Why it pays to grow herbs at home – even in winter

Basil, parsley and coriander are easy to cultivate: all you need is a windowsill – and some helpful advice

I have nothing against potted supermarket herbs, other than the plastic pot, plastic sleeve, peat, transportation costs and landfill implications – but they are a better buy than the cut versions. I have bought plenty in my time, splitting the masses into individuals for a longer shelf life than their best-before date suggests.

However, herbs are easy to grow; all you need is a windowsill. And, unlike in supermarkets, you get to choose from 40 types: the tiny leaves of Ocimum basilicum ‘Pluto’ pack a mighty punch; O. basilicum ‘Mrs Burns’ is by far the best lemon; and O. basilicum ‘Dark Opal’ is the best purple, with spicy, warm flavours.

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