What is a pizza without Basil? Salsa isn’t salsa without Cilantro and what would a potato be without sour cream and Chives! Herbs add flavor to our food every day and yet we often take them for granted. Many gardeners overlook the fact that herbs are easy to grow and a great way to enhance the taste of your food as well as bring interesting textures and color to a garden.
Whether you live in a suburban home, an apartment or a condominium unit in the city you can grow herbs. Herbs are very versatile and are suitable for containers; which can be a flower pot, an old watering can or basically anything that has holes in the bottom and that you can put soil in. They also can be grown indoors as well as outside. There are a few key things to remember about herbs:
- Out of sight, out of mind. Nothing gives food more flavor than freshly cut herbs so you’ll want to grow your herbs somewhere close to your kitchen! At my house, I grow them in a large container right outside my sliding glass door but you can use any size container that suits your needs. This way, all I have to do is open the door and grab or cut what I need.
- Soil is the key! I have found that most herbs don’t like wet feet! One reason that herbs are so suitable for containers is that many of them share the same desire for well-drained soil that does not allow water to puddle which can rot their roots. Some herbs such as Rosemary and Lavender actually thrive in very dry conditions.
- Don’t forget the fragrance! An added bonus is that many herbs not only taste good but their aroma is pleasing as well. Lavender is used in sachets and Mint is popular in drinks and desserts.
- They are easy to grow from seed. We’re all looking to save money and one great way to save money is to grow your plants from seeds rather than buying them. Basil seeds can be collected in fall and then planted the following spring and there are many other easy to grow from seed herbs including Parsley and Oregano.
- Once they find a spot they like they stick around! Even herbs that are considered to be annuals can become “perennials” if they find the right spot. I planted Rosemary in my herb container more than 5 years ago and it’s still there and I have had Dill that self-seeds so easily that I haven’t purchased a seed packet in years!
Why not try a container of herbs for Italian cooking. How about Oregano and Basil for your pasta sauces or Parsley for your garlic bread? There are hundreds of herbs to try so what are you waiting for!