Growing Herbs For Decorative And Culinary Use

If you have never thought about growing herbs in your garden before, you may want to consider setting aside a small area in the garden where you can grow those that are used most frequently in the kitchen. Of all the plants that you could choose to grow, herbs must be amongst the easiest.

If you are setting up a herb garden from scratch you should remember that your soil should be workable and have good drainage if you want to get the best results.

Having said that, you will find that the majority of herbs are very tolerant and will grow in most soils.

The exceptions that I have found are with basil and bay leaf which I prefer to grow in containers.

I also grow Mint in large pots not because of the soil but because they are rampant growers, and once they get a foothold they will come up everywhere.

You can start by purchasing herb plants from a nursery, although they can be relatively expensive, a cheaper way is to grow them from seed.

Harvesting herbs is the good part, and as most herbs are prolific growers you will probably find that you have more than enough to supply the kitchen household. Herbs used in cooking add that extra dimension to meals that are sometimes lacking in flavor.

At home we grow all the herbs that are needed in our kitchen including garlic,rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, chives, parsley, bay leaf, coriander for leaf and seeds, oregano, lemon balm,horseradish and a variety of mint.

Herbs can also be dried out and stored in a glass container for later use. The drying out process should be carried out thoroughly as any moisture will encourage mildew and spoil the herbs.

Many gardeners choose to create a patch just for herbs, whilst others prefer them in pots or grow bags, personally I do a combination of both as I find this gives me the best of both worlds.

If you intend growing herbs in a bed, keep each type of herb in a seperate pocket. This can be done the old fashioned way by dividing the bed into distinct compartments with a dwarf hedge if you have room, if not you could use bricks or paving stones. Done the right way this can look very attractive.

Harvesting Herbs

Harvest at the proper stage of growth. You should pick your herbs when the plants are actively growing in spring, summer and fall/autumn. Excess herbs such as basil, parsley, mint and chives can be dried and stored for winter use.

Dry herbs out hanging them in bunches or spreading out in a tray somewhere warm for a couple of days. Once fully dry they can be crushed and stored inside an airtight container for use at a later date.

The leaves of this herb are delicious in curries and chutneys or used whole in salads or as a a garnish.

Growing Garlic
Any well drained soil will do for this herb

Lavender plants
This herb has an unforgetable aroma and is used mainly in pot pourri or as a dried flower in muslin bags.

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Growing Herbs

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