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Herbs

Even those with limited space can grow herbs. They are easy to cultivate and make great additions to vegetable and container gardens. Pulling from your own herb supply is much more economical than buying bunches as you need them. Annual herbs include basil and dill. Perennial herbs include rosemary, chives, sage, spearmint, and thyme.

Habit
Rosemary is a woody perennial. Chives, thyme, sage, and mint are herbaceous perennials. Basil is a shrubby annual, and dill is a short-lived annual.

Days to Harvest
Harvest whenever there is sufficient foliage.

When to Plant
Many herbs are from warm regions and should only be planted outdoors when danger of frost has passed. Basil and dill can be grown from seed; perennial herbs are best bought as plants from a reputable nursery.

Light
Full sun.

Soil
Herbs thrive in soils that many vegetables won't tolerate. Regular garden soils or container mixes are sufficient.

Watering
Most herbs can withstand some drought but look and taste best when not allowed to dry out excessively.

Fertilizing
Herbs don't require it, but they can be fertilized with the rest of the garden.

Pest problems
Because of their scent, herbs are rarely attacked by pests. Spider mites can be a problem on drought-stressed plants; keep watered and mulched to avoid infestations.

When to Harvest
Harvest as needed, but always leave a minimum of  two sets of leaves to support plant regrowth. Cut herbs in the morning, when aromatic oil concentrations are highest.

Recipes
Penne with Basil and Caciocavallo
Herbed Deviled Eggs
Summer Herb Potato Salad
Tabbouleh

Comments (21)

  • apotie 21 Jun, 2008

    contd....to plant tomatoes but none grew. per the article you dig a [filtered word] deep enough then add a banana peel

  • apotie 21 Jun, 2008

    contd....to plant tomatoes but none grew. per the article you dig a [filtered word] deep enough then add a banana peel

  • apotie 21 Jun, 2008

    I read a article in our local paper in Phoenix az on how to plant tomatoes.
    I have tried everything from pots to ground

  • ariadnaquijano 12 Jun, 2008

    Could anybody enlighten me on how to grow oregano? I've tried before, but it didn't thrive... I reckon it depends on the place where it is... but I've found it is one delicate herb. HELP PLEASE!!

  • lbuser 3 Jun, 2008

    Yes, I love Stevia, but I have not been successful growing it. It just shrivels up. I do know that you have to cut it back each year and plant the cuttings. The leaves of the main plant are only good the first couple years. Dry and steep with your tea or coffee, it doesn't take much to sweeten. If it tastes bitter you are using way too much.

  • lbuser 3 Jun, 2008

    Yes, I love Stevia, but I have not been successful growing it. It just shrivels up. I do know that you have to cut it back each year and plant the cuttings. The leaves of the main plant are only good the first couple years. Dry and steep with your tea or coffee, it doesn't take much to sweeten. If it tastes bitter you are using way too much.

  • mell1201 28 May, 2008

    My son and I planted a container herb garden this weekend and I love it. In one pot we planted lavender

  • mell1201 28 May, 2008

    My son and I planted a container herb garden this weekend and I love it. In one pot we planted lavender

  • mell1201 28 May, 2008

    My son and I planted a container herb garden this weekend and I love it. In one pot we planted lavender

  • mell1201 28 May, 2008

    My son and I planted a container herb garden this weekend and I love it. In one pot we planted lavender

  • mell1201 28 May, 2008

    My son and I planted a container herb garden this weekend and I love it. In one pot we planted lavender

  • BloomOn40 23 May, 2008

    Rosemary (delicious w/ potatoes and also made into bread), texas terragon (chkn salad!), thyme (salads, soups, etc) are perennials, easy to grow and live for a number of years in the ground. I couldn't live without basil and it will do great in a SUNNY location in garden as well as pots. Just remember a little water a lot of times (1x a day).

  • BloomOn40 23 May, 2008

    I live in SW tennessee and grow all sorts of herbs easily. I have found that cotton bur compost loosens and enriches our red clay soil like nothing else! I double dig the area, pull our large hunks of clay and discard in trash, mix cotton bur, composted manure and parts of soil in a wheel barrel, then fill back into the bed. Herbs don't require much fuss but this gets them off to a wonderful start.

  • mariettasmith 23 May, 2008

    Do you know of an herb called Stevia ... it is used as a sweetener

  • jb3dme 22 May, 2008

    I live in southeast Tennessee, where the soil is a reddish-yellow clay filled with limestone rocks. So, I'd like to know more about planting herbs in containers. Can more than one type of herb be planted in the same pot? Are there some herbs that do better in pots than others? In years past I've done marginally well with basil, and I have a pot of rosemary that's survived outdoors all year for the last couple of years (knock on wood). Most others haven't survived even one summer.

  • fredalee 22 May, 2008

    Oops, too wordy on the last one. If you're going to plant mint, make sure to plant it in a large pot first, then bury the pot in your herb garden. Same goes for sage. They're wonderful to grow, but will take over everything if you're not careful, especially the mint.

  • fredalee 22 May, 2008

    Audree, my experience is that herbs love the sun. Just remember not to let them dry out. As for the tomatoes, they love the hot sun. Keep them watered. A regular watering is better than a good soaking once a week.
    Oregano is a great herb to grow - it really bushes out. Keep it away from your doorway, though, because the flowers really attract the bees and other flying insects. I haven't found that they bother the plant though.

  • BayTree 22 May, 2008

    Add to the perinneil list, Oregano. Therre are a couple different varieties but any variety is so good especially with Italian, Mexican and Greek food. It loves full sun and grows like the weed it is/was. Also tolerates extreme heat.

  • audree 22 May, 2008

    Thank you so much for this information. Only yesterday I planted some herbs in containers. My area is hot so I have placed them where they get sun morning until 1.00 p.m. Is that okay for basil thyme and rosemary? What about tomatoes do they like hot full sun?

  • lefleur 22 May, 2008

    I have a huge property but always do my herb gardens in old whiskey barrels on my deck. That way the herbs are right outside my kitchen door, which is very convenient, and the wildlife doesn't venture up on the deck to have a taste!

  • Krisy 21 May, 2008

    I would love to plant an herb garden in my backyard but we have a ton of deer, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, etc. Is it common for these animals to eat herbs?