Sunday, May 29, 2011

planting an herb garden

There are few things as satisfying as being in your kitchen, whipping up something delicious, when you think to yourself this could really use a little rosemary... and then being able to walk right outside your back door and snip an amazingly fresh sprig of whatever it is you need.

You get to skip and traffic and annoyance of a trip to the store, plus you get extra fresh flavor, plus you save money.

And growing an herb garden is easy, rewarding and an all around good time.

Herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow. Most of them can live happily in a pot or planted directly in the ground, though some you might want to keep in a pot as they are not good at staying in their designated areas.

These are a few of my favorite herbs to grow:
Basil: Fresh basil is really one of the greatest things. Its a wonderful addition to a variety of dishes, not the least of which is homemade pesto. Yum. Basil is a bit sensitive to the cold so if you live in a cold area you may want to plant it in a pot so you can bring it inside on especially cold nights. If you do plant it outside, pick a nice sunny spot. Also pinch off flowers to keep stems producing flavorful leaves instead of becoming woody.

Rosemary: Rosemary likes sun and should not be over watered. It is also a bit sensitive to cold and may be better kept in a pot so it can be brought inside on cold nights. If you do grow rosemary outside the plant can grow to be quite large. Rosemary can be used fresh or dried and is wonderful sprinkled on pizza dough or put in some olive oil with some Parmesan and eaten with some crusty bread.

Thyme: This one is is a great addition to a chicken marinade used at a summer bbq. Thyme is a low growing plant and is great for edging beds. It is a hardy plant so is generally ok being planted outside. Thyme is also said to be a natural antiseptic.

Sage: If you let it Sage will get large and woody, so cut it back regularly to keep it small. It is not particularly sensitive and should be ok outside. It has a peppery flavor and is great in Italian dishes. Its also a yummy addition to traditional Thanksgiving stuffing.

Lemon Balm: This is an especially pretty plant and it smells wonderful. You can dry the leaves to make a wonderful tea or put fresh leaves in fruity summer desserts. The plant is pretty hardy and can be happy inside or out.

It is my opinion that watching things grow and playing in the dirt are soothing for the soul, and its something I recommend to all.

1 comment:

  1. Yay for planting your own herbs! How delicious. In fact I must go and water my own right now!


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