3 Easy-to-Grow Herbs
I confess; I love herbs! There’s nothing I like better than to sit in my herb garden and smell all my wonderful plants. For me, herbs provide pleasure and practicality. I can use them in my kitchen, for crafting and to attract wildlife like hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow. They’re not fussy and usually you can just plant them and let Mother Nature take care of the rest. It’s best to try to meet the growing requirements stated on the label when you buy the plant. But even in that regard, herbs give you lots of lead way. Many will thrive in both full sun and partial shade. They usually don’t like wet feet, so make sure your site is well-drained. Since the growing season is upon us, I encourage everyone to at least experiment with a few easy-grow-herbs that can even be tucked in among your other garden plants. No fancy herb garden required. Oregano What would a kitchen be without Oregano? Think pizza and spaghetti sauce. But don’t forget, oregano has medicinal properties as well. Oregano tea clears the sinuses and eases sore throats. It’s best to buy oregano plants when you’re getting started. That way, you’ll be sure to get the flavor you want. Oregano prefers full sun, but I’ve actually grown it in partial shade and the plants have thrived. Oregano grows wild in the mountains of the Mediterranean. In Europe, the names oregano and marjoram are used interchangeably. In the United States, these are considered two different herbs. Both taste similar, although I think marjoram has a sweeter taste. When I say oregano is easy to grow, I’m really not kidding. In some mountainous regions of the US, oregano has become a weed. There is even a story that the State of Oregon was named for the profusion of oregano that grows wild there. No matter what, you’ll soon find oregano to be an essential part of your garden. Chives Chives are always so cheerful in the spring with their globes of pink/purple flowers. Common chives have a slightly onion-y flavor and smell, while garlic chives taste and smell like mild garlic. I usually find it’s easiest to start your garden with a store-bought plant or grab some divisions from a friend who’s got some to spare. Either way, chives grow in full to partial sun and thrive in well-drained soil with a little compost added in the spring and summer. They do have to be divided every three years to prevent overcrowding. Chives offer fresh greens throughout the growing season. And, believe me, once you’ve got them started, you’ll find yourself snipping their stalks and sprinkling them over everything from scrambled eggs to salads. My kids even love them in their burgers! Every part of the chive is edible, so if you’re game, you can make wonderful chive-infused vinegar in the spring. Thyme What can I say? There’s no “thyme” like the present to add this herb to your garden. Thyme is useful and personal. There are so many cultivars, you can have fun picking your favorite or try a sampling. You can’t go wrong. Thyme has a rich woody scent and many types have hints of flavor like my personal favorite; variegated lemon thyme. Thyme enhances almost any dish it’s used in, from pastas to vegetables, roasted meats and potatoes. In crafting, thyme is often added to potpourris. Added to bathwater, thyme refreshes and its antiseptic qualities make it wonderful for raw, rough skin. This herb is so easy to grow; all it needs is lots of sunshine and fairly dry soil. Many people find it makes a beautiful groundcover; some even use it as a lawn cover. Bees love thyme and in Greece, where thyme grows wild, thyme honey is a great delicacy. So, this summer, have some fun with these three easy-to-grow herbs. They will add scent and flavor to the sweetness of the season!