Category Archives: Growing Herbs
Cook up something great – herbs every gourmet needs
Why look any farther for fresh flavors than your very own garden? A culinary garden can be the ultimate inspiration for budding cooks and gourmet chefs alike. Like any recipe, start your kitchen garden with the basics. Think light, placement, planning. Place plants of similar size and water needs together, for example. You wouldn’t want your woody rosemary to crowd out your herbaceous chives. More tips to get you cooking…
Among the beautiful of world of herbs, there are four types of herbs whose leaves give off a lovely lemony fragrance. In addition to their fragrance, their leaves have a lemon flavor and they are used to season foods and drinks. Their fragrant leaves are also used in fragrance crafts like soap, bath products, and potpourris.
I live in Montreal, Quebec and have been gardening for well over 20 years. Although we have 4 distinctive seasons in this part of the world, winter is the longest and harshest of the lot. This cold season usually starts in mid-November to early May. Canadian winters are not a very good season for growing herbs or pretty much of anything for that matter.
If you want large bulbs bursting with flavor, plant your garlic in the fall. You will have to wait until the next summer to harvest, but it is worth the wait.
Mint or Mentha is much more than a plant grown to brew tea. The aromatic fresh green leaves can be used in the kitchen to spice up a fruit salad, sherbet, and ice cream. There are numerous other reasons to grow mint. The list includes the following:
Growing Kitchen Herbs? Here are Your Top 10 Herb Garden Plants.
Introducing fresh herb garden plants to your meal choices, creates a powerful chain reaction that spreads through all your efforts to re-gain your health and the health of your family. However, sometimes getting started is the hardest part of making healthy changes in your life. With that in mind, we’ll start with what I think are the “must have” herbs for the kitchen.
How Does Cilantro Grow Best?
Cilantro is actually a relative of the carrot, and like the carrot it has a particularly long root. Transplanting is tricky because of this, so I recommend planting cilantro from a seed. We had previously talked about how the seed from the cilantro herb is actually the popular spice, coriander.
The Pros and Cons of Growing Mint Indoors
Herbs really grow best in the full sun, but some herbs such as mint, will tolerate some shade and therefore can be grown indoors throughout the year. This is a big bonus if you like using mint in your recipes – you’ll always have a supply of your favorite herb to hand.
Gardening is often seen as an outdoors activity that is limited to certain weather conditions. When it comes to herbs, a windowsill facing south or west is an excellent area to grow and harvest herbs all year long. It also add beautiful natural beauty to that window and fills the air with the sweet scents. A windowsill herb garden doesn’t need to be very big, a few pots can produce enough herbs to satisfy your needs.
Nature offers innumerable resources for mankind and one such gift are herbs that can help with most common ailments. Ancient civilizations used herbs successfully but with improvements in science and technology the medicinal significance of these herbs diminished. However there is a revived interest on the subject of herbal remedies as more and more people are resorting to alternative therapy like natural medicines and aromatherapy due to the side effects of allopathic drugs. Therefore, the next time you suffer from a sore throat or a headache you may want to try a few medicinal herbs from your windowsill herb garden.
Garlic (Allium sativum) has been used for centuries for both cooking and medicinal purposes. Known as the ‘stinking rose’ and Russian penicillin, its medicinal purposes have been documented for centuries and have always been a popular remedy for colds, coughs, and sore throats.
A great way to make use of your garden herbs is by drying them. Drying herbs is not just an economical solution, it’s also great to have aromatic herbs ready when you’re fixing something up in the kitchen. Among the most common ways to dry herbs is air drying. Not only is this easiest and cheapest way to dry fresh herbs, the drying process is slow enough that it doesn’t deplete the natural oils from the herbs. Air drying works well for herbs which don’t have a good amount of moisture in them such as Marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme, Bay, and dill. For herbs such as basil, mint, chives, and all other moisture dense varieties, they are best preserved if you freeze them or place them in a dehydrator.
I have chosen the following herbs simply because they tend to be the most commonly used herbs. Of course, there are so many herbs you can grow in your own garden, so don’t be afraid to try new herbs, or just new varieties of more common herbs.
Rosmarinus officianalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves, native to the Mediterranean. Its highly aromatic leaves compliment a wide variety of foods and it can be used both fresh or dried. High summer when fresh shoots are emerging is the perfect time to take semi-ripe cuttings and create lots of new rosemary plants. Snip off non-flowering shoots early in the morning and keep them in a sealed plastic bag until you are ready to root them. Here is a short guide to how.
Of all the herbs I grow in my garden, mint is probably the most evocative. Its fresh pungent scent reminds me of summer days and mint tea and never fails to lift the spirit. There are so many varieties of mint, each one cleverly replicating a familiar scent from another plant or food. From chocolate mint to peppermint, each one has its own distinctive smell and use. Apple mint is probably the most useful culinary herb and certainly the best with new potatoes. Here is a quick guide to growing mint from cuttings and how to grow it successfully in containers.
The Pacific Northwest is full of a lot of things; history, geology and interesting plants are but a few. As our kids were growing up, we played a game called Oregon Trail, so many of the events…and plant life…were covered as part of their education. It was fun, but it was also fascinating.
As of February 26th, my parents had six feet of snow stacked up on either side of their front walk. The forecast called for snow to continue to fall through March 5th. They are ready for winter to be over, as is a lot of this country.
It’s easy to take common foods and herbs for granted. The row of multicolored chili peppers are a good example. Europe didn’t know about many foods. Tomatoes, potatoes and chilis were unknown. In fact, tomatoes were considered poisonous when first introduced. I could imagine viewing peppers in that light…
There are two types of garlic; ‘hard neck’ and ‘soft neck.’ The upside to hard neck garlic is that it produces plumper cloves and has a broader variety than soft neck garlic. The downside is that it is more difficult to keep from sprouting. It does not store as well as soft neck garlic varieties.
There is nothing like having fresh basil handy to give your culinary creations a little extra zing of flavor. It does well in Italian dishes and some varieties are used in Southeast Asian cuisine. While growing basil indoors is easy, there are some common growing mistakes you need to watch out for.
Many people at some point in their life plant herbs. Home-grown herbs are useful to have around for numerous reasons. Starting your own home herb garden takes a bit off work in the begining, but the the rewards are great.
With such a long history behind it, this is one herb that any gardener would love to grow! As if that was not enough, there are many different varieties of thyme, all with different benefits.
Window boxes overflowing with blooms, decorative pots lining the driveway with striking colors, and even a flowering vine climbing up the mailbox – the growing season have arrived, and it is time to decorate the landscape.
Most popular herbs can be raised from seed sown indoors during early spring. A few, like peppermint, benefit from a long season of growth and can be sown earlier if conditions are suitable. It is important with all species to ensure that at the time of sowing the ratio of heat to light is balanced, otherwise sickly, etiolated seedlings will be produced. When conditions are not suitable it is preferable to wait a couple of weeks until things improve.
For some people, Echinacea is merely a dietary supplement that is purported to prevent a cold. But if you like to garden, you’ll want to discover colorful Echinacea – also known as Coneflowers.
September in old English terms means “harvest month” and just like the name predicts, there is plenty of leftover bounty to store garden produce for the upcoming winter months ahead.
If you have herbs in your own garden that can be grown from cuttings (a process usually called propagation), or if you can persuade a neighbor to let you make cuttings from his or her herb plants, you can set about growing herbs in pots using herb cuttings instead of seeds.
Herbs are one of the delightful pleasures of life. They add flavor to your food, scent to the air and beauty to your garden. In colonial times, no home was complete without an herb garden for the lady of the house to use in her kitchen, and it wasn’t unusual for those herb gardens to be separated by use – savory herbs, tea herbs, medicinal herbs. That’s a tradition that’s made a comeback in many modern gardens.
Artemisia dracanculus (Compositae)
Tarragon propagates runners that can fill the garden and should be watched carefully. It is an attractive plant that has sword-like yellow/green leaves topping a bush capable of reaching about 75cm. An essential inclusion in your line-up of herb garden plants.
Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across a thousand miles and all the years we have lived. – Helen Keller
Herbs in general need well drained soil and full sun but will thrive on as little as 6 hours of sunlight per day. Before planting, make sure you work compost into your soil.
Most herbs are hardy plants and can be planted almost anywhere. However, you can enhance their attractiveness based on where and how you display them.
Summer and winter savory are two of the most aromatic and easy to grow Mediterranean herbs that should be in everyone’s garden. Both have hints of thyme and oregano, with just a little spiciness. Traditionally these two plants were grown near bee hives, providing nectar for honey production. They also are great companion plants, because their aromatic essential oils help mask the scent of other plants, making it difficult for pests to locate their targets.
Known as common garden chives, Allium schoenoprasum, can be grown indoors and out. Chives are rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, and calcium.
Known as “joy of the mountain,” Origanum vulgare is commonly called culinary oregano or Turkish oregano. Oregano is a close relative of marjoram and is also known as pot marjoram.
The Mentha species or mints as they are commonly called include many varieties that flavour everything from appetizers to desserts. The best-known species in North American are peppermint (M. x piperita) and spearmint (M. spicata), which are highly valued for commercial use.
The best recipes call for fresh herbs rather than their dried equivalents that are found on the spice aisle in the grocery store. Fresh herbs add a delightful flavor and zest to foods that just doesn’t compare to dried spices to the trained palette. What is the ardent gourmet cook to do when the local grocery store caters to only the mediocre taste buds? Consider growing your own herbs indoors, of course! If you want that just right flavor and aroma for your gourmet dishes, it’s worth a little extra effort to have your own supply of completely fresh herbs.
The humble parsley herbs have been around for centuries. The Greeks planted the parsley herb as a border for their gardens. They also used the parsley herb to crown winners at competitions and to decorate tombs.
Called the “herb of happiness,” Origanum majorana, commonly known as sweet marjoram or knotted marjoram, is an herbal symbol of peace and well-being.
Growing basil indoors may seem awkward and intimidating at first but it can be fairly straight forward when you actually start growing these wonderful herbs.
Why is an Italian Herb Garden perfect – because it contains the four main classes of herbs: Aromatic, Culinary, Medicinal, and Ornamental herbs. Plus it has annual herbs, perennial herbs, shrub herbs, and evergreen herbs.
In Mediterranean countries it is the most popular spice used for culinary purposes. Garlic cloves are great for seasoning roasts and, of course, Italian pasta dishes, eaten whole, or as garnish instead of chives. To avert bad breath, chew some fresh parsley after your meal, or only mix with folks who also enjoy garlic as you do.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is just one of those plants that every organic garden must have growing. It also has great merit as a medicinal plant. This plant serves us so well. Propagation is by root division. But be careful with this plant as it will grow from the tiniest piece of root.