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Split up your herbs

17 April 2015

Split up your herbs to keep them young, healthy and productive for many years to come.

All clump-forming herbs including marjoram, mint and lemon balm tend to sprawl and die out in the middle as they get older, leaving you with an unsightly mess and making the plants less productive, too.

To keep your plants healthy and promote lots of strong new growth – best for cooking as it's tender and full of those essential oils which carry the herb's flavour – dig your clump wholesale out of the ground, taking as much rootball with it as you can. If you grow your herbs in containers, just tip the herb out of the pot.

Using your spade or an old knife, cut the clump into three or four pieces, each with some good strong roots and top growth. Trim away any dead areas so you have a nice healthy young plant.

Now fork some fresh compost into the area where you want to plant, and add a handful of slow-release fertiliser such as bonemeal for good measure. Then choose the strongest chunk of herb, replant and water in. The other chunks you can plant elsewhere in your garden, pot up for windowsill herbs or give away to friends.

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