Growing Herbs
For Cooking and Health

I started growing herbs for some fresh basil to use in my cooking.

Then I thought, “I love spearmint” so I bought a small plant and planted it in my front flower bed.

To my surprise the next year it grew and grew and soon I had mint as ground cover.

It grew around my day lilies and chives before I had it under control.

Next I bought some lavender. It smells so good and comes back every year. I had to try sage because it tastes so good in our thanksgiving stuffing.

It also comes back year after year. I didn’t’ know there were so many varieties of sage.

Little by little I journeyed into growing herbs and before I knew it herbs became an important part of my vegetable garden. I have since acquired more plants like oregano and rosemary adding character and variety to my garden.

Traditionally herbs are referred to as any leafy plant which is used for eating, flavoring or as medicine. Pot herbs are leafy greens such as spinach, kale, Chard and lettuce. Herbs are low in calories and rich in minerals and some vitamins. 

Uses for Growing Herbs Growing herbs can be used for culinary and medicinal purposes, dried in potpourris and sachets to use in linen closets and drawers to provide a nice scent and repel insects.

Early Americans tied herbs together into bouquets to flavor soups and stews and were sold in markets.

    Culinary Herbs are used in small amount to add flavor and richness to food. Herbs add depth and note that can complement a dish. Many of the popular culinary herbs can be grown in the backyard garden. Thyme, basil, rosemary and dill provide great contrast for the garden and are easy to grow.

    Medicinal Herbs are used to provide medical relief for illness. Herbs contain essential nutrients and phytochemicals that build the immune system and have anti fugal and anti bacterial properties. Herbal tinctures and herbal teas deliver the medicinal properties of various plants.

Families of Growing Herbs

Most of the herbs belong to four major families; The mint family Labiatae), Carrot family (Apiaceae), Mustard family (Cruciferae) and the Daisy family (Compositae).

Mint Family-flowering plants that is aromatic with square stems. All parts of the plant are used and include mint, basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, Marjoram, lavender and thyme. These plants are easy to propagate from cuttings.

Carrot Family-plants with hollow stems and has over 3700 species. Leaves, roots and seeds are used and include Parsley, Anise, Celery, Fennel, Dill and Cumin.

Mustard Family-these plants are know as pot herbs. Leafy greens used in cooking and eaten on there own. They include Kale, water cress, cabbage, bok choy, collard greens, radish, mizuna and horseradish.

Daisy Family-largest flowing plants include chamomile, pot marigold, Echinacea, tansy, and calendula.

Why not grow an herb garden as a part of your landscape?

Learn about herb garden design, cooking with herbs and drying herbs to infusing vinegars and oils with your home grown herbs for gifts from your garden.

Growing Basil the romantic herb.

Sage is one of my favorite perennial herbs to grow because it comes back each year.

Making herbal teas or herbal infusions help tap into the healthy nutrition in herbs

Drying Dill for using in dressings and for making dill Pickles.

› Herb Gardening

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