There is nothing more satisfying than the taste of fresh herbs in your homemade recipes. Herbs in the grocery store can be quite expensive for very small amounts. Growing your own herbs in an outdoor, patio or indoor garden, can save a lot of money and be very convenient, as you snip off the herb you need at the moment you need it. Decide which herbs you use most and ones you’d like to try to start your herb garden.
Start the basil seeds indoors at a sunny window. Later, transplant them into larger pots or directly outdoors. Pinch the new growth tips to create a bushy plant. Sweet basil is the most popular variety, but there are many others to choose from, such as cinnamon, clove, lemon, sweet Thai, purple and spice Basil. Give extras as gifts.
Bay is a perennial, evergreen herb. Outdoors, it reemerges in spring. Indoors it stays green year round. Make sure you leave adequate space around the plant for air-flow. Bay is often used in soups and stews. Popular varieties include aurea, angustifolia and undulata.
This herb needs a temperature of 65 to 70 degrees F to grow well. It’s better left to very warm climates outdoors. It’s a perfect herb to grow indoors. This herb is wonderful, used in egg or cheese dishes. Sprinkle some onto chicken or steak before broiling or roasting.
Chives are a must-have herb for every cook. It is happy indoors or out. If you plant a few extras outdoors, let them flower to enjoy the purple blooms. Use chopped chives in garlic mashed potatoes for a real treat.
Oregano, or wild marjoram, is an easy-to-grow herb. It’s not particular about its soil and needs little extra nutrients. It does, however, require a sunny location. To keep this herb tasting great, remove the flower buds before they open.
Parsley needs a rich soil. Use a quality commercial potting soil for indoors or patio pots. Mix a rich compost into your soil outdoors. Choose between the two main varieties of parsley, flat-leaf or curled. The flat-leaf parsley is the milder tasting of the two.
An easy-to-grow perennial, sage is used mostly to flavor meat dishes. However, you may remember the taste from your last Thanksgiving stuffing. This herb plant is hardy to colder temperatures and grows well outdoors with a nutritious soil. Make sure the plant has plenty of sunshine.
If you choose to grow your tarragon plant indoors, you need to place it on the patio or deck in fall or winter, until the leaves die off. This herb requires a cold spurt, each year, to grow well. When you bring it in, place it in a cool location for a few days and then by a sunny window.
Thyme is another hardy perennial that will withstand cold winters and come back the following year. Try one of these popular varieties: golden-scented thyme (lemon scent), garden thyme (most common), ground cover thyme (low growing, used for cooking and ground cover).
This herb looks like a little tree with needle-type leaves. It grows up to 6 feet, at maturity. If you live in extreme cold conditions, you’ll want to grow your Rosemary plant in a pot and bring it indoors as the temperatures drop. It’s a flavorful addition to chicken, turkey or even added to a bread recipe for herb bread.