No matter where you live in the world most cultures like to use herbs in their cooking to provide the flavours and aroma that we have all come to love. With the enormous spread in popularity of Gourmet Cooking shows on television we are encouraged to expand our culinary tastes to include dishes from all over the world . As most professional chefs prefer to use fresh herbs in their cooking why should we not follow in their steps and grow our own basic herb garden at home.
It is quite easy to put in a basic herb garden to grow the ones used the most. Most of the common herbs used as spices in cooking can be successfully grown in average soil but some do request rich soil, such as oregano.
Additionally, some herbs in a basic herb garden such as parsley are biennial in nature. This means the first year they are grown they will not be useful for seasoning. It is during the second year that the crop can be used. Ideally, with parsley, , plant a new crop of seeds one year after planting your first parsley plants so that in a couple of years they will overlap, providing u sable seasoning every year.
Most of the herbs grown in a basic herb garden such as, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano and basil are tolerant of direct sun, but will require a minimum amount of water to survive. You can harvest leaves, sprigs and twigs from any of your herbs as they are growing giving fresh organic herbs for your kitchen.
However, some plants like thyme is a very forgiving plant and if it dries out will likely come back when an appropriate amount of water is given. Since some have different soil requirements and can grow under slightly different conditions, having them separated by variety can help get them started and keep them growing throughout their life.
Plant Herbs Close To Where They Will Be Used
In most cases it is easier on the grower to plant the basic herb garden close to the kitchen for easy harvesting of the fresh crop. Remember, the entire growth does not have to be cut and used at once. With the right care, the spices will continue to grow and be usable during the entire season. Drying or freezing the extra cuttings at the end of the season can possibly supply the spice throughout the winter, often lasting until the next crop produces the following year.
If you are little short on space why not consider companion growing? When planting a basic herb garden that would take more room than available, certain herbs can be planted among other plants, especially tomatoes. Parsley can play well with other plants specifically tomatoes, asparagus and among roses. Broccoli and cauliflower also welcome rosemary in their midst. Basil also likes to grow alongside tomatoes too.
The only problem with planting herbs among other plants is that they can be mistaken and trampled on inadvertently when weeding, pruning and maintaining the other plants in your mixed garden bed. A basic herb garden is a valuable addition to your kitchen supplies and really wont take to much of your valuable time to look after.