Redoing My Herb Garden

Herbs areĀ  a vital part of cooking. I enlarged my patio area this year, which upset my herb garden slightly, so I decide to redo my herb garden.
Since we are home more these days, its a perfect time to rejuvenate the herb garden. There is nothing like walking outside of your door and picking the herbs you need for a recipe!

I took out an Azalea that was getting quite large and decided to plant a row of tall Phlox along the foundation of the house. Other than the climbing rose that looks the best I’ve ever seen it, the entire garden would be herbs. Some perennial, some annual.

I wish they could all be perennial, I wouldn’t have to worry about replanting those annuals every year. But that’s the part of the country I live in.

My climbing David Austin rose looks beautiful this year!

There’s nothing like picking fresh herbs for your recipes during the growing months. Instead of running out to the grocery store for fresh Basil for your Caprese salads or sandwiches, you can go right outside and pick some. That’s just as well. The lines at the grocery store are ridiculous right now anyway.

I threw in some compost material as I hadn’t done that in years. Although I did read that herb gardens really don’t need it. And, if you overdo it, it will hinder the fragrance of your herbs. Most herbs must have a really sunny spot. At least 6 hours of sun every day. Mine is the perfect spot. CLOSE TO THE HOUSE, SUNNY AND SHELTERED.

Some plants prefer a well drained soil. If your soil is really heavy, add a little sand and mix in.

If you don’t have the perfect spot in the ground, you can grow herbs in a raised bed on your patio, porch or balcony. Just make sure it has enough sun.

I grow loads of Basil, Oregano, Sage, Chives, Parsley, Lavender, Cilantro, Tarragon, Thyme, Mint, Rosemary and Bay leaves to name a few. I usually buy a huge pot of Rosemary as buying a small pot is pretty useless if you use it a lot in my opinion. You can get a pretty good sized pot for $30.00 or so. To me, its worth it, if you use it. Its great on a piece of grilled boneless chicken, top with Balsamic Glaze and a sprig of Rosemary. This is great for a crowd or just a few people. There’s nothing like it.

I plant my Bay Leaves in their containers in the ground, so in the early Fall I can pull them out of the ground, rinse off, and bring into the house for the Winter. They do very well. I have some from last Summer that are almost ready to go back outside for the Summer. You can do the same for Rosemary, although I have tried that, and it just dried up and died. I don’t know if I waited too long to bring it in, and it was shocked or not, but it just didn’t do too well.

Blue Hawk Landscape Edging

For Mint, I use some landscape edging and formed into a ring to surround the plants. Mint roots run close to the top of the soil and run rampant of you don’t “corral” the plants with something that stops the roots from “running”. Unless you love Mint and want it to grow and fill in a whole garden, I would corral with something or plant their pots in the ground.
Bee Balm or Monarda is another invasive plant. A member of the Mint family, corral or it will be everywhere. Again another great plant if you want to fill in an area. It is awesome for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.

For Lavender, Rosemary and Bay, add some sand to the soil as they much prefer well drained soil. Notice I said my spot for my herb garden was perfect because it is sheltered? It is because herbs do not like windy spots.

DIVISION: Plants that respond to dividing well are: Bee Balm, Chives, Garlic Chives, Marjoram, gano and Thyme.

CUTTINGS: Plants that are great for cuttings are: Lavender, Mint, Oregano, Sage and Thyme. Take the cuttings in the Summer when the plants are vigorous. Rosemary and Tarragon cuttings are better taken in the Fall. Take tender (green and not woody) shoots for cuttings. Shoots should be about 6″ long and have 4 or 5 leaves along shoots. Remove lower leaves on the stem, dip in rooting hormone and plant in a 4″ pot or potting soil that has been moistened. Basil, Mint and Sage will also root in a cup of water.

Some great recipes that must have fresh herbs:
Meatballs! Don’t even make them unless you have fresh Parsley!
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Glaze and a fresh sprig of Rosemary!
French Potato Salad! Herbs are the “make it or break it” ingredient!

No matter where you live, an apartment, condo or house…anyone can have a herb garden. Pick your favs plant them in pots, raised gardens, or right in the ground. You will have fresh herbs to cook delicious recipes with in no time!

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