Fresh Herb Plants

rosemary, plants, herbs

Fresh herb plants are easy to grow inside and out. By having several plants on your windowsill in the winter you can add a fresh taste to soups and stews. During the warm months, growing your own herbs allows you to make your own herbal teas and medicines as well as dry culinary herbs for the winter months. There is really no reason not to have a variety of these plants available for your personal use.

How to Grow Fresh Herb Plants

Herbs are often weeds. If you think about how healthy the weeds in your garden are it should give you an idea of the ease of growing fresh herb plants.

Herbs grow well in containers, or in traditional garden settings. You may even want to create an herb garden like people did long ago. Decide what types of herbs you want to grow and where you are going to grow them. This may be the hardest part. Once you have your plants they will need:

  • Herbs need at least six hours a day of sunlight.
  • Any good potting soil will work.
  • Fertilize with a natural fertilizer or a manure tea on a regular basis.
  • Keep the flowers pinched off so the plants don't go to seed.
  • The soil should be watered thoroughly when the surface is dry.
  • Provide good drainage.

Best Plants to Grow Indoors

While all herbs are easy to grow, some seem to better inside than others. The best herb plants for inside are the culinary herbs. Some of the most popular herbs for growing indoors are:

  • Chives are a member of the onion family and have a delicate onion flavor that goes well with eggs, potatoes and cheese.
  • Basil is a must for Italian dishes and nothing compares to the flavor of it freshly picked. Growing this herb on a sunny windowsill will add beauty to your home as well as help you create gourmet meals. Another benefit is the plant's ability to repel flies from the area in which it grows. Basil leaves contain a strong antioxidant as well.
  • Chervil is a wonderful addition to soups and sauces and grows readily on a sunny windowsill. It has a slight anise flavor and is used in many French dishes. Chervil can be made into a tea and used as a diuretic or a skin freshener. An added benefit is the fragrance it gives off as the breeze blows through your window.
  • Oregano is easy to grow in your indoor herb garden. Add oregano to pizza, spaghetti sauce and grilled eggplant for a Mediterranean flavor. It has antibiotic properties and oregano tea can help relieve indigestion and gas.

Culinary Herbs for the Garden

While there are herb plants that do well indoors or out there are others that are best grown outside because of their particular needs or size. Some of the most popular culinary herbs to grow in a kitchen garden, besides the ones listed above, are:

  • Sweet Bay is a tree that grows very tall in the Mediterranean. It will need to be grown as a potted plant and brought inside during the winter but you can have a beautiful Sweet Bay tree on your patio for much of the year and use the leaves in soups and sauces.
  • Lavender is a fragrant addition to any garden. It is an essential ingredient in many French dishes and adds a distinctive citrus flavor to baked goods.
  • Fennel is an anise scented plant that attracts butterflies in your garden. The seeds are used in many sausage recipes.
  • Rosemary is a shrub which grows up to five feet tall in idea conditions. This fragrant evergreen is used to season lamb dishes as well as in breads and potatoes.

Grow Your Own Medicine

If you take herbal teas or supplements regularly you may be interested in growing your own herbal healing garden. Medicinal herbs have been grown in gardens for centuries. A few of the herbs to consider are:

  • Angelica is an herb which is used as an aid to digestion as well as to lower fevers. It has anti-microbial properties as well. It is will need plenty of moisture and part shade.
  • Betony has been used to sooth frazzled nerves and relieve pain for centuries. It is a perennial that does well in shade.
  • Echinacea has beautiful flowers that look like purple daisies. It likes a sunny spot with plenty of moisture. It strengthens the immune system and is often used in conjunction with Goldenseal.
  • Goldenseal is used as an antibiotic. It should be grown in a shady, moist location.
  • Uva Ursi is traditionally used to strengthen the urinary tract. It fights infections and is especially effective when paired with cranberry juice. It tolerates drought conditions.

Where to Buy Herb Plants

During the cold months it can be hard to find herb plants at local nurseries. Shopping online is one way to get a wide variety of herb plants. You can even find preplanted herb gardens to make the job easier. There are several sources on the internet where you can buy a variety of fresh herb plants:

Whether you have fragrant pathways lined with lavender or several pots lining a windowsill, growing and using herbs is rewarding. It is a good way to make your meals more interesting and your home more beautiful.

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Fresh Herb Plants