Herbs to Plant – and Why You Should Consider Planting Them
If you’re thinking about cultivating a garden herb to start you off on container gardening, then one way to choose what herbs to plant is to select those that you use often. With a garden herb that you use often, you’ll appreciate your work much more and enjoy the fruits of your labor, too!
But sometimes, what you think is the simplest, easy-to-grow herb turns out to be quite the opposite. So how do you decide on what to plant in the first place?
Know your herbs. Doing some research into what herbs to plant always pays off. You can scour the internet for information, ask friends, garden tools suppliers, or even consult books like “Healthy Happy Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide To Herbs and Herb Gardening”. When you know how each herb behaves, then you can choose and plan your garden much better.
Oregano. Also known as the pizza herb, the oregano is one of the easiest to plant. It complements almost all tomato based dishes known to man, and is indispensable in Italian, Spanish and Mexican kitchens. Oregano does well in partial shade, and should not be kept moist for so long. A perfect place for the oregano would be an indoor windowsill garden.
Mint. It is excellent with vegetables (such as carrots and peas). It cools the palate when combined with dairy products such as yogurt. Some even say that it complements lamb perfectly. But the best thing about is it that it is easy to plant and cultivate. Peppermint and spearmint are the two most common kinds of mint grown. It grows fast and wild though, so mint must have its own spot in the garden or its own container. Small mint cuttings are the easiest to grow – it needs only a little water and partial shade for growth.
Thyme. Often paired with the bay leaf, thyme is one of the easiest and loveliest herbs to have in the garden. It has many uses, including medicinal uses (said to be helpful in treating sore throats and other minor respiratory infections). Due to its strong flavor, it is used sparingly except for dishes that requires its full taste, such as creamed onions.
Growing thyme is best done using clay-based soil. Use a large container so that it will have room to grow. From seeds, it can take up to a year for the plant to develop and it is not even recommended to harvest in the first year of growth. If you want to grow it fast, the best way is to use root division so you’ll have a mature plant in just a couple of months. Full sun is best for this plant, but it will grow under shade as well.
Basil. Like the oregano, the basil is used a lot in tomato based dishes. You cannot grow basil indoors since it needs a lot of sunlight to thrive. Do not over-water. The soil should be kept dry in between waterings.
Basil can be grown from transplants or seeds – cheaper if you start from seeds, but faster if you use transplants. You can pick your poison, so to speak, and still be able to start your basil garden. Sweet basil is usually the easiest to grow of all basil varieties, and Genovese (which is considered as the Italian basil) grows well in pots with an exceptional flavor among them all. When harvesting, get the larger and darker leaves as these will have the most flavor.
Most herbs don’t need excessive amounts of water so remember to have sufficient holes and drainage at the bottom of your container for it not to store more water than necessary.
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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