Posts Tagged Herbs

Theme Herb Gardening for Your Kitchen

I collect cookbooks and love to experiment with interesting dinners from other culture like a Mexican mole. How about you? Like me, you cultivate a lot of the ingredients if you begin your own themed kitchen herb garden.

You can raise the major herb plants in your own garden and have the freshest ingredients to add to your recipes, or experiment on your own.

You don’t need a special place for your themed kitchen herb garden. You can raise them in pots or in your usual garden bed.

These are some recommendations on raising your own themed kitchen garden:

  • Asian: There are so many different cultures and folks in Asia, including Thai, Chinese, Indian and Vietnamese, so how could the food be boring? Try growing lemongrass, cayenne pepper, cardamom and anise in your Asian kitchen herb garden. The licorice taste of anise adds a warm sweetness to baked goods, soups and Indian dinners. You can also use it in tea and in baking a savory-sweet cookie. Although it was once pretty popular in American cuisine, it kind of died out, but in the last few years has made a resurgence in the kitchen.
  • Mexican: Not a week goes by when I don’t chow down on a Mexican meal. Some spicy beans and rice or nachos will fast hit the spot. Can you even make a real Mexican meal without Cayenne pepper, Cilantro and Garlic?
  • Italian: Just about everybody I know has their favorite Italian meal. My favorite is lasagna, of course. Among my favorite herbs to try in your Italian dinners are basil, fennel, parsley, garlic, marjoram, oregano, rosemary and thyme. The oniony taste of garlic makes it a perfect addition to most Italian meals. Put a little of it on your roasted chicken or add it to your soups and stews. You can even put some chopped garlic in your mashed potatoes. Be warned, the longer you cook garlic, the milder the flavor becomes so do not overcook it!
  • Middle East: If you have not tried any of the exciting and flavorful foods from the Middle East and Northern Africa, you are missing some fantastic meals. The flavors are so varied and the recipe items are so out of the norm for most of what I usually have in my recipes, including chick peas, figs and couscous. Try these herbs to spice up your Middle Eastern dishes: cardamom, garlic, parsley, rosemary and saffron.
  • German: You can have your own Oktoberfest any time you like if you have got all the right German herb plants. For authentic German meals, try these herb plants: chives, dill, horseradish, sage and thyme. As a member of the mustard family, horseradish is a condiment herb that you can use for extra taste. It can also clear up your sinuses! Horseradish is a fabulous addition to your meals. Use it in mayonnaise and potato salad. It will also go well in cream cheese spreads or meat loaf.

Unless you use too much of your plant in cooking, your plant can keep growing and provide you with ingredients for other dinners. When you remove a few leaves from your sage plant, it can grow back. Most herb plants appreciate being cut back from time to time and will likely grow bigger and fuller as a result.

Good luck with your herb gardening. Be sure to let me know how your herb garden grows.

Here is more information on Fresh Herb Gardening. Here is a website with a free mini-course dedicated to Herb Gardens.

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Things to Know about Growing an Herb Garden

When you choose to start your own herb garden, the next step is picking the kind of herb plants you want. There are a lot of different herb plants and many of these herb plants have many types—for example, there are hundreds of varieties of thyme to choose from.

The life cycles or growing periods vary with different herb plants. Understanding your herb’s life cycle can help you make the best decisions. Before you buy your herbs, you’ll want to be aware of their growing season, or life cycle. There are three main types:

  • Annuals: These flowers begin from a seed. They grow, flower and die all in the same growing season. There are a number of good annual herbs: cilantro, chervil, basil, borage and dill.
  • Biennials: This variety of plant will grow for 2 years and will generally bear “fruit” after the first year. Others (like parsley) produce foliage in both years, but go to seed early in the second growing season. Angelica, chicory and Queen Anne’s lace are just a couple of the many biennials to choose from.
  • Perennials: These herb plants generally come back for more than two growing seasons. Whether or not they come back or for how many years they can come back depends on the climate where they grow. Of the many perennials available, some you may like are lemon verbena, rosemary, scented geranium, mints, thyme, yarrow and lady’s mantle.

In my opinion the best herbs are perennials because I only have to purchase and plant them once, but I also have fun raising annuals and biennials. Too much cold can kill your perennials, so beware. Bringing your perennials in during winter is a nice way to extend their growing cycle.

There are many other things you can do to lengthen the life of your herb plants:

  • The garage, basement or cellar is a nice location to store a few perennials that need to be trimmed back and have the bulb, roots or rhizome dug up for the winter.
  • If you are going to bring your herbs inside during winter, try pots instead of growing them in the ground.  If you want to plant these herbs in the ground, a nice trick is to plant them pot and all. This makes it easy to keep them during winter months—just unearth the container at the end of the season.
  • Grow your biennials in middle of the summer so that you can get plenty of flowers in the second summer.
  • Some herbs are self-sowers, which means that they will sow their own seeds for the next growing season. Mustard, borage and catnip are just a few of the herbs that are self-sowers.
  • A fabulous way to boost a short-lived annual’s growing cycle is to remove any flowers that have faded. Depending on your area’s temperatures; your annuals may self-seed if you clip the herb back near the end of the summer.
  • If you get some unexpected cold weather don’t forget to cover your plants with a blanket, towel or sheet which can prevent the frost from killing your plant. If you have your herbs in pots, you can always move them under a covered patio.

I hope that these tips can help you with your herb garden planning. It will be hard sometimes to get it just right. Even I make mistakes after all these years, but just remember that you can take out what does not work and try try again!

Here is more information on Herb Garden Information. Here is a website with a free mini-course dedicated to Herb Gardens.

Good luck with your herb gardening. Be sure to let me know how your herb garden grows.

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Growing An Indoor Herb Garden Is Easily Done

Herb Garden

large outdoor herb garden consider planting a nice indoor herb garden instead~If you are thinking of planting a big outdoor herb garden you should rethink it and consider putting one inside the house and grow an indoor herb garden instead~When you are considering growing a colossal outdoor herb garden you should weigh the pros and cons and reconsider growing an indoor herb garden in lieu of~If you are considering putting out a large outdoor herb harden you should first think about growing an indoor herb garden instead}. collections and dwarf varieties of herbs grow quite well in small pots that can be placed on a kitchen window sill~If you are looking for a smaller variety there are the dwarf collections of herbs and they do grow quite well in small pots that can be placed in a kitchen window sill~When choosing to grow the smaller dwarf assortments of herbs they do grow quite well in small pots that can easily be placed in the kitchen window sill~You will find that smaller collections such as dwarf assortments of herbs do seem to grow very well in small pots and are easily placed on a sill such as in a kitchen or any other lighted window~The most popular}. It will be very nice to not need to run to your outside garden to pick a few herbs to add to your cooking. You can just simply turn around and grab a few leaves!

Growing your own indoor herb garden is easy. You will not believe how easy it is to get started growing your own herb garden, there are several different kits you can purchase to get you started that will have everything you will need. If you are looking for a way for the kids to get involved in a herb garden they now have the fun chia pets for the kids. You may not realize it but there are a few distinct advantages to growing an indoor herb garden.

You can easily monitor your herb garden that is the Advantages Of An Indoor Herb Garden. You will notice quickly if they need any maintenance. The least amount of effort you will find is misting you can accomplish that will very little effort. Outdoor gardens are more frequently overlooked.

Indoors you will not have issues with bugs eating the leaves of your herbs. One good thing about growing an indoor herb garden you will not have to keep up on the safe chemicals that are to be used to treat your herbs to keep bugs away. When ever you have your own fresh herb garden you get to harvest all of your fresh herbs, you can do it within the comfort of your own home. Another benefit to gardening indoors is that you will not have to deal with mosquitoes while gardening.

The ping of the wonderful fragrance you will smell when you plant an indoor herb garden. Now your kitchen will smell delicious like fresh basil or rosemary. If you like to be surrounded by the aroma of fresh herbs for inspiration, you are the type of cook that would grow an indoor herb garden. When you are cooking with fresh herbs you will definitely taste the difference, it is so much fresher tasting on any meal you do cook will now taste even better.

Plant your indoor garden of flowers right along with your kitchen herbs, it has been known to protect your plants when planted right along with the herbs. Some species of herbs are known to be extremely invasive. Once they start growing they are hard to stop and before you know it your herb garden has taken over. You can control the spreading of herbs if you keep all the plants in small individual pots .

Herb plants can make your home smell good and can make those empty open spaces feel more useful when choosing your area to grow an indoor herb garden. If you want to achieve the same result why not ad a few practical plants to the kitchen area. It is a really good idea to generate an inviting atmosphere while you are growing herbs to use when you are cooking.

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Advantages of Raised Bed Gardens

Gardening with a raised bed garden can be very much more straightforward than conventional gardening and can solve a lot of common problems. In a raised bed a frame is used to contain soil above the ground at a convenient height so this type of gardening is excellent for someone in a wheelchair or who has difficulty kneeling down to cultivate a conventional garden. You can easily cultivate all varieties of plants including vegetables, herbs and flowers. Drainage is a great deal better in this style of garden and flowers and vegetables that thrive in well drained soil will prosper.

Raised bed gardens are not complicated to make but if you are not talented at carpentry you can buy raised garden kits that are uncomplicated to put together and will look attractive for many decades. They are available in various sizes and shapes so you can be sure to find one appropriate for your plot. In addition they also look especially eye-catching and a lot are made from cedar which is assured to keep on looking good for many decades.

Advantages of a Raised Garden Bed

* Earth in a raised bed heats up faster than the soil in your garden in the Spring and will hold the heat longer when the temperature starts to fall. This allows you a longer growing season so you can sow or transplant seedlings earlier and give your plants a longer time to grow.

* If you have poor soil in your garden which is missing in nutrients or possibly is very heavy clay then the use of a raised bed can answer this problem. You can make available good quality soil with all the correct nutrients so that your vegetables and flowers will grow well.

* If you suffer from physical or medical problems so that it is painful to kneel for long or gardening makes worse your back problems then the use of a raised bed can make gardening much easier. Building a bed at an appropriate height will prevent strain on your back and knees and allow you to garden for longer. For persons who must make use of a wheelchair this form of gardening will allow them to get pleasure from growing flowers and vegetables which they may not be able do with a conventional garden.

* In a raised bed that is correctly made, drainage is much better than in a regular garden and you won’t have sodden soil that can harm your plants and cause to inadequate growth.

* In a raised bed you could sow much closer which allows you to raise additional plants in the same space and also helps in preventing weeds from growing and also helps to conserve water.

* Soil doesn’t become packed down from being walked on in this kind of garden which permits air and water to reach the roots more easily ensuring they grow properly.

* Even though you could blend soil from your garden with soil bought from a garden store it is preferable to use all freshly prepared soil. This will make certain that there aren’t any pests or weed seeds in the soil which will provide a much healthier foundation for your garden and your plants. It will also cut down the need for weeding. If pests do infect your raised bed they are easy to handle in a small space or, in extreme cases, you can clear out all of the soil and restock with clean, sterilized soil.

final Thoughts

Raised gardens can answer a lot of of your gardening troubles, are especially good-looking and will provide service for very many. Cedar raised garden kits are enormously admired as they are water resistant and extremely long lasting. Whether you choose to construct your own raised garden or obtain a raised garden kit you will discover that you will take pleasure in your gardening more and will grow many more nourishing vegetables and attractive flower beds.

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