Monday, March 26, 2018

Seven Herbs to Grow in Your Kitchen

All these herbs can be grown from seed but I prefer the easy way.  That being from seedlings in pots that can be obtained from your local nursery.

1. Chives love plenty of light (preferably full sun) and moist rich well drained soil.   When watering moisten the soil thoroughly.  Keep constantly watered during growing season.  Cut leaves down to the base when harvesting.   Harvest 3 or 4 times during the first year then monthly thereafter. They flower in May or June and their flowers are edible.

Use chives as a garnish for salads, sprinkled on grilled fish or baked potatoes and in potato soup.  Stir into mashed potatoes, deviled or scrambled eggs.  Add them at the last minute when used in cooking in or to preserve their nutrients.  

2. Sweet Basil is the most common type.  Purple basil is not as sweet.  Lemon basil has a lemon flavor and Thai basil tastes like licorice.  Basil likes lots of sunlight and moist soil.  You can start picking leaves when the plant is 6 to 8 inches tall.  Pick the leaves often to keep the plant going.

Use basil in tomato soup and pesto and many Italian dishes.  

3. Rosemary is considered easy to grow.  It like a sunny location and friable loam soil that is allowed to dry between waterings.  It likes neutral to alkaline soil..  

Rosemary Leaves are used as flavoring in chicken and turkey stuffing  It makes delicious herbal tea.     It has a mustard-like aroma when roasted with meats or vegetables.

4. Parsley likes full sun and moist well-drained soil.  It is used as a garnish on all sorts of dishes.  It is loaded with nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Folate, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium.

5. Thyme is a bit more complicated to grow indoors but it is well worth it.  It should have at least 6 hours of direct sunshine per day and the temperature and humidity should be average.  The top layer of soil should be allowed to dry out between waterings.  

Here is the well worth it part:  It has a beautiful clover-like aroma.  Season Seafood, bland vegetables and use in tea.  Pork and chicken benefit from being rubbed with thyme before grilling. 

6. Oregano loves to grow in pots.  It is recommended that you plant it in a moisture control potting mix to protect against over or under watering.  Besides being used in flavoring Italian dishes it has many possible medicinal uses such as in respiratory tract disorders, intestinal tract disorders, menstrual cramps, urinary tract disorders and certain skin conditions.  

7.  Sage is famous for its use in flavoring your Thanksgiving turkey dressing.  Grow in pot that is set in a sunny window.  Let soil dry between waterings.  

Some possible medicinal uses for sage are in digestive problems, depression, memory loss and Alzheimer's disease.