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Garden-grown herbs good for your health

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Garden-grown herbs good for your health


POSTED May 29, 2013 5:41 p.m.

Herbs are one of the easiest things to grow and the simplest and healthiest way to flavor dishes, but they are very expensive when purchased in the store! You can grow herbs in your own yard for better eating that is so much cheaper!

Choosing your herbs

Which herbs do you use the most? How do you like to use them? All herbs have their best seasons to harvest but some can be harvested many months of the year. I dry most of my herbs so I have them handy when I need them but I only prefer rosemary fresh which is perfect since it is an evergreen plant, there are always leaves to cut!

Growing herbs

You will want to select the best growing location for the herbs that are easily accessible from your kitchen so that you are more likely to use them. If you don’t have an area like that herbs grow very well in containers! All herbs will do well in a partially shady location, with the exception of rosemary and sage, these prefer as much sun as possible.

When planting herbs in containers, be sure to start with a good potting soil (I use Gardner & Bloome Blue Ribbon Blend) as well as a good fertilizer like Gardner & Bloome Tomato, Vegetable & Herb fertilizer (I use this one too!). In the ground I use Gardner & Bloome Harvest Supreme mixed into the soil with the fertilizer mentioned above as well. Soil preparation is really important to plants and especially so when you want them to produce something for you!

Cooking with Herbs

Be creative with herbs, you can’t really go wrong. My favorite herb to grow, cook and preserve is oregano. Pick some of your favorites and try using them. I like to chop fresh oregano leaves, add to cubed potatoes tossed with some olive oil and butter, place in a foil packet and grill until a fork pierces the potatoes easily. Yum!

Preserving Herbs

Any herb can be used fresh or dried. Cilantro is much stronger fresh (so I freeze it) however thyme, marjoram and oregano have a flavor stronger when dried. To dry herbs, cut them before they flower, wash and spin dry, place in a dehydrator or hang upside down until the leaves and stems are crisp and brittle. Strip leaves off stems, discard stems (or toss in compost pile!) and crush as fine as you can. Store in an airtight container in a dark, cool place for at least a year!

To learn more about growing, using and preserving herbs and basic preserving, check out the upcoming seminars in June. Sign up online at, click on calendar and reserve your seat now. And for more gardening tips, sign up for The Greenery’s newsletter.

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