Spice Up Your Garden With Herbs

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You can cook with them, landscape with them or use them to make home crafts. What am I talking about? Herbs, of course!

 With the renewed interest in gardening, herbs are enjoying unprecedented popularity today. More and more people are using herbs in their cooking, as seasonings, and for tea. It’s easy to become a gourmet cook by specializing in the cooking herbs, or using herbs in to make sachets, potpourri, bath scents, body lotions and more by growing the fragrant herbs. Or you may choose to grow a selection of them all. Many gardeners know that growing herbs can be good therapy.

Green Cilantro Growing in Container

Cilantro

 There are only three prerequisites to herb growing: good drainage, sweet (or alkaline) soil, and sunshine. Well-drained soil can be sandy, gravelly or even stony, since herbs are not particular. To get sweet soil, just add some compost to the soil and lime it once a year, if needed.

Nearly all herbs need a minimum of four hours of sun each day, so plant accordingly. Some herbs, such as the mints, will grow in the shade. The plants will stretch toward the light and their taste will probably not be as strong, but it will still be sufficient for cooking purposes.

Some of the easiest-to-grow, perennial, cooking herbs are mint, thyme, chive and sage. All of these are commonly available as seeds or transplants from garden centers or nurseries. Other popular, easy-to-grow, culinary herbs include the annuals anise, dill and borage. Anise is used for flavoring cakes and cookies. Dill leaves put a spark in salad dressings and fish dishes. If you want to give your drinks or sauces the flavor of cucumbers, try borage. It’s bright, blue flowers will do just that.

Some of my favorites to grow are dill, basil, fennel, lavender, rosemary, and lemon grass. I love the smell when you brush against them and they attract pollinators to the garden.

Written By

Debbie Dillion, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDebbie DillionExtension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture Call Debbie Email Debbie N.C. Cooperative Extension, Union County Center
Updated on Apr 26, 2021
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