Herbs For Your Garden And Kitchen
Herbs Have Many Benefits
Now that it is finally getting warm here in South Central Pennsylvania, the garden is growing like crazy. I love to cook with herbs and therefore I love to grow them in my garden. Multi-tasking your garden and your kitchen is easy. My perennial herbs are taking off! Some of the many health and culinary benefits of herbs are:
- most are powerful antioxidants and therefore reduce your chance of diseases
- they improve your immune system
- assist you in healing
- they contain micronutrients not found in other foods
- of course, they increase the flavor in foods
- many have emotionally soothing properties
- the medicinal properties of herbs are documented in detail
- some herbs herbs/spices like curry will increase your metabolism
From a gardening stand point herbs have a huge value too. When your garden includes herb plant that winter over in your climate, you have beautiful and useful landscaping that requires little maintenance. Herbs are weeds and they grow very easily. They require minimum water and can survive in adverse conditions.
Sage As A Shrub
My sage plant is a corner shrub on my patio. It creates a beautiful visual and when I trim it regularly for culinary purposes, it maintains a dense focal point. Two or three could easily be put in a line to form a small hedge type border.
Thyme As Ground Cover
I put the thyme out front on either side of my porch steps about 2 years ago. It has now spread to 5 times its original size. I clip off of it almost year-round. The color is a deep green and serves as a good ground cover as well as a culinary treat.
I am sure most of you know that mint grows like the week that it is. I have 3 kinds of mint in my garden. They are gorgeous plants that grow tall and are in 3 different shades. In order to keep them under control, I box off the root system with 2X4’s so that they do not spread where I do not want them. Added to tea, garnish a dessert, or flavor whipped cream, or just as a visual in the yard, mint is a great and easy addition to any yard.
Chives Are Everywhere!
Another prolific speeder is chives. The seeds blow all over the yard and little chive clumps show up everywhere. There is no shortage of chives in my cooking from Spring to Fall. Omelets, stews, dips and more all get the delicate onions added.
Plant Herbs In Your Planters Too!
Rosemary In Garden
Herbs are great for planters. I started using them after realizing that I am not a good waterer. I start off with good intentions and then fail as the season rolls along. With herbs, it is not so crucial that I get out with the watering can every other day. The weeds are resilient to neglect and even in the hot sun of my Eastern facing front porch they usually last the season. Now I have oregano, cilantro, parsley and rosemary in my planters. Each one has only one small flower placed with it for color.
Herbs In The Garden And The Kitchen
Be creative! Try different herbs in your landscaping. I love rosemary. Pennsylvania is on the edge of the area that is warm enough for rosemary so sometimes it will winter over and other times it will not. So now I use it in the planters and bring it in indoors for the Winter.