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Archive for the ‘Culinary Herbs / How to Grow’ Category

Eight Essential Herbs to Start an Herb Garden

Whether it is because of the effects of the economy on your food pantry, or simply because you think it would be fun, starting an herb garden is a great idea. Not only will you have something beautiful and down to earth out back that gives you something to do when you’re not at work, you’ll also be happy to be able to use what things you’ll be growing out there. Eight of the most essential herbs to start an herb garden include the following plants: Basil, mint, dill, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, and chives. With a little bit of information on each of these herbs, you’ll be well on your way to building the perfect little herb garden for your home.

Basil is one of the most commonly used herbs there are. It has such a distinctive flavor that reminds one of the exquisite cuisine native to Italy. It’s a very versatile herb and is wonderful in soups, salads and a wide variety of Italian dishes. It also can be helpful in the garden, as it repels flies and mosquitoes, and can improve the taste of tomatoes and peppers.

Mint has a pleasant aroma and has been widely used in a number of ways-in teas or other aromatic things such as candles or even soothing creams. Mints do very well in wet growing seasons and moist soils. Try mint with fruit salads, vegetables, and ice cream.

Dill is an annual plant that is used for much more than spicing up pickles and is a great addition to fish, roasted potatoes, eggs and salads. It has a distinct flavor and aroma and can actually grow to about five feet tall, if left to its own devices.

Parsley is also an herb that is widely used. This can be used as a garnish, or can even be eaten fresh and raw. This herb has the amazing quality of being able to freshen breath after a meal. This is a beautiful herb you will definitely wish to have in your garden.

Rosemary is perennial, and can be used to attract bees. Try it with chicken, potatoes, lamb, and in marinades. However, it is fragile, and can be damaged easily by frostbite.

Tarragon is an herb that smells like anise, and is used in many different ways when cooking and goes well with poultry, fish, herb butters and salad dressings. It is also perennial, and has beautiful, twisted leaves that measure about two inches long.

Thyme provides many health benefits, containing many important antioxidants that are helpful to your body. Thyme can be used to help treat bronchitis, sore throats, coughs, and other things. Try it with meats, eggs, stews and soups.

Chives are similar to onions, and have a similar growth habit. The leaves are used often in cooking. Use chives for a mild onion flavor with meats, soups, salads and of course, baked potatoes.

With all of these essential herbs, you’ll have the perfect set up for your beginning herb garden.

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Grow a Mint Garden for Scent and Use

Mint is quite the versatile herb. It comes in dozens of varieties, from the well known peppermint and spearmint to the exotic flowering alpine mint bush to the unusual chocolate mint. You can use it in cooking, for jellies, seasoning or teas. You can use it for skin care and treatment of indigestion. Fresh mint rubbed between the fingers smells heavenly!

Mint has long been a favorite herb, rich in folklore and history. A cookbook from the first century lists mint in many recipes. The Greeks believed mint was an aphrodisiac and would not permit their soldiers to eat it in any form. In the 17th century, scholars were advised to wear a crown of mint to aid them in concentrating on their studies.

Mint is an easy plant to grow. It enjoys partial shade and moist ground, but will thrive almost anywhere. In fact, mint grows so well it will soon take over a garden or small yard, choking out all other plants. So it is best to plan carefully when deciding to cultivate a mint garden. Use a container when planting mint to keep it from spreading. A large coffee can or milk carton with the bottom cut out will work just fine. Mint will also thrive in terra cotta pots or any type of container garden.

The best mint gardens are small and include only a few species of mint. It’s possible for mint to cross-pollinate, so choose similar types when planting close together. You can plant several small mint gardens, of different varieties, in choice locations throughout the yard. Mint will grow well under trees where many ornamental plants don’t thrive.

Mint can be low growing or it can grow up to two feet in height, depending on the type. The small flowers are white. If you want to encourage your mint to grow thick and bushy, pinch the flowers off when they appear. You can harvest mint at any time, but don’t strip the plants of leaves. Use scissors or your finger tips to nip the leaves next to the stem. Harvest from the top of the stalk first to encourage new shoots to grow.

If you have a paving stone walkway that is inlaid in soil, you can plant Spanish mint between the stones. This type of mint is low growing and will spread between the stepping stones. Not only does it look pretty but when you walk on the mint and crush the leaves, it smells wonderful and will soothe your senses.

There are many ways to utilize mint plants. A mint garden is a no fuss, easy way to fill the empty spots in your yard. Their stimulating, sweet fragrance will lift your mood and bring enjoyment for many years.

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Best Culinary Herbs to Grow at Home

As herb gardening is quickly becoming a very popular hobby as people look for ways to save money and eat healthier. Herbs that you grow in your own garden or in your home have higher nutritional value than herbs that you can buy at the store. They also cost less and are much better for you because they have not been sprayed with dangerous chemicals like insecticides. Some people even take this to the next level and make money by selling the extra herbs that they grow in their gardens at farmers markets or just to their neighbors. Herb gardening becomes more popular, there is more and more information available about it. If you are interested in getting your own herb garden started, you will want to find out which are some of the best culinary herbs.

While there are many different types of herbs that you can grow, you may want to focus on herbs that you will actually use and can be used in a variety of different applications, or on herbs that you cannot get easily in your area. One of the most popular herbs that is fairly simple to grow is basil. Basil is a great culinary herb because it can be used in a huge amount of dishes and it requires very little care. As long as the basil is placed in the sunlight and has heat it will grow with minimal attention besides water.

Another one of the most popular culinary herbs is Oregano. Oregano, like basil, can be used in a wide variety of dishes. It also has many different therapeutic properties as well. Oregano is a perfect herb to grow along with basil because the two are used together in many recipes.

Dill is also a great culinary herb to grow. It can be used in soups, goes great with fish and eggs, vegetables, and many other applications. Dill is traditionally used in the pickling process and can add a great flavor to home pickled vegetables.

These culinary herbs are just a sample and ultimately, you will have to decide which herbs you are going to use the most and plant those accordingly. You may want to look through the recipes that you normally use and choose the most common herbs to plant in your garden. However, you don’t have to limit yourself, you may also want to grow some herbs that you have never cooked with before so that you can add some new variety and different flavors to your cooking. The Internet is a great place to get more information on the culinary herbs that can be grown in your garden and used easily in your kitchen.

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How to Grow Your Own Basil

There is just something so refreshing about knowing that you did something to produce the food you eat. The element of care and love seems to almost make the taste sweeter or richer, and there is great satisfaction in the consumption of food you produced yourself. People all over the nation are now turning to backyard or community gardens, and are finding not only a great resource of fresh herbs and vegetables, but also a healthy, unifying place for work and hobby. If you are also thinking about growing your own basil, consider some of these helpful tips.

Basil is a wonderful herb that is very simple to grow, and can be used in many different dishes when you are cooking. The best month to grow basil is March, and this hardy plant can honestly survive almost anything. Many people grow basil in their greenhouse out back, but growing your own basil can be accomplished even on your very own kitchen windowsill. Basil just needs a healthy serving of sunlight every day. Growing this plant indoors is also a great idea, as it is generally very sensitive to the cold.

If you have not had very much practice at growing herbs or vegetables, a good idea that will help to get you started is to search for an adolescent basil plant that is already growing somewhere else–at a store, or even from a friend who’s had some experience with gardening. Almost any local garden store will have something that will suit your needs and desires.

If you wish to make the basil plant you are growing and even bushier specimen, remove the tip of the shoot. This is an especially good idea once the plants reaches 15 cm tall. Once the year gets to June, you can then begin another batch of basil just outside of the house, in an accessible place. June is generally the perfect time to start moving your indoor plants outside. The best plants you’ll want to have are those that are bushy, and lack any signs of flowering. Those plants that have many side-shoots are also a good idea to have.

Basil can be grown in a pot as well. There are a great number of pots and growing containers in your local garden and hardware store. you will want to find something that has a hole in the bottom, so as to allow the extra water to drain if needed. Be sure also to purchase a nutrient-rich soil.

Growing your own basil can be a rewarding and fun experience. Try it today.

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How to Grow Your Own Rosemary

If you are the kind of person who loves to grow herbs in your garden, you will want to know how to grow your own Rosemary. This herb has been used for centuries in the best cuisine and also contains excellent medicinal properties. The leaves resemble pine needles and the flowers are white, pink, or blue, which make it not only an important addition to the herb garden so that you can use it in cooking, but a beautiful way to add more color there. Because it is a member of the mint family of plants, you will also be delighted with its wonderful fragrance.

There are several different varieties of Rosemary, so you will want to plant it based on the variety you choose. It can grow bushy and compact, tall and thick for use as a hedge, or even hang down and cascade over the rocks like a vine. In other words, it is an evergreen perennial that is native to the Mediterranean. Whichever variety you decide on, this herb requires full sun. However, in warmer climates you can give it some light shave. The soil used for planting should be well-drained garden soil.

When thinking about how to grow your own Rosemary, you may wish to begin with seeds. This will take some time and may be easiest to start in the drier Fall season rather than a more humid time of year. If you decide to start with seedling plants from a nursery, you can set them out in the spring after the weather has begun to warm up. If you have been coaxing your own seedlings along since the fall, you can plant them in the spring.

This herb tends to only handle temperatures above 20 degrees Fahrenheit, so people who live in areas where the winters are cold need to grow their Rosemary indoors during the winter months. Use a fast draining soil and be sure to bring those plants inside a few weeks before the first frost. Remember to provide a location where there is plenty of air circulation.

Many herb gardeners like to grow it in pots in the garden so that it is easy to bring indoors when it is cold, rather than having to take it out of the garden for the winter. Remember not to let the soil in the pot get too dry. Although this herb can handle some drought, letting it get too dry can easily happen, since plants in pots lose moisture more quickly than those in the actual garden soil. Now you know the basics on how to grow your own Rosemary.

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How to Grow Your Own Mint

The opinions are split on mint, some people find it to be very easy to grow, while others find it challenging. Both opinions are based on the fact that it grows quickly and can survive in poor soil better than most other perennials. For the gardener who doesn’t want to put much time into growing herbs, this makes it easy. However because of its quick and easy growth, it can take over a garden if it is not dealt with properly. For a beginning gardener, the best advice on how to grow your own mint is to keep it in its own pot. This controls the spread of the herb, and keeping fertilizer to a minimum will help to keep it under control.
If you want to know how to grow your own mint, you have to decide how you want to get started. Since it can be difficult and time consuming to grow it from seed, it is better to get a start from a nursery or one of your gardener friends. You simply need to cut a large piece off a thriving plant and then replant it in your pot. This is the same way to transfer your own mint to another area of your garden. It quickly re-grows itself and begins to thrive.

As you may have realized, this is one herb that can grow almost any place you want to plant it. The soil does not need to be especially fertile or loamy. The main thing it needs is water, and if it is kept moist it will grow and grow. Simply set up a weekly watering schedule, and if you need to give it a little extra water, you can easily do so. Mint grows well in shady spots, so it can grow near taller plants that block the sun some of the time. You can also grow it indoors on the windowsill.

In addition to knowing how to grow your own mint, you will want to know the best way to harvest it. Harvesting early on a dry day in late summer is the prime time to gather it. Too much sunlight or rain will cause it to lose some of the oils that contribute to its taste, so don’t do it in bad weather. Another note for getting the best flavor is to be sure to gather it before the flowers get much of a chance to grow. When the flowers are blooming, the plant must devote energy to growing them, so the edible parts exhibit less flavor at that time.

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How to Grow and Use French Tarragon

Over the last few years, gardening has become a very popular hobby. It seems like everyone has gotten bitten by the green thumb itch and is now trying to grow their own herbs and produce. Having a garden is actually very beneficial to a family. There are many health benefits that are associated with home gardening as well as the fact that you can save a good amount of money by growing your own herbs and produce. One of the most popular herbs that people grow in their gardens is French Tarragon. This widely used herb is best when grown at home and picked directly before use. People that have never had a garden before may be wondering how to grow and use French Tarragon.

The first thing that someone who is wondering how to grow and use French Tarragon should do is get online and gather some basic information about the herb. French Tarragon, or Artemisia Dracunculus var Satvia, is a herb that is native to the Caspian Sea and Siberia regions, although it is now widely grown in Europe, Asia, and the United States. The name actually comes from the French word esdragon, which means little dragon. The first uses of French Tarragon were treating snakebites, and as a favorite drink for the kings of India. It has been used in English gardens since the reign of Henry VIII and was distributed by Thomas Jefferson in the early days of the US.

French Tarragon is grown and harvested for the unique flavor of its leaves. It is well suited to dishes containing vinegar and fish. For those that are wondering how to grow and use French Tarragon, it is best used when it is cut fresh. Leaves can be harvested by snipping them with scissors. Expect to get two large harvests in the second year of the plant, but do not harvest until the plant is eight to ten inches tall. If you want to harvest the entire plant, you will want to cut it 2 inches above the ground. The leaves of the plant can be stored either in the freezer or in vinegar. Drying out the leaves will result in a loss of flavor.

French tarragon can be used for a variety of different application in the kitchen. As previously mentioned, it goes well with vinegar and fish. When cooking with French Tarragon, it should be used sparingly, as it may make other ingredients somewhat bitter. For more information on how to grow and use French Tarragon all you need to do is a simple search online.

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How to Grow Your Own Dill

If you have been thinking about growing your own herb garden and wondered where to start, then you may want to think about growing dill. If you don’t know how to grow your own dill, it is actually quite simple. You can purchase a transplant at a garden center if you would like, but it is simple to grow from seeds. Unlike some other plants, you don’t have to worry about starting them indoors and then planting after they have grown you can simply plant the seeds directly in the garden plot where you would like them to grow.

The first tip on how to grow your own dill is to plant the seeds in cool weather. You can plant a couple of weeks before the last hard frost of the year. If you want to have a continual harvest later on, you should continue to plant every ten days from mid spring to early summer. If you decide to plant in containers, they need to be deep because the roots are long. The plants also can grow to be about three feet tall, so that should be taken into consideration when choosing your location.

Additional tips on how to grow your own dill include knowing where and how to plant this herb. Like the majority of herbs, dill also prefers sunlight but can handle some afternoon shade. Sowing the seeds close together will allow the plants to support each other, since they grow up to 3 feet tall and can easily blow over in a strong wind. Allow the seeds a couple of weeks to germinate, and cover them lightly. It is also important to keep fennel, angelica and caraway in a different location of your herb garden. You should also be aware that caterpillars enjoy dill and can be removed by hand from the plants.

Dill fresh from the garden is wonderful to use, so you can cut it fresh as needed during the growing season. If you don’t keep it cut back, it will begin to go to seed, so keep it cut back until you are ready for seed production to begin. If this provides you with excess dill, you can spread it on a paper towel in a single layer and microwave it for 3 minutes. You can then take the leaves and crumble them and keep them stored in an airtight container. Once you are ready to let the dill go to seed, let the seed heads form and dry and then you can cut them and store them until the next spring when you are ready to plant again.

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How To Grow Your Own Chives

If you have a hard time growing plants in your garden, you may have heard how easy it can be to grow an herb garden. One of the easiest herbs to grow and care for is chives. Chives are the smallest species within the onion family. Here are some tips on how to grow your own chives.

First, you must understand the type of plant you are working with. Chives are a bulb that has thin, green cylindrical leaves that end in a rounded point. Each of these leaves is hollow inside. The flowers produced in the spring are a pale purple. Like all bulbs, this herb likes soil that is well drained so that the bulbs do not become mushy. If the ground is too rocky, they cannot reproduce easily. They also thrive in loamy soil. These are the optimum conditions, but this hardy bulb can survive in most soils.

Although the bulbs do spread, they do it slowly so you don’t need to worry that they will take over the rest of your herb garden. They grow in clumps and new bulbs grow on the edges of the clumps. As those get bigger, new small bulbs are formed. It is also possible that they can spread from the seeds produced in the flowers, but this is less likely. You can ask your gardening friends for a division from one of their patches of chives so that you can get your own started. This is much easier than trying to grow them from seeds as they take a season to mature.

As you learn more about how to grow your own chives, you will be happy to know that the bulbs tend to repel insects although the flowers attract bees. This makes them a very helpful herb to have in your garden. As they grow and flourish, you should regularly cut back the leaves about an inch and a half above the white stem to provide new growth. It is also important that about every three years you divide them and replant them in new soil. Thinking about how to grow your own chives, some things you do will depend on what you use them for. If they are for beauty and to add color to your garden, you can let the flowers bloom as much as you want.

However, if you plan to use them in cooking frequently, you will want to cut the flowering heads off as soon as you see them. Harvesting can happen at almost any time of the year, and you can use your chives fresh or store them dry for long periods of time.

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