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Herb Gardening

Herb Gardening

Herbs have always been one of the gateway plants of gardening. You start with a small basil plant, next thing you know, you are the neighborhood herbalist and you are winning yard of the month!

Herbs can be easy to grow. The most important thing to remember, is location, location, location! Most all of the herbs grown today, enjoy full sun and well-drained soil. You give them that, you will be successful.

Adding herbs to your container gardens is easy and works for the plants and you! The containers can be placed in just the right spot – somewhere they can get 4-6 hours of afternoon sun or 6-8 hours of morning sun. They also drain much better than flower beds. Some examples of good spillers for containers are thyme, mint, and prostrate rosemary. Some good fillers are basil, sage, oregano. And fennel, onions, and dill all make good thrillers for the centers of your container. You can mix these in with flowering plants or you can just go all herbs!

Insects and disease can be an issue for us down here in the Deep South. There are two ways to approach this. They have more and more organic products that you can use. Check them out and see how they can help you control the problems. You can also try to keep you plants as healthy as possible by planting or placing them in the ideal sun exposure, keeping the soil well drained, and fertilizing as needed. Doing all these will minimize the insects and disease issues you have. Here are some popular Herbs with a short description of their uses:

Basil:

  • Used in pasta sauces and into pesto
  • Use later in cooking, as flavor will cook out
  • Has licorice or slightly peppery flavor

Cilantro:

  • Used in Mexican cooking
  • It is the leaf and stems of the coriander plant
  • Has waxy, citrus and clean flavor

Thyme:

  • Used to flavor hardy meals, soups, sauces
  • Has earthy smell and flavor, citrus varieties have a lemony flavor to them

Oregano:

  • Used with Italian, Mexican, and Spanish cooking
  • Greek Oregano has the best/strongest flavor
  • Has a sharp peppery flavor

Sage:

  • Used with sausage and stuffing
  • Has a musky, earthy fresh flavor

Mint:

  • Classic herb to freshen up a dish
  • Many varieties with slightly differing flavors: pepper mint, chocolate mint, pineapple mint, spearmint
  • Overall has a fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste

Rosemary:

  • Used with Fish, Chicken and Lamb
  • Available in upright growth habit or creeping growth habit
  • Has an assertive pine like fragrance and pungent flavor

Dill:

  • Great with Fish, used in pickling vegetables
  • Has overtones of parsley, anise, and celery with a slight lemon cast.

Fennel:

  • Favorite food for swallow tail caterpillars
  • Has an aromatic and sweeter anise like flavor

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