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Herb pot for fish dishes

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is at its best in January

Plant is at its best in February

Plant is at its best in March

Plant is at its best in April

Plant is at its best in May

Plant is at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is at its best in September

Plant is at its best in October

Plant is at its best in November

Plant is at its best in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do To do in May

Do To do in June

Do To do in July

Do To do in August

Do To do in September

Do To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Fish, cooked simply with herbs, is classic cuisine. The fine leaves of bronze fennel have a mild aniseed flavour and can be placed in the cavity of a fish prior to baking. The orange-scented thyme combines well with strong-flavoured fish like mackerel or herring, and is also good for marinades. Sorrel leaves have a sharp, lemon flavour – simply liquidise them and fold into créme fraîche to make a sauce for cold fish. English mace is warm and spicy, and brings out the flavour of trout.

Both parsley and sorrel will sulk if the compost dries out in hot sun, so place the container in partial shade. Feed weekly with seaweed extract until early autumn, to encourage leaf production, and to keep plants sweet and succulent.

Cut off the faded flower stems to keep plants compact. Pick all the evergreen herbs from the top, rather than the side, to promote new growth.

You will need

  • Bronze fennel, Foeniculum vulgare x2
  • Common sorrel, Rumex acetosa x3
  • Curly-leaf parsley, Petroselinum crispum x5
  • English mace, Achillea ageratum x1
  • Orange-scented thyme, Thymus vulgaris ‘Fragrantissimus’ x4
  • Terracotta pot (40 x 32cm) x1
  • Peat-free compost
  • Broken crock
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Total time:

Step 1

Place a piece of broken crock over the hole in the base of the pot to maintain good drainage. Add peat-free compost until the container is about two-thirds full.

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Step 2

Knock out each herb plant from its pot and arrange in the container.

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Step 3

Once all the plants are in place, fill between the roots with compost. You can use an empty pot as a scoop, which will give you a free hand to hold the leaves out of the way.

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Step 4

Once you’re happy with the look of your arrangement, water in the plants to settle compost around the roots. Remove the rose from the watering can and gently water around the plants, not over them. If any gaps appear between the roots of the plants, simply add a little more compost, then water again.

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Kevin Smith says…

Paint a plain terracotta pot to give it a fresh look and complement the plants you’re using. Emulsion works well and will last for an entire growing season. Change the colour year on year as your container schemes evolve.

Kevin Smith