Categorized | Growing Vegetables

Growing Herbs In Your Garden

Herb gardening has become one of the most popular forms of horticulture, and not without good reason. With herb gardening, you can use your plants as they have a practical use as well as an aesthetic one. For many when thinking of herb gardening they think of a small kitchen garden, or pots on the windowsill which you can turn to whenever the recipe calls for herbs and supply your own flavorful, fresh herbs used within minutes of picking. They also have a pleasant aroma and beauty which can make an excellent addition to any garden.

Drying Herbs

It is important to dry some herbs for use during the winter months, especially if you plan on cooking with them. To do so, you first have to cut the tops of leafy herbs, wash them, and hang up for the water to drip off and evaporate. Then, tie stems together and hang up in a paper bag to dry. It usually takes around two to three weeks, after that remove them from the bag. Then crumble the leaves into smaller pieces, dry them out in the oven, and store in a glass jar.

Herbs to Grow

pottedbasilOne of the most common herbs to grow in your herb garden is basil. This herb is often used as decoration with “Dark Opal” and regular green basil being beautiful additions to any backyard oasis. Dark Opal has dark red leaves and light pink flowers. The Basil in your herb garden isn’t there just to look good; it is great for adding extra flavor to tomato sauces and pastes.

Chives are part of the onion family. They resemble a blade of grass and are very petite looking. They are stronger than they look, however, and can grow in tough conditions, even doing well through a drought. Their toughness and sturdiness make Chives a perfect addition to your herb garden, especially if the gardener wants to avoid plants that require a lot of active looking after. Chives are well used in salads, egg dishes, with cheese and many sauces.

Mint is also very simple to grow and is good to use in mint jelly, mint juleps, lemonade, and any other kind of fruity drink. Mint is also good in herb gardening for its unique minty smell. Two herbs that appear in nearly everyone’s herb garden are thyme and sage. Both of these herb gardening favorites increase the flavoring of soups, pork, and other sausages, chicken, and turkey. Another reason to grow Sage is for its beautiful blue spiked flowers.

Lavender is probably the best smelling herb of all and has uses in perfumes, candles, and to improve the smell in wardrobes or other small enclosed spaces. The light purple flowers smell lovely.

There are many other herbs commonly grown not yet mentioned. Some you might like to consider include borage (often used in salads), chervil (popular in egg dishes), sesame (flavors crackers, cookies, and tiger bread), sweet marjoram (often used to flavor lamb, fish, salad, and soup), and dill (used in pickles and to flavor meat). With a herb garden, gardeners can use herbs from their garden for cooking, beauty, and aroma. Producing your own fresh herbs will give much more flavor than you might expect from store-bought herbs, and, of course, are also a lot cheaper.

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