Growing and Cooking With Fresh Herbs

Growing and Cooking With Fresh Herbs

Starting an herb garden in your home is a great way to add color and fragrance to your garden while at the same time adding flavor to your favorite dishes.  It will also help you save money at the supermarket. 

Common edible herbs include basil, chives, dill, fennel, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme.  You can plant herbs in pots or container, or in the ground.  It really depends on the type of sun required.  Many herbs such as basil, chives, dill, oregano, rosemary, tarragon and thyme require full sun.  Full sun is defined as 6-8 hours of sun per day.  If your entire yard does not receive full sun, you can plant these herbs in pots and place them in a location that does receive full sun.

You may want to plant mint in a container as it will quickly take over the rest of your garden if not contained.  A good rule of thumb for watering herbs is to water early and often.  If herbs are planted in containers, make sure that the container has adequate drainage.  

Fresh basil is delicious served with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese and topped with balsamic vinegar.  Fresh chives mixed with sour cream can make baked potatoes come alive.  Fresh rosemary can be added to mashed potatoes, pork or grilled vegetables.  Fresh mint can be added to water, iced tea, hot tea or mint juleps.  Fresh dill can be added to butter and used as a marinade for fish. 

Although most herbs will not survive cold temperatures, they can be dried to be used in the winter months.