Growing your own herbs lets you add fresh flavor to recipes whenever you want. And, why not? Herbs are easy to grow, add wonderful flavor to foods and drinks, and can be frozen so you can enjoy them all year long. Planting your own herbs also saves you money since as herbs sold at the supermarket are often costly.
Another great thing about herbs is that they don’t need a lot of growing space. You can fit several herbs in one pot or even a window box. This makes them ideal for apartment living. Place pots on your deck or plant them in a small space along your home or garage.
I plant most of mine in the backyard flower garden near the house so they’re readily accessible. But be careful with the mint plant. This eager herb will quickly spread and invade places like your yard or other areas of your garden. To avoid this, plant your mint plants in a separate pot, rather than into the ground.
Deciding what herbs to plant is up to you—and part of the fun. Think ahead about how you plan to use them. If you make homemade pesto in late summer, plant several basil plants. If you eat a lot of fish, consider planting some tarragon.
Here is a list of some common herbs and how you might use them.
|Mint ||Add to lamb, fruit and vegetable dishes, salads and use as garnish for desserts |
|Parsley ||Fresh herbs can be chopped and kept frozen in small freezer-proof bags for up to 6 months. |
|Rosemary ||Add to lamb and poultry dishes, soups and stews and vegetables |
|Thyme ||Add to poultry and fish, soups and stews, stuffing and vegetables |
|Cilantro ||Add to soups and stews, salads, many different ethnic dishes and making salsa |
|Basil ||Add to fish, tomato-based dishes, cooked vegetables, salads, pizza and making pesto |
|Chives ||Add to soups and stews, salads, potatoes and sauces |
|Dill ||Add to fish and egg dishes, soups and stews and cooked vegetables |
Stop at your local garden center and pick your favorite small herb plants. Then grab your garden gloves and get planting. You’ll love having fresh herbs at your disposal all year long.