Fast Growing Herbs to Use Through Summer and Fall

Summer is my favorite time in the garden, and I love to enjoy the bounty it brings. I don’t always get vegetables growing but herbs and tomatoes is something I never miss. Today I’d like to share the best fast growing herbs to use through summer and fall, in simple and realistic ways.

fast growing herbs for use through summer and fall

Which herb plant grows the fastest?

I’ll admit, I am an impatient gardener. I dream about it all through the cold winter, and when the weather finally changes, I’m ready to start picking not just growing. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. You gotta plant and grow before you can start to use.

So I love to have herbs that get growing quickly and are ready for culinary uses soon after planting. If growing from seeds, the fast-growing herbs are: basil, cilantro, and dill. Basil can be ready within 50-60 days, and cilantro is the same. Dill is the fastest, as it is ready in about 40 days.

fast growing herbs for use through summer and fall buying some already started

If you’re impatient like me, you can start with small plants. I usually buy these from the garden center at Home Depot for about $5 each, but have also gotten some from Facebook Marketplace for $2. When they have had the head start indoors in a sunny windowsill, you can plant them outside in well-drained soil in early spring, depending on your climate and growing season. You will be snipping fresh herbs soon after.

fast growing herbs for use through summer and fall fresh rosemary

Do herbs like sun or shade?

Most herbs like both, but more hours of sun than shade is always best. Some herbs like; basil, rosemary and lavender, will take full sun if you have it.

I have all my herb plants and a small garden in my side yard, close to the kitchen. Luckily this area gets mostly full sun, so I have a few fast-growing vegetables there as well.

fast growing herbs for use through summer and fall side yard growing herbs

Up north at our summer cottage, I have some fresh herbs planted near my flower beds. The lavender gets full sun and is now a mature plant, but the others have partial shade throughout the day. I have noticed the plants don’t grow as large as my others that get full sun, but they still provide enough for our culinary uses when we are there.

fast growing herbs for use through summer and fall lavender

What are the best herbs to grow outside?

In most climates, the best perennial herbs you can grow outside that will come back each year are; thyme, oregano, sage, and chives. My rosemary almost made it this year, as we had cooler temperatures but a very mild winter. But a late snow took it out after it started to grow in the spring, and there was no saving it.

fast growing herbs for use through summer and fall

Thyme and sage are always easy herbs to grow, but I stopped growing oregano a few years back. For me, I found it to be very invasive. It just kind of took over my vegetable garden, and I wasn’t using it that much, so I decided to let it go.

Choose your own herbs to grow based on what you will actually use, and what you have space for in your garden bed.

fast growing herbs for use through summer and fall using herbs

What makes herbs grow faster?

The snarky answer to what makes herbs grow faster would be sun and plenty of water, duh. We have had a very rainy summer so far here in Michigan, and my plants are growing crazy at the moment. Just when I think I need to go out and water, a heavy downpour will come.

The best way to keep plants watered, especially in extreme heat, is with a drip system but I’m not there yet.  I’m still a bit old school at home, but I do have a drip system at the cottage since we aren’t always there.

fast growing herbs for use through summer and fall drip system for watering

There are a few other things that will help your herbs grow faster, one major one being fertilizer. If you are planting outdoors, it is always good to think about soil conditions, and then nature will take care of the rest for these low maintenance herbs.

If planting indoors, use deep pots and think about proper air circulation. Keep your indoor herb garden away from air vents, radiators, and any place that will make them dry out quickly.

fast growing herbs for use through summer and fall in a window indoors

Which herb is the easiest to grow?

My first go-to popular herb that is so easy to grow is rosemary. It is a favorite herb with many uses. Mint and chives are super easy to grow too and can be used in a variety of dishes. Oregano is very easy as well, and as I mentioned, will take over if you let it.

fast growing herbs for use through summer and fall rosemary

When I do choose to grow this, I provide it limited space that is sectioned off in the garden or grow it in a small pot. It is quite lovely in a homemade pasta sauce.

What are the 10 most used herbs?

The 10 most used herbs in the kitchen

  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley (flat leaf or curly)

The ones you should plant are the ones you always find yourself buying from the grocery store. Many times, a basil plant will be the same price as purchasing a cut pack of individual leaves. Same thing for a rosemary plant. Check out my favorite use for cilantro.

Obviously, you will get repeated uses out of buying an entire growing plant that you can clip fresh leaves from whenever you need them. For me, these are the easiest plants to grow and the most used. 

What herbs grow well planted together?

If you plant your herbs in a pot, the only thing you will need to worry about is if your container has a drainage hole. But if you sow seeds and/or plant them in the ground, there are some herbs that play well with others, and some that don’t.

To protect my herbs this year, I had to cover them with wire cloches to protect them from the wild bunnies that end up in my yard. They now are growing through the holes and I haven’t removed them, oops.

fast growing herbs for use through summer and fall dill

Let’s first cover the nice ones. Dill and chives are good together, and I like how they look visually too as dill is very feathery and chives more structured and solid. A ying and yang effect for sure.

Cilantro is good near any kind of parsley, and since basil grows taller than oregano (which is a spreader) those work together as well. I know there’s an old song about these, and maybe because they are good together, but sage, rosemary and thyme are friendly as well. Now for the haters.

What herbs cannot be together?

There are just a few herbs that aren’t great together and it may not even be an issue for you if you don’t care for the flavor of these.

Cilantro and fennel should not be grown together. I’m not sure if this is a unique flavor thing, but if you have a small space, keep them in their own corners.

fast growing herbs to use through summer and fall sage and basil

Sage and sweet basil shouldn’t really be together, as they restrict each other’s growth. Funnily enough, I forgot that tidbit this spring, and plopped my basil plants right next to my sage. The sage is definitely winning that fight, but the basil is hanging in there. They both are enjoying the rich soil.

Next year, basil will get moved. One of the joys of gardening is a bit of trial and error. Although I know some experts say that certain herb plants shouldn’t be next to each other, I have made all those ‘mistakes’ over the years and still reaped the benefits of my herbs long harvest season.

fresh herbs to enjoy

Simple ways to use herbs in the kitchen everyday

They say ‘Paris is always a good idea’ but you know what I think is a good idea? Kitchen herb gardens! Whether you have space for an in ground garden like I do, or just a window garden, you can enjoy and use fresh herbs everyday in your culinary uses.

I have a friend who lives in a small apartment and enjoys the blessing of fragrant leaves from her herb plants almost daily! She’s a freak for rosemary, especially paired with butter. She’s not wrong. It’s delicious.

fast growing herbs to use through the summer and fall like rosemary

Once you have your own herb garden, you will be hooked! Herbs make fresh produce and a variety of meats burst with flavor. And if you end up with an abundance, you can simply dry them so you have a continuous supply of your favorite herbs during the off season. 

my Favorite ways to

use herbs in the kitchen

  • herb butters
  • marinades
  • soup topping
  • infused water
  • fresh salads
  • cooked into recipes
  • baked into breads
  • steeped in tea
fast growing herbs to use through the summer and fall fresh mint in a drink

What fast growing herbs should you grow?

As we talked about, start with choosing those herbs that are always on your grocery list. Fresh herbs add such incredible flavor to food, and are often the essential ingredient in making a dish. What would a Caprese salad be without basil?

fast growing herbs to use through the summer and fall basil on a caprese salad

Next, consider what you like to use in your home. Certain fresh herbs are very fragrant just hanging out as decor in your home. Think about how you might want to use some in decorating too, or simply as fragrant foliage for flowers you cut.

When planting, I always think about things I might want during holiday seasons for decor and small gifts, and fresh herbs are definitely ones to consider. Dried leaves packaged pretty make lovely small gifts for neighbors and friends, and some are a great addition to wreaths and other seasonal greenery.

fast growing herbs to use through the summer and fall

My friend Heidi, from Eleanor Rose Home, is always making candles or bath bombs, or herb scented goodies for her home. Check out how she is using these great herbs in her space.

It’s not too late to grow some herbs

​You still have time to plant some herbs! The best time to plant, is any time! Grab a pot, add some well-draining soil, and plant fresh herbs. These can hang out and enjoy the outdoors and then easily come inside during the colder months (if you have them).

fast growing herbs to use through the summer and fall

Having an herb garden is easier than you think. Once you know how much you enjoy and use it, you will be adding different varieties and infusing fresh herbs in everything around you.

I’ve been growing herbs a long time, and I love it! My annual herb planning begins mid-winter, but even if I am late getting things out, these fast-growing herbs always deliver.

fast growing herbs to use through the summer and fall

Do you grow herbs? I’d love to know which ones are your favorites and why, tell me in the comments.

Thanks for joining me today for our little herb chat. I’d love to have you join me more often, follow along on these platforms.

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  1. Maybe it dries out too much in Texas. Have you tried an indoor plant that you can keep an eye on? I have kept Rosemary alive indoors for awhile, even though I am terrible with house plants!

  2. I love this info! I love rosemary and basil the most, but for whatever reason, I never have much luck with rosemary.

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