Now that it is officially spring (not to mention that April 8th – 14th is Garden Week), it’s time to start planning. There is something so exhilarating to me about planning my garden and this year I want to get started early. I am in love with Pinterest as I assume the rest of the world is too, right?! I found a great site there – www.sproutrobot.com – to figure out the best time for planting. All you do is enter your zip code.
I love to plant herbs and use them year round. When we bought our house, one of the selling features to me was a bay window above the kitchen sink. I try to keep a few herbs growing all the time. Did you know you can use chalk to write directly on to Terracotta pots to “name” your plants? I recently discovered this and love it!
Herbs are easy to grow, most prefer a sunny spot and can be grown in a pot or directly in your garden. They can add tons of flavor to food without using salt. I love to add chopped herbs to salad, it helps me get by with less dressing. A few other herbal tips and ideas:
- Substitute 1 Tablespoon fresh herbs for every 1/4 teaspoon dried herbs
- If adding to a soup, stew, or casserole – add towards the end of cooking to retain the flavor
- The opposite is true for cold dishes – add the herb early and let it sit in the refrigerator for several hours to bring out the best taste
- Add 1 Tablespoon fresh herbs for every 1/2 cup butter, margarine, cream cheese, or yogurt to create an easy, delicious condiment
- Flavor vinegars by adding 1 cup herbs for every 2 cups vinegar and let it steep at room temperature for a few weeks. It’s best to used a light flavored vinegar such as white wine vinegar.
- Herbs have many medicinal purposes too as long as they are used correctly and in the right amounts; check out this great article from National Institute of Health: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/herbalmedicine.html
In honor of Garden Week, share your ideas for gardening… we’d LOVE to see pictures!