Planning herb gardens in Utah? Here are 5 must-haves!

Dec 8, 2022, 6:30 AM
Those planning herb gardens in Utah should focus on five specific plants -- basil, parsley, chives,...
Sheriden Hansen from the Utah State University Botanical Center joined the KSL Greenhouse Show to share the five must-haves for Utah herb gardens. (Markus Spiske)
(Markus Spiske)

SALT LAKE CITY – Do you have trouble deciding what to plant when planning your herb gardens?

Sheriden Hansen from the Utah State University Botanical Center joined Maria Shilaos and Taun Beddes on the KSL Greenhouse show to share the top five herbs she recommends that you grow in your garden.

Consider Basil when planning herb gardens

Coming in at the top of her list is basil. You can use basil in various cuisines, such as Indian, Italian, and Mediterranean. It is also an annual — not a perennial — so you have to plant it every year.

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There are many different types of basil to plant. If you want to cook something that gives off a good aroma and a decent flavor, plant sweet basil. For more fragrance, choose from lemon, orange, or cinnamon basils. Do you have limited space? Then try the smaller ones like Greek basil or spicy globe basil.

Among the various options, Sheriden recommends cardinal and sweet basils.


Next on the list is parsley. Parsley is biennial, so it can live through the winter (overwinter.)  “You may want to take it out and just replant it every single year,” Sheriden said.

The three parsleys she recommends are the flat-leaf, Japanese, and Hamburg parsleys. Flat-leaf parsleys are Italian, and these are Sheriden’s favorite of the three. Japanese parsley has thick, bitter stocks and can be used like celery. Hamburg parsley has big taproots, and you can use the root and some of the leaf tissue.


Sheriden says that cilantro is an herb you have to be committed to if you want to plant it because they are too short-lived. They also don’t do too well in the heat.

You can pick up seeds from your local nursery and then succession plant every couple of weeks. You can also allow it to go to seed and then harvest the seeds. The seeds are referred to as coriander.

Consider Chives when planning herb gardens

If you are a beginner gardener, then chives are the easiest herbs you can start growing. They perennialize easily and overwinter nicely.

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Chives are related to onions, so they give off a very light onion scent. The most common type found in your local grocery store is the rounded-leaf chive. Another option is the Chinese leek, also known as garlic chives. Those have a different texture because of their flat leaves.

One thing to note about chives is that they spread. However, you can remove the bloom if you want to prevent that from happening. “The bloom is actually edible,” Sheriden said, and they can be beautiful for use when plating your dishes.


The final herb on Sheriden’s list is mint, which can be used in tea, salves, and food. While it is one of her top choices, she says that growing mint can be a bit difficult because it will move through your garden.

The types of mint to consider growing are peppermint, spearmint, orange mint, chocolate mint, and Corsican mint. Corsican mint is very small and doesn’t look like a mint plant. “It has this intense aroma when you brush your hands across it,” Sheriden said.

Taun mentioned that it’s not just the herbs you need to plan. “You really do need to make sure your soil’s ready.”

Sheriden says you can containerize all of these and grow them on your patio just as nicely.

The KSL Greenhouse is heard every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. You can follow the show on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

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Planning herb gardens in Utah? Here are 5 must-haves!