Wednesday, April 4, 2012

You can grow that!

I am so excited to be taking part of the 2nd issue, if you will, of You Can Grow That!

Check out the Facebook page for links to garden bloggers' posts on things you can grow yourself.

Up this month....herbs! Whether you are a gourmet cook or not (um, I'm not), growing your own herbs is easy and great for your food.

Many people don't realize that lots of herbs are perennials. If you're new to gardening, that means that they come back each year. What could be easier? Of all of the plants I grow, I find that the herbs are among the plants that require the least maintenance.

Here are the herbs I typically grow: thyme, sage, chives, oregano, dill, rosemary and basil. Of those, only rosemary and basil are annuals, which means they need to be planted each year. I've experimented a bit and planted pineapple sage, lemon balm and lemon verbena. The lemon plants I use more for cutting in the house. Pineapple sage can be great in fruit salad. It also has really pretty late-season red blooms.

Even if you are not a big gardener, growing herbs is so easy. Find a spot in your garden that receives sun most of the day and plant a few. If you like them, you can always plant more! Bugs typically leave the herbs alone and you need to water them until they're established, then just if it gets a bit dry.

Here is my herb garden....I think this photo was taken last year in May. In the bottom right corner, oregano. The upper right corner, chives. Middle top, sage. Bottom left corner, thyme.

I use the herbs in cooking. Anytime you use fresh herbs, you need to use more than what's recommended for dried herbs. Dried herbs have a much more potent and concentrated flavor. From using herbs in a recipe to just adding fresh herbs to roasted veggies, there are so many things you can do with them!

Chive blooms are edible...did you know? They look and taste great in a salad.

Some of my herb plant tags.

Here is the herb garden (on the left), last summer, mid-June. The oregano is taking over! The oregano is my favorite.....spaghetti sauce, YUM!

As for maintenance, I cut back the dead foliage at the end of the season or else in early spring. Keep in you cut your herbs for use, it will spur new growth. Just make sure you leave some foliage there so it can produce the new growth.

What else can you do with the herbs? I like to use them with cut flowers or by themselves. Pretty and aromatic.

If you like, you can dry the extras throughout the season and when you have frost in the fall. It's not hard. I started doing this when I had a bunch of herbs.....and I noticed how expensive dried herbs are!

I have plenty to use myself and also sometimes to give away as Christmas gifts, too.

Fresh herbs for cooking? You can grow that!

Linked to....
Flaunt Your Flowers  at Tootsie Time


joene at joene's garden said...

Herbs are so easy to grow. I incorporate them into my perennial beds. Using fresh snipped chives is an early spring ritual in my family that continues till hard frost. Hope your info urges others to garden with herbs.

Benita said...

Very nice post! A great place for herb seeds is Nichols Garden Nursery out of Oregon. They have wonderful varieties!

Rambling Woods said...

I enjoyed this as a novice..I have sage growing and the blooms are really popular with bees...

Darla said...

I grow herbs for fun, don't believe I have ever harvested any for use.

Nell Jean said...

Herb gardens are lots of fun, trying new herbs and finding new uses for the old ones. A bit of oregano snipped over a pizza and arugula leaves laid on the hot pizza when it's done; rosemary sprinkled over roasting potatoes, thyme in stuffed mushrooms. I seldom eat my parsley for fear I'll eat butterfly eggs that would otherwise hatch. I don't cook with lemon grass, either; my dog and cat love to chew it.

Tootsie said...

I am so far behind this week that I can't even see straight!!! I am here now enjoying your share in my little party. Thank you so much for linking in this week!!! I hope to see you again soon!!! I am sharing this post on the Tootsie Time Facebook page! Hugs from Alberta Canada!!!
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