search
menu mobile

All, Spring

Gardening With Herbs

August 31, 2021

Gardening

Gardening With Herbs

GARDENING WITH HERBS

Growing herbs is a delightful part of gardening!

There’s nothing like the taste of herbs picked fresh from your garden.Their fresh taste in cooking is incomparable to dry herbs from the supermarket. They are easy to grow, and you can plant them in indoors or outdoors.

When choosing which herbs to grow in your garden, consider what recipes you like to cook, container or in garden beds and whether they’re annual, biennial, or perennial. Lavender, Thyme, Sage, Borage, and Marjoram have the added feature of attracting butterflies and honey bees.

HOW TO GROW HERBS
  • Herbs prefer part sun to full sun locations and well-drained soil.
  • You can start them from seed in late March inside your home in propagation trays or sow the seed directly into the ground in May.
  • You can also buy plants that are already potted at any Sheridan Nurseries Garden Centre – perfect for indoor herb gardens and containers.
  • Once planted, don’t be concerned with a lot of fertilizing. One or two applications of Parkwood® All-Purpose 20-20-20 diluted in water are sufficient for the growing season. Herbs that are over fertilized grow too quickly and their flavour isn’t as strong. If insects become a problem, spray with Insecticidal Soap. It’s non-toxic and becomes totally inert.
  • Mist foliage with water a couple of days after application. Since herbs are fairly heat and drought-tolerant, don’t overwater them. Let them dry out completely between watering. You’ll know if you’ve given them too much if you have spindly, leggy growth and yellow leaves.
PERENNIAL HERBS
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Chives
  • Lavender
  • Catnip
  • Lemon Balm
  • Winter Savory
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Chamomile
  • Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Chives
  • Lavender
  • Catnip
  • Lemon Balm
  • Winter Savory
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Chamomile
  • Marjoram
ANNUAL HERBS
  • Dill
  • Sweet Marjoram
  • Coriander
  • Rosemary
  • Summer Savory
  • Chervil
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
BIENNIAL HERBS

These herbs have a two-year lifecycle; they produce flowers and seeds the second year and then die off.

  • Caraway
  • Parsley
HARVESTING HERBS

For the best concentration of taste, pick leaves just as the herb begins to bloom. This is when the oil content in the leaves is greatest.

  • Herbs can be dried by tying stems together in bunches and hanging them upside down in a dry, warm spot out of direct sunlight where air circulates freely.
  • Dry them for a few weeks until the leaves are brittle. Pick off the leaves, put in airtight bags or jars, and store them in a dark, dry place.
  • Don’t crumble the leaves until you’re ready to cook with them. Remember, dried herbs have more concentrated flavour than fresh.
  • Herbs that are better frozen than dried include Basil, lemon Balm, Parsley, Tarragon, Chives, and Lemon Verbena.
  • Pick them the same way as for drying, rinse them quickly in cold water, and shake dry. Chop the leaves coarsely, place them in Ziploc bags, and store in the freezer. They last 4-6 months before they dry out and lose their essence.
  • Herbs can also be used to flavour oil as well as vinegar which make wonderful and original gifts.
INDOOR HERB GARDENING

For those who really love cooking with fresh herbs all year, you can grow Bush Basil, Chives, Oregano, Marjoram, Parsley, Sage, Thyme, and Rosemary indoors.

  • Choose the sunniest window to grow them in or augment existing light with an incandescent “grow” bulb in any fixture.
  • Herbs can also be grown under fluorescent lights. Inside your home, herbs don’t like to be too hot and they prefer a cooler temperature at night.
  • Mist them a couple of times a week.
  • Watch for Spider Mite webs that can easily be treated with Insecticidal Soap.
ORNAMENTAL HERBS

These herbs have particularly attractive foliage or flowers and can be used in mixed or perennial borders.

  • Bronze Fennel grows 90 cm – 180 cm (3’ – 6’) tall and has outstanding feathery leaves that start out dark purple and turn to metallic bronze.
  • Golden, Purple, and Tri-colour Sage have beautiful variegated foliage and a compact form.
  • Lemon and Silver Thyme have tiny gold and green and white and green leaves respectively.
  • Creeping and Woolly Thyme are very low and grow well between flagstones. They flower exquisitely and, when walked on, release a fresh scent.
  • Purple Ruffles Basil has dark purple leaves with a crinkly texture. It makes a bold edging plant.
  • Pineapple Sage has an intense scarlet bloom that appears in the fall.
  • Garlic Chives have the perfect round, white flowers on long thin stems in late summer.
  • Lavender has terrific, mauve, purple, or deep blue fragrant blossoms that last for a long period. It can be planted individually, as a mass, or as a low hedge.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE