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How to grow Bay | Growing Guides
Growing Guides Vegetables and herbs
Bay leaves are used as the foundation of so many different dishes so it's definitely worth finding room for a bay tree or bush in your growing area. Easy to shape and suitable for pots, bay is often grown as an ornamental bush.
Growing calendar
Plant out/transplant May - Jun & Sep - Oct
Harvest All year round

How to grow bay

Plant bought bay or rotted cuttings taken in summer. You can also sow seed in autumn but it will take up to two years until you can harvest the leaves (first rub with sand to speed up germination).

Choose well-drained soil in a sunny sheltered site.

Keep you bay plant well watered until it's established. Pinch out the growing tips to encourage bushy plants. Shorten stems to shape and size your bay tree.

Harvesting and using bay

Pick leaves all year round for use fresh, or pick in summer for drying. Bay is a perennial herb so will crop year after year.

Tips on growing bay

In very cold areas, protect your bay tree with horticultural fleece over winter of move container-grown bay plants indoors.

Growing notes
Difficulty Easy
Germination time 5-12 months
Average time to harvest 4 weeks (bought), 24 months (seed)
Equipment needed Horticultural fleece
Average plant size Up to 5m tall, 3m wide
Family group to grow with Miscellaneous
Seed saving notes Tricky - specialist
Key nutritional content Dried: calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin A