One of the best ways to grow herbs is to treat them in the same way as salads – as a quick crop to sow in quantity and cut often, to eat within minutes of picking.
The herbs that give the quickest return for your time and money are annuals and short-lived, or tender, perennials. These plants, including basil, coriander and dill, are easy to grow, quick to establish and produce large crops. If you sow them every three to four weeks, you could be picking handfuls of fresh herbs until autumn.
Of course, many familiar kitchen herbs are perennials, including woody shrubs like bay, rosemary and thyme, and herbaceous perennials such as chives and mint. It's possible to grow these from seed, but they won’t offer much of a harvest until the second year – even later for some. They are also generally used in fairly small quantities, so it's quicker and more economical to buy young plants and grow them on.
The following herbs are suitable for growing successionally through spring and summer.