand, parsley is a biennial plant (grows for two years). Curly parsley has a more intense flavour than flat leafed variety. When planted from seed in year one it will form a low clump. In the second year it sends up a tall flowering spike. All the plant’s energy goes into the flowers and seeds. Suggestion: plant a GreenSmart pot near your kitchen solely for soft leafed herbs like parsley, chervil, chives, coriander, spring onions.

Growing Conditions Plant in semi shade or sun. Avoid full sun in hotter parts of the country. Parsley plants need room for development of the tap root. Parsley plants need room for development of the tap root. As parsley seeds are slow to germinate I recommend growing from small plants. If the plants you buy from the garden centre are too big there is a risk of them being root bound. Avoid planting in May to July. Parsley grows best in free draining, rich soil. They are low maintenance

Fertiliser Start the plants off with some general fertilisers like Yates Dynamic Lifter and blood & bone. Add some liquid seaweed to the water reservoir every few weeks. Parsley responds to regular dressings of nitrogen fertiliser.

Pests and Diseases Parsley is generally resistant to bugs and diseases. Watch out for slugs when plants are young.

Companions Parsley grows well with tomatoes and corn.

Harvesting Snip the outer leaves at about one cm above ground level. Do not cut out the central stalks. Cut back flower stems to prolong leaf growth.

In the Kitchen I like these recipes for tabbouleh and parsley & mint pesto

http://www.annabel-langbein.com/recipes/mint–parsley-pesto/238 http://www.nzwomansweekly.co.nz/food/entertaining/peta-mathias-tabouleh-recipe/

*Here’s Bill & Ruth’s list of our preference for top ten herbs.

  1.  Basil
  2.  Coriander
  3.  Parsley
  4.   Mint
  5.   Dill
  6.   Lemongrass
  7.   Spring onion
  8.   Rosemary
  9.   Thyme
  10.   Oregano
herb growing Auckland

home grown basil in GreenSmart pot

Good luck with your herb garden Auckland  Good luck with your herb garden Auckland 

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