Summer is coming and that means outdoor fun, grilling and delicious salads. All the more reason to get your herb garden started today! Growing herbs is an easy, money-saving hobby that also happens to be good for your health. Whatever you’re cooking up at your cookout can be even tastier with your own fresh, homegrown herbs – so let’s get started!
Flavor Things Up with Your Own Herb Garden
Plant these easy-to-grow herbs in your garden and enjoy some fresh-from-the-earth taste at your dinner table. Some herbs, such as Mint and Thyme, should be purchased as plants and transplanted or propagated by cuttings to ensure proper production.
A Fresh Take On Mint
Not only good for your breath, Mint is good for what ails you – including digestion, headaches, asthma, even pimples and cavities. But be careful! This herb needs its space. Mint grows so fast it will choke out anything else in its path.
The Thyme is Right
Thyme is virtually calorie-free and provides a delicious boost of flavor to soups, salads, and just about any other recipe you can think of.
Don’t Pass On Parsley
So much more than a garnish, Parsley is full of nutrients and Vitamins A, C, and K. And while Parsley grows slower than most herbs, it’s worth the wait. Just make sure the soil doesn’t get too dry; once the plant wilts, it rarely recovers.
Sage is All The Rage
Used as a natural remedy for anxiety and fatigue, Sage is a relatively high-maintenance herb – it needs plenty of sunlight, good soil, and a watering every other day.
Cilantro – Two Spices in One
A staple of Mexican and Asian cuisines, Cilantro supplies fiber and iron and helps clear heavy metals like mercury out of the body. Because of its deep taproot, Cilantro needs deep soil to thrive. If your plant does go to seed, don’t throw the seeds away – they’re the tasty spice known as Coriander.
This tasty herb adds oniony flavor to salads, eggs, cream cheese, mashed potatoes, and more. Even better? It can help boost your immune system. Chives grow easily, and don’t need much light. They grow to be about 18″ tall, but don’t require much space to flourish.
Presto, it’s pesto! Go Basil
Known for its leaves’ warm, spicy flavor, Basil is a good source of fiber, and has a detoxifying effect on the liver. (Out late? Try incorporating basil into your brunch!) Basil is a hardy plant that grows easily. It doesn’t need much care and requires watering only every other day.
Have You Herb These Handy Tips?
Let the sun shine in.
An ideal spot would be a few steps from your kitchen, but choose a site that gets at least six hours of direct sun each day. Avoid ground where water stands or runs during heavy rains.
Loosen up – the soil, that is.
If you’re using a container, plant herbs in a superior potting media, such as Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix. In the garden, till or work the soil and fortify it by mixing in a rich organic plant food such as Espoma Plant-tone®. Plant early in the am or late in the afternoon to prevent transplants from wilting in the midday sun.
Dig a little deeper.
Because you are starting some herbs from bedding plants and not seeds, you will need to create larger planting holes. Dig each hole to about twice the width of the root ball of the new plant.
Give ’em some space.
Space the bedding plants about 18″ apart to give them room to spread out and grow. Place taller herbs, like Sage and Rosemary, toward the back of the garden, and place Parsley and Cilantro at the front.
Can we see some ID?
Add labels to each of your freshly planted herbs to make the easy to identify when cooking.
H2Oh! Water Regularly
Once established, make sure your herbs get an inch of water each week throughout the growing season.
Start your herb garden today and start enjoying the big flavors of summer right from your backyard. It doesn’t get any fresher than that!