Herb Planting – Starting an Herb Garden

02/19/2014

Herb Planting – Starting an Herb Garden

 

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Any person who says the words “herb planting” to me, and I instantly conjure up images of my mother. I would see her mulling over books to know what herbs to plant (we didn’t have the internet when I was young, and now she sees no reason to learn how to do so), checking out the containers or pots she’d be using, plotting her little piece of land that she fondly calls her haven.

My mom who has a green thumb said that some herbs can be a bit tedious to grow, but most aren’t. Through time and experience, she suggested the following herbs as simple enough to grow that even a child can do so:

Basil. It grows to about 18 inches, basil is very good for flavoring tomato juice and tomato-based dishes (which worked well with the family’s tummies as her harvest would always lead to flavorful cooking).

Chervil. It grows to about 2 feet and should be spaced 8 inches apart from the next plant. This is usually mature and ready for harvesting in 6 weeks time. Do not transplant, as this will eventually cause the plant to wilt and die. Good in flavoring egg dishes.

Chives. This bulblet plant can germinate in 10 days. Mature plants grow to about 12 inches, preferably with a 6-inch space in between other plants. Perfect for salads, sauces and egg dishes. Can also be put on a window sill, all potted up.

Dill. The blossoms of this herb are tiny and in pale yellow. Grows up to 2 ½ feet tall, and may be spaced 4 inches apart. Good for pickling and preserving, and for flavoring or marinating meats.

Lavender. This has a variety of uses as aside from being an herb. Its leaves can also be used to make soothing and calming tea, and the leaves can be used to leave a nice scent in a chest of drawers or a cabinet.

Marjoram. Sweet marjoram can grow to about 12 inches in height, to be spaced 6 inches from the next plant. This flavor favors lamb, fish, soups and salads.

Mint. This herb is at its best in good rich soil. It grows to 2 feet in height, and should be spaced 12 inches apart. Best used for mint jelly, lemonade and other fruit drinks.

Sage. If planted indoors, it will germinate for 14 days. It grows up to 2 feet high and should be spaced at least 6 inches apart. This herb is specifically used for dressings for chicken, pork, turkey, sometimes beef (although the taste is sometimes less desirable), and is used to flavor sausages.

Sesame. This needs warmth for germination (hence, the proliferation of sesame seeds in Asian and tropical countries) which would take place in 3 to 7 days. They grow up to almost 3 feet in height and would need 9 to 10 inches of space in between plants. The seeds are used to flavor breads and cookies. Can also be made into sesame oil.

Herb growing is a delightful activity. To ensure that you cultivate a thriving garden, consult fellow herb gardeners or use a guide like “Healthy Happy Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide to Herbs and Herb Gardening” to know the merits and the requirements of each herb. With the proper knowledge and armed with the right equipment, you will be well on your way to becoming the culinary gardener you’ve always dreamed of.

If you are serious about cultivating an organic herb garden, be sure to check out “Healthy Happy Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide To Herbs and Herb Gardening” by Jeannie Woods. It’s a book packed with all the information you need to be able to successful start and keep a thriving organic herb garden.

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