Friday, March 20, 2015

Start Your Own Herb Garden with 5 Easy-To-Grow Herbs

I am so ready for spring to get here. Last week we had a couple beautiful sunny, warm days and I had hopes of ditching my winter coat. Sadly, they were just a tease and it is back to cold temperatures and rain here. It is officially the first day of Spring so I am taking that as license to start making plans for gardening and being outdoors.

If you have ever wanted to plant a garden but didn't know quite where to begin, I advise starting with a few basic herb plants. They are easy to grow, can be purchased inexpensively, and don't require a lot of work.

In my experience herbs aren't too picky about where they are planted and as long as you plant them somewhere that is sunny and not too wet they will thrive. Herbs also do well in containers. Although many herbs are easy to grow from seed, I suggest buying plants, especially if you are new to gardening.

Here are 5 herbs that are easy to grow and are usually easy to find at garden centers or home stores that sell flower and vegetable plants in the spring:

Basil-- is an annual, which means the plant will just grow for one season from spring to fall. It is sensitive to cold, so be careful not to plant too early. Basil will flower and it is best to harvest it before it starts to bloom. Pinch off the blooms to make the plant last longer.

Parsley--this old favorite might not seem very exciting but it is really very useful in cooking and is so easy to grow. Parsley is a biennial plant which means the plant will usually grow for 2 seasons. It will die down when the weather gets cold and start to sprout again in the spring.

Chives--I have had the same chive plant for years. It is one of the last plants to die back in the cold and usually the first to come alive again in the spring. Every few years we will have a mild winter where the chives will stay green all winter. The new growth on my chives is already a couple inches high.

Rosemary--Here in the lower Midwest (growing zone 6) rosemary is considered an annual plant. If you live in a cold climate you will almost always have to plant a new plant each year. I have had rosemary winter over a few times but that is always unexpected. In warmer climates, rosemary is a perennial evergreen and can grow to the size of a bush.

Thyme--Thyme likes dry soil and grows close to the ground. It is a good plant at the front of the garden or for the edge of a container garden where it can spill over. It is a perennial that goes dormant during winter and then greens up again in the spring with new growth.

Herbs are almost fool proof to grown and require much less time and work than flowers or vegetables. If you are new to gardening or if you have not grown herbs before, I hope you will give them a try.

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