Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday - Herbs

As I was preparing our meals yesterday (which was all done at one time thanks to a pasta salad for lunch (fix it, put it in the fridge to chill, forget about it) and crockpot pintos for supper), it occurred to me that there might be people out there who don't realize how easy it is to grow your own herbs. Seriously, an expert gardener I am NOT. I don't even enjoy gardening! But a few years ago, as I started doing more cooking from scratch, I was stunned at how expensive fresh herbs are in the grocery store. And I'm cheap. So I figured I'd at least try growing them for myself. Oh my goodness! So many of the most used herbs literally grow like weeds! Even if you don't have space outside you can grow them in flowerpots on a windowsill somewhere (which reminds me, I should be starting my winter herb seeds so I have plants on my windowsill this winter). Basil, the key is to use it often. The more you use it (or give it away) the more it grows. The downside of basil is it's an annual so you'll have to start new plants from seed (or buy new plants at a greenhouse) each year, but still, I LOVE basil! Oregano, Thyme, Sage, Lemonbalm (makes yummy tea!) and peppermint are all members of the mint family & they are perennials that are seriously WEEDS! Don't plant them too close together (I made that mistake at my old house) they like room to spread LOL. And don't be afraid to chop them back! Fun added bonus, they're creeping plants, so if you find someone who has any of these, ask them to dig up a cutting or two, chances are they'll be glad to (if their plants are well established) and there you have it, FREE fresh herbs. Rosemary, I just bought a new plant for our new house and I'm hoping it does even 1/4 as well as our rosemary did at our old house. It turned into big gorgeous bushes all across the front of our house (only problem, I didn't know it would get so big, actually it's a "tender perennial" so I wasn't even sure it would survive the winter) so I planted it right in front of my lavender bushes & it kind of hid them from view). I like having my herbs planted right near my front door (or kitchen door, if I had a kitchen door) that way as I'm cooking I can run out, cut what I want, wash it off & have it to use. And added benefit, some herbs (like rosemary, lavender, etc) are bug deterrents. So planting them around the yard, near the patio or front porch or near where your kids play, is a great natural way to keep the bugs away.

And that works for me!


Heart of Wisdom said...

Wow, I didn't even think about making them part of my flower beds..I did mess up and plant mint in my flower bed one year....We later spent 2 years round up ing the whole flower bed so we could start over...The mint took over everything. It was awful.

Thanks for sharing.

Kathie said...

I love herbs, especially fresh ones. And they are so easy to grow. In fact, many of them are what would be considered weeds.
Blessings from Costa Rica

Kathy C. said...

That's a great post. I have been growing my own herbs for years and I love being able to share the excess with others as well. May I add that if you ever grow too much of something, they are easy to dry and several freeze well after drying. :)
Have a blessed day.