It starts innocently enough. A seed-starter tray sitting in a sunny spot on your counter. Until you realize that you forgot to label them and now have to wait until the seedlings sprout to play Guess That Herb. I’ve been there, my friend. I’ve also been in my garden, mid-season, pacing around in circles looking for the chives that I know I planted earlier that spring.
Category: Spice & Herb Gardening
In the articles below, discover everything you need to know about spice and herb gardening, including how to grow them indoors, outdoors, in containers, in the ground, harvest, dry, and how to cook them!
The benefits of spice and herb gardening are numerous. They grow like weeds, can be dried and used all year long; they smell great and add color to foods. Oh, and they’re the core flavors of every delicious recipe that’s ever been made!
Need other reasons to grow spices and herbs? They can be grown in containers indoors and outdoors. They thrive in the ground, in raised beds, and even along the perimeter of a yard. Many herbs will deflect bugs that are hazardous to your vegetables, like basil planted with tomatoes. They’re ideal companion plants that way, and they don’t require very much from you as a gardener.
They don’t usually even need mulch, with some exceptions. Some early-season spices and herbs, like garlic or chives, may start coming in during a warm spell. A layer of mulch can help insulate them against temperature drops. And some mulches, like shredded leaves or compost, will add nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
When it comes to harvesting spices and herbs, that’s the easy part of spice and herb gardening. Trim them as needed for all of your recipes, and when the winter turns colder, you can cut them down to the roots to dry them or crush seeds into powders. Woody plants like thyme, sage, and rosemary dry well, while softer plants like basil and parsley are better frozen. Cumin seeds can be crushed into powder, while fennel can be used whole. For spices like ginger and turmeric, you simply unearth the root to enjoy it.
In the articles below, we share everything you need to know about spice and herb gardening. And you can learn even more in our How to Grow a Vegetable Garden: 10 Things Every Gardener Needs to Know Before Starting a Food Garden freebie. Enjoy!
I’m not gonna lie; it’s darn hot as I’m writing this. The heat index is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and my parsley is looking at me like, “C’mon, woman! Where’s that AC?” My heat-tolerant herbs, however, are having a party. They’ve got the beach ball out, there’s some Stevie Wonder on the hi-fi, and I’m pretty sure the sunflowers are dancing.
How much water does basil need? I feel like I ask myself this every darn time I grow it (which is as much as possible, in case you’re wondering). I’ve had more than a few happy-looking basil plants turn wilty and depressed in just an hour or so. Basil has the ultimate “sad puppy look” down pat.
Imagine a stranger came up to you holding a bag of fish from the pet store and said, “Hey, you! Did you know you can grow a garden using live fish?” It’d be a little unsettling. But now imagine it’s me, your trusted gardening friend Amanda grinning at you while holding a bag of betta fish saying the same thing. I’m not selling this, am I? But it’s true!
No matter the weather, my daughter wants to be outside all day long, running, jumping, and usually getting quite dirty. As a toddler, she is a total sponge and loves to watch what I do in the yard and then practice it herself. When it comes to gardening tasks, it’s definitely a “monkey see, monkey do” situation. Choosing to plant a kids’ herb garden was a no-brainer for me, especially after I saw these adorable kid gardening gloves.
I promise this isn’t a fan-girl post about my undying love for Julia Child, but we’ve got to start somewhere! Around the 1960s, Julia Child brought French cooking into the homes of many Americans through her cookbooks and then later, television shows. Ms. Child frequently featured recipes calling for herbs de Provence, a description for a collection of herbs featured in Southern French and Mediterranean cuisine.
There’s nothing like the fragrance of fresh herbs in the kitchen. I love the way they flavor a meal and add color to sauces. And I love how easy they are to grow. You can grow herbs like basil in a sunny windowsill, rosemary will stay fresh outdoors well into the colder months of the year, and I’m pretty sure mint would even grow on the moon. But can you help your herbs grow even better and stronger? Should you use mulch for an herb garden?
Taramasalata, Tzatziki, Moussaka, Avgolemono…if you know these dishes and don’t think I just swore at you in another language, then prepare to be inspired. Having an herb garden makes it easy to spice and dress up your dishes all season long, and that’s why the savviest of gardeners plan theirs according to the types of dishes they love to make at home. If you’re Greek or love Greek recipes, then creating a Mediterranean herb box garden is just natural!
I love cooking with fresh herbs. There’s nothing like the smell of chopped basil or the aroma of crushed thyme to get me in the zone to cook. That’s easy enough to do in the summer when my herbs are growing faster than Jack’s magical beanstalk, but since I live in New England, the herb garden is pretty much done by mid-autumn. What’s a cook to do? Bring the garden indoors and grow herbs in Mason jars.
I feel like one of the best kept secrets in gardening is around edible flowers. Edible flowers don’t just look pretty on your plate, they taste delightful, and they bring pollinators to your garden. When you choose edible flowers to plant with herbs, the results will make your garden a work of art. Vivid oranges and bright yellow marigolds catch the eye in a sea of green herbs. Delicate purple chive blossoms lend an air of royal sophistication to your nearby thyme.