Herbs are one of my favorite things to plant. Growing herbs is fairly easy and if you start them from plants as opposed to seeds, it’s even easier. You can find herb plants lots of places and one place that I’ve found them fairly inexpensively is the grocery store. Now if you are looking for unique or exotic herbs, you’ll probably have better luck at a garden center, but for the basic varieties – parsley, basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, these are usually available many places you might already be shopping at. Herbs grow nicely in containers as well, so you don’t have to live in an area with great soil or really any soil at all. Containers are great for herbs and often times I’ve mixed different herbs in one pot for a pretty look. In fact, the sunniest spot at my home is in the front yard, so I plant vegetable plants in nice arrangements as “useful” decoration. I have pots of herbs lining my front steps. Last fall, I had Brussels sprout plants on the steps – a great conversation starter! I usually have hanging baskets full of sweet potatoes. And then there are the herbs.
This year we planted basil:
And you’ll notice in the picture my scissors are getting ready to snip some fresh basil for my Pasta with Roasted Tomato Sauce. See where my scissors are? Right above a set of leaves? That’s where you want to snip your fresh herbs. Each time you snip, two new shoots will sprout in it’s place. That’s a great tip for growing herbs and keeping them healthy. The more you snip, the healthier your herb plants will be. And, the tastiest part of the herbs are those new sprouts, so don’t bother trying to snip the big, old leaves on the bottom. Snip from the top and you’ll have great tasting herbs and healthy herb plants.
I love to run my hand over the rosemary on my way in the house – it smells so wonderful!!! Same snipping rules apply to rosemary – snip from the top and it will grow nice and full.
I don’t do much with these other than use them for garnish, but for some reason the boys love chives. They’ll grab a piece when they are outside playing.
I’m not a big fan of mint, but it’s easy to grow and makes a nice vining filler. This one needs a trim!
And for the first time this year, Stevia:
I bought this plant just for fun and am so glad I tried it! We use it to make Stevia Sweet Iced Tea and it’s delicious! You can see in the picture that I’m giving it a trim. Just like the basil, cutting just above a set of leaves.
Now my Cilantro was an interesting experiment:
In the spring, I planted a cilantro plant in this pot and it grew to be 2-3 feet tall. We snipped it and kept using it, but eventually it went to seed. So, when it looked like it was about dead, I pulled the seeds off the top and sprinkled them in the same pot. Now, as you can see above, it’s starting to grow new little cilantro plants. Pretty exciting!
We also grew Oregano and Thyme, but both have pretty much gone by. I used the oregano the most, especially on pizza – delicious! If you are thinking about growing something and not sure where to begin, growing herbs in a container is a great place to start. For tips on how to make herbs last longer, be sure to see my post on how to store fresh herbs.