Herbs (Introductory Course)

Course CodeAHT108
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

 Learn to Grow and Use Herbs  

Herbs are fascinating, fun and useful. Whether you want to grow them to provide an interesting garden, or are hoping to learn more about using them in cooking, craft or for health and well being: learning more about herbs through this course will no doubt enlighten and enrich you in ways beyond your expectations.
  • Study at your own pace, and in your own time
  • Learn by both reading and doing
  • Tutoring and mentoring from highly skilled and experienced professionals with decades of experience growing and using herbs.

Lesson Structure

There are 6 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Herbs
    • Definitions
    • history of herbs
    • identifying herb plants
    • finding accurate identification.
  2. Herb Gardening
    • Growing herbs in containers
    • Growing indoors
    • soil, nutrition
    • feeding
    • propagating
    • growing.
  3. What to Grow with What
    • companion Planting
    • designing herb gardens
    • interrelationships between herbs
    • composting.
  4. Growing and Harvesting Herbs
    • uses for herbs
    • harvesting
    • selling herbs you grow.
  5. Cooking with Herbs
    • Drinks
    • sweets
    • teas
    • vinegars
    • oils.
  6. Herbs for Fragrance, Health and beauty:
    • collecting herbs
    • pot pourri
    • baths
    • candles
    • sachets and more.

What You Will Do

  • Collect and identify lots of different herb specimens
  • Learn the basics of plant identification
  • Make contact with herb farms to ask about their operation
  • Propagate herbs by cuttings
  • Prepare a soil suitable for growing herbs
  • Design and plant a herb garden
  • Visit retailers to investigate the types of herb products available
  • Prepare food containing herbs
  • Harvest and dry a herb correctly
  • Prepare one other type of herb product

Growing Herbs in Containers

Well-planted pots, tubs or hanging baskets can transform a garden; or patio. They brighten up even the gloomiest corners, and provide interest in small awkward spaces. Baskets or pots can be suspended from a wall or fence, baskets add height in an otherwise flat area. In a new-build, where the garden is still a mess of rubble and bare soil, pots and baskets are the garden. And for people who have only balconies or small terraces, especially in inner cities; pots and baskets become their essential green spaces.

Herbs are superb plants. Evergreen herbs, and there are many to choose from, provide colour year-round. Annuals give us those fabulous hits of flavour that tells us summer is here! They are fragrant, colourful, an essential nectar source for beneficial insects, and of course we can eat them! Our food would be far less interesting without the range of flavours herbs provide.

Put these two together, and you have the perfect combination: herbs flourishing in pots and hanging baskets.

Which herbs to grow
We all have our favourites, but the most popular would probably be thyme, rosemary, sage, marjoram, basil, parsley, chives, mint, chervil and coriander. Some of these are annuals (die back at the end of the season), some herbaceous (die back and are dormant over winter, but re-grow each spring), and some evergreen. All will need to be managed differently although, with care, they can all be grown together.

Annual herbs, such as basil and coriander, like sunny locations, fertile soil and plenty of water to keep them growing. They don’t survive winter weather, so a basket or pot filled with basil will need to either be removed, or re-planted with something else at the end of summer.

Perennial herbs, which die back in winter but re-grow each spring, such as chives and mint, will also need winter-interest added to the pot or basket. Or an evergreen shrubby herb can be added to the mix, providing winter focus.

Evergreen herbs, such as rosemary, sage and thyme are not only useful in the kitchen all year round, but also provide winter interest. They can grow quite large and often do better in pots as they need room for their roots. But with good management, a large basket will also work for them.


Some tips for success:

Use a good quality potting mix. There are composts now especially designed for containers. These will give better results.

  • Use a soil-less compost: it will be lighter
  • Incorporate some water-retaining gel into the potting mix to retain moisture. Wet this before mixing into the compost, otherwise, as it expands, it will push the compost up and over the sides of the container.
  • Slow-release fertiliser pellets can be mixed into the compost at the time of planting up. Line porous pots with a plastic liner to slow down evaporation.
  • Remember to leave a hole at the base for drainage. If your basket is plastic or metal, line firstly with a decorative material, then put an inner lining of plastic to retain water. Again, leave drip holes in the base.
  • Once planted up, to reduce moisture loss, cover bare compost between plants with a layer of coarse grit, or chipped bark. Use decorative pebbles for pots on the ground where weight is not an issue.
  • Where weight is an issue, use shells, they are much lighter Install a drip-irrigation system if possible.
  • Consider using ‘self-watering’ baskets with an in-built reservoir. These tend not to be very big



  • Herb farmers
  • Herbal Product Manufacturers or suppliers
  • Landscapers
  • Hobby gardeners
  • Horticulturists
  • Herb enthusiasts

This is a great introductory level course and can be used as a starting point into learning about these wonderful plants.





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