It’s that time of year. Spring is the season when grass and trees turn green, and all sorts of perennial plants pop out of the ground to do their thing.
It is also the season to begin planting annuals, or the plants that will not survive a long, cold winter on their own. Those plants, for the most part, include culinary and household herbs that thrive in containers with just soil, sun, and water. In many areas in the United States, starter plants can be found in grocery stores and nurseries nearby.
Most of the time, any container will do to grow herbs, but many gardeners prefer terra cotta and/or plastic pots. A soil mixture approved for plants for human consumption is a must. There are many lists out there with the “must haves” in the way of herbs. These are the ones that are most used in this kitchen.
There is nothing more simple than growing basil. With daily watering and being placed in full sun, basil can resemble an overgrown weed. Its fragrance is almost mint-like as it is a member of the mint family. Harvest leaves in the morning for maximum fragrance and flavor.
Yes, the backyard smells like pickles when it rains, but the dill plant yields all summer long. The fresh herb is perfect for flavoring salmon and various dishes.
Cilantro is really a cooler weather herb and is harvested about three weeks after germination. But, fresh cilantro is a must for quite a bit of Mexican cooking, and it really does smell good.
A choice of many chefs to flavor meat dishes, oregano is just as easy to grow as the other herbs. It is also one of the herbs that are most useful dried.
Like the other plants on this list, peppermint is a piece of cake to grow so long as it is in the sun and kept watered. The square-shaped vines are invasive, though, so be sure to have it contained away from the lawn. Leaves can be harvested and dried for tea, sachets, potpourri and much more.
Growing herbs is not hard. All it takes is watering and the occasional pinching back. More on that in an upcoming post.