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Gary350
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What herbs do you plant and why?

I planted some herbs today. I bought things we eat.

Oregano and Basil for Greek and Italian foods.

Garlic for Italian, Mexican, Chinese food.

I would buy more if I could think of a reason why.

sweet thunder
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Well, my herb garden is just getting underway, but here's what I've got:

We eat a lot of Mexican and Asian food, so cilantro tops the list. I've got basil and oregano for Italian food, and sage for stuffing and winter squash. Parsley, thyme and bay laurel are great for many things, but especially French cooking (it makes up the classic bouquet garni).
I'm growing lavender mostly for sachets, but I may experiment in the kitchen with it.
I'm also growing some chamomile for tea and for dyeing. Eventually I hope to expand my use of plants for dyeing, but we'll have to see how successful I am with these plants first.

Adrien
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How about chives? Chives are a popular herb in the states, chive leaves can be used, mixed with sour cream, cream cheese or butter, on top of potatoes, in salads, soups, sauces and sandwiches. I grow them every year...

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rainbowgardener
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herbs

Mint because it's so easy to grow and great to add to drinks (mojitos any one :wink: ) ice cream and tons of other stuff. Lemon balm (lemon verbena) is likewise very easy to grow, adaptable to different conditions and makes a lovely, lemon-y tea. Sage for lots of cooking things and as a healing herb. Definitely the lavender already mentioned. Tarragon is a great cooking herb, tangy and bittersweet, good with chicken fish eggs tomatoes or to infuse your vinegar with. Bee balm for tea and because it's beautiful and the hummingbirds and butterflies love it. All of these are perennials, so planted once will keep coming back.

Micah2oo4
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i do anything that goes well in an herbal tea, catnip/sage/mint/rosemary ( yes rosemary in tea gives it a good taste)/lavender/stevia.
For cooking i grow basil/oregano/Cilantro ( so far ).

Plan to get my hands on a whole list of herb seeds but cannot find them at any stores :cry:
Last edited by Micah2oo4 on Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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hendi_alex
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Sometimes I'm a slow study, and bringing up this idea illustrates the point. Years ago I decided to grow an herb garden. My thoughts were pretty much the same as expressed at the start of this thread. We grew some things that we use and planted some things with the idea of figuring out some use. Well, we continue to experiment with different things from time to time, plus have now come to view some of the fresh herbs as essential. Anyway, here is the point of this post. For some reason when planting beans or tomatoes or other vegetables, the idea of how much to plant, how much do we need, always comes to mind. For some reason that was not the case with the herb garden for quite some time. We just bought an assortment of plants and we used what each would provide. Eventually the light went off, "we are always out of basil leaves." So now our herb garden looks much different. We have a very large planting of basil, parsley, and cilantro. But for most other plants, one or two will take care of our needs. Basil, parsley, and cilantro have become a much more significant production with multiple containers and with succession plantings. Anyway, hope no one else is so slow in the duh factor, and you promptly make adjustments to plant much more of your high use herbs.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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MINT IN POTS! IN POTS! :shock:

Mint is a litle rowdy for the garden (I will never forget the artists gallery that we stopped at in NW CT, and as I got out of the car I could smell it. Wandered around back and the whole backyard, THE WHOLE BACKYARD was gone. Mint. The owner came back to see what we were doing in his backyard, and laughed about it, saying he mowed twice a year now, but the fumes were pretty strong and he had to stop a lot... :shock: :cry:

I always think you should get the perennials like thyme, oregano (not quite mint, but keep an eye on that one), sage, chives, tarragon (no one knows how to use this one but it's good with everything and stands in nicely for Thai basil...), lavender, of course the annuals like cilantro, basil and parsley (which is technically biennial).

But mint in a pot...it scares me... :(

HG
Scott Reil

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Micah, look online for Richter's. They have herb seeds and plants. Huge catalogue just of herbs and some veggies. Tea collections, Dye collections, Italian collections... I strongly suggest them for all herb needs!

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Sweet Petunia
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I have planted Rosemary, Basil, Parsley, Sage, Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Lavender, mint, Spearmint,cilantro, chives....
And I have no idea why. :?
I have no idea when to pick them or what to do with them after they are picked. Heck, I don't even know HOW to pick them!! Im a Pepper, Tomato, Petunia kinda girl!!
Herbs are new to me this year. I just sorta learning as I go. (Thank God for this site!)
I think I have figured out the rosemary because it looks just like the stuff I buy at the store. But the rest is still a mystery!! I planted the Lavender because it smells good. And I have always liked the way herbs look on someone porch!! :lol:
I use LOTS of herbs and spices when I cook and fresh is always best!! I love to garden and so I thought I would broaden my horizons this year and take on herbs. I have learned a little bit and I have had fun so if I can keep them alive maybe I will be able to use them!
It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

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Gary350
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There are a few herbs that I don't understand. I have grown parsley several times but I don't grow it anymore. Parsley has less flavor than grass clippings. It looks good with food and dried and sprinkled on food looks good too but still it has no flavor. Am I missing something here?

I have planted Thyme several times in the past but I don't grow it anymore either. Thyme tastes like bailed hay to me. I don't like the taste of bailed hay. A few of out favorate receipes calls for a pinch of thyme so I buy a bottle at the grocery store about once every 5 years.

I love chives and I have planted them in the past but the crop is so tiny I can eat the whole crop in one meal. I love onions I can eat and onion like and apple. I can't grow enough chives so I just eat onions. How is it possible to grow a chive crop 10 ft square?

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rainbowgardener
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parsley

Parsley is a actually a very healthy food

from https://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=100

"Parsley's volatile oils-particularly myristicin-have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies, and particularly, tumor formation in the lungs. Myristicin has also been shown to activate the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps attach the molecule glutathione to oxidized molecules that would otherwise do damage in the body. The activity of parsley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food, and in particular, a food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke).

A Rich Source of Anti-Oxidant Nutrients

The flavonoids in parsley-especially luteolin-have been shown to function as antioxidants that combine with highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules (called oxygen radicals) and help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells. In addition, extracts from parsley have been used in animal studies to help increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood.

In addition to its volatile oils and flavonoids, parsley is an excellent source of two vital nutrients that are also important for the prevention of many diseases: vitamin C and vitamin A (notably through its concentration of the pro-vitamin A carotenoid, beta-carotene)."

It's also an exceedingly rich source of Vitamin K which us vegetarians need to be conscious of. But honestly the main reason I grow parsley, is that parsley (and its close relatives dill and fennel) are the only host plants for black swallowtail butterflies, which are gorgeous and I love having them in my garden.

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hendi_alex
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I love the flavor of parsley. I'm wondering if perhaps Gary grew the curley more decorative kind rather than the Italian flat leafed variety which has much more flavor. If you don't think that parsley has flavor, try making some parsley potatoes sometimes. Quarter some steamed red new potatoes, add salt, olive oil, and several chopped sprigs of parsley and reheat until the parsley is well wilted. To me this is a wonderful variation from basic steamed potatoes.

We also try to raise double or triple our needs of parsley so that there is plenty to share with the swallow tail lavae. We also plant cilantro, dill, and fennel to share with these wonderful butterflies.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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!potatoes!
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gary, regarding the chives, they're perennial, it's common to let them grow and expand a few years before heavy harvesting...and if you cut them up from the ground a bit, they should keep growing anyway, even when they're first year plants.

BonneFemme
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I, too, planted the usual suspects: basil, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, chives. I want to try tarragon and garlic, too.

Question: How do you all handle planting your herbs all together and still growing each in its preferred soil? I think that oregano and rosemary like hot, dry, rocky soil ,and don't the rest like rich, moist dirt?

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Faythe
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I grow oregano, and it doesn't seem too picky about growing conditions. In fact, it has pretty much taken over the bed where I placed it, even overpowering the mints. I never knew oregano could be so invasive.

Speaking of invasive, I was stupid and let some mint grow in my vegetable garden. Now I have mint everywhere. Yes, I tried growing it in pots. Didn't matter. Some of the mints broke through their pots. Most of them just grew over the tops of the pots. I really don't think anything can stop them.

I've also got thyme, sage, lemon balm, parsley, lavender, and chives. I will be growing basil this summer, and if I can find it I want to get chocolate mint (in a pot!!!)
To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves. ~Gandhi

eshenry
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Rosemary....love a sprig on grilled chicken (zucchini for non-carnivores)
Thyme....cause it keeps coming back.
Dill...For PICKLES!
Basil....cause it is the best ever herb.
Oregano......cause it is good.
Chives..... Cause it is good.
Garlic...for everything!
lavender...it smells sooo good.
Some people weave burlap into the fabric of our lives, and some weave gold thread. Both contribute to make the whole picture beautiful and unique.

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rainbowgardener
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growing herbs together

BonneFemme - it was a good question about growing herbs together. The answer is that a lot of plants are pretty adaptable. There's a pretty big range between what their ideal conditions are and what they will tolerate. I have a little herb garden. It only gets sun part of the day and the soil isn't very good. It has lemon balm, comfrey, germander, tarragon, oregano, thyme, fennel, sage, mint, st johns wort, and a few flowers that planted themselves there that I haven't had the heart to remove. It's not ideal conditions for any of them (except the mint which just doesn't care). Some are thriving better than others, but pretty much they are all doing ok (though I did try perennial chamomile a couple times and it kept dying out). I keep it weeded, and beat the oregano and mint back a bit so they don't take over the whole thing, and water a little when we are in drought and that's about it. I've never fertilized it, even with compost. I'm sure that some would be more productive and thrive better in better situations, but it works. The basil I put other places, because 1) it's an annual, unlike all of the above perennial herbs and 2) I really do want it to thrive, so try to give it more ideal conditions.

BonneFemme
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Re: growing herbs together

rainbowgardener wrote:BonneFemme - it was a good question about growing herbs together.

The basil I put other places, because 1) it's an annual, unlike all of the above perennial herbs and 2) I really do want it to thrive, so try to give it more ideal conditions.
I like your idea about growing basil elsewhere. I think I'll stick my basil in the veg garden and keep the herb garden for perennials and other singletons.

I've started to look into growing herbs for my family's medicinal use. My husband and I joke that we need to prepare for "the endtimes," but really, I'd like to reduce my dependency on western medicine. Don't get me wrong, I very happily deliver my babies in the well-lit delivery room of our local hospital, and under those circumstances I totally appreciate competitive medicine. But for day-to-day maladies, things that aren't THAT big of a deal, it'd sure me nice not to have to drive to an office, sit and wait for eons, then drive to a pharmacy and sit and wait THERE for eons, and come home 20 dollars poorer. I think it would be nice to have some for holistic things in the house.

I'll poke around and see if there's a thread about this...

BF

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jal_ut
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I have grown dill, summer savory, oregano, sage, basil, chives, parsley and maybe a couple others. Usually one years planting yields enough to dry and last for the next ten years. My oregano patch is perrenial, and every year it blooms for the bees. Pretty much the case with chives too.

I grow mint on the lot of a guy who lives across town. I don't want it anywhere near my lot.

Sage, dill, chives and oregano I grow each year. Mostly it is just blooms for the bees. I sure don't have any way to use that much seasoning. I do use fresh dill for dill pickles each season.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

IOWABOY
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only reason i can think of besides food are the healing powers!!! take for example basile and bee balm both heal colds.

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Jewell
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Love the herbs :P
Lavenders....several varieties; thyme, rosemary, oregano, mints-in pots and corisan mint for its fragrance when you walk on it; chives;garlic; lemon and bee balm; echinacia.
Some are in pots to bring in durng the winter and some are hardy enough even in the cold winters. :mrgreen:

LRuthers
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Adrien wrote:How about chives? Chives are a popular herb in the states, chive leaves can be used, mixed with sour cream, cream cheese or butter, on top of potatoes, in salads, soups, sauces and sandwiches. I grow them every year...
And the chive flowers are pretty AND tasty in salads. I wish they bloomed more than once.

;-D

LRuthers
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Mint - jelly, cooking, in drinks

Basil, Oregano, Parsley - Italian cooking, home made soup stocks

Chives - cooking: chive butter for salmon, mashed or baked potatoes, herbed breads

Dill - cooking, pickles

I also like the way they look among the other container plants.

:D

Linda

LRuthers
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Mint - jelly, cooking, in drinks

Basil, Oregano, Parsley - Italian cooking, home made soup stocks

Chives - cooking: chive butter for salmon, mashed or baked potatoes, herbed breads

Dill - cooking, pickles

Thyme - cooking, mainly chicken dishes

I also like the way they look among the other container plants.

:D

Linda

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I always grow basil and parsley, because they're real staples in my diet. Basil goes on everything, and I mix parsley into all of my olive-oil based sauces.

Oregano, for Italian cooking and soups.

Thyme, for chicken and for a sandwich sprinkle.

Chives, for decoration, soup, and mashed potatoes.

Sage, because my son likes to eat it raw.

Tarragon, for chicken and cream sauces.

I've grown rosemary and marjoram before, but never used it much. I've never had much success with dill.

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