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Growing Your Own Herbs.

What is a herb? Herbs are the leafy, green part of aromatic plants grown for culinary use. Herbs have become a cooking necessity. Cooks have options. Dried herbs can be purchased at your local mar...

What is a herb?

Herbs are the leafy, green part of aromatic plants grown for culinary use. Herbs have become a cooking necessity. Cooks have options. Dried herbs can be purchased at your local market. In todayís world everyone is health conscious and would rather cook with fresh herbs. The beauty with herbs is that they can be grown indoors or outdoors. Where you choose to grow your plant is a personal choice. What ever your choice remember herbs need moisture and light.

Starting from seeds:

Any small container will do. Make sure there are holes at the bottom of container for drainage. Your plant needs good drainage. Add your soil. I fertilize the soil before adding the seeds. Nutrients leak out of the soil . Place the seeds about ľ of an inch from the top soil. Water well and cover with a plastic lid or clear plastic wrap. When I see healthy sprouts I remove the plastic cover. Two of the most important things to remember is during your seedling stage keep the soil moist at all times. Secondly, place in a sunny location in your home.

If you are planting directly outside choose a place only for your herbs. It maybe alongside other vegetables or flowers but seedlings must have full sunlight. Your outdoor seedlings need regular watering as well as fertilizer. If I am planting indoors or outdoor I like to use organic compost and manure to ensure healthy and flourishing plants. Never use any fertilizer that is not labeled for use on edible plants

Planting and Growing Herbs Tips:

Annual herbs are easy to start and inexpensive.

Harvest to the plantís full flavor

Limit pesticides to a minimum. I like to mix liquid soap and water and spray my plants for pests. If this does not kill your pests check for non-toxic pesticides or pesticides used for edibles.

Designing Ideas:

Seasoning herbs do not have to be limited for seasoning but can be used as ornamental plants
The curly variety of Parsley makes a great edging plant. Bay laurel is a tall herb and can be potted and used at central points. Tri-color sage looks great in containers.
Mint and oregano tend to spread think about a hanging plant.

Trimming:

Once herbs are grown they have to be pruned. Since your will be using the herb for cooking there should not be a problem. If the herbs are not pruned they will grow tall and lanky. For a full healthy plant trim and prune.

Herbs and Pairing:

Bay: Used in soups and stews. Substitute: Thyme

Basil: Vegetables great with tomatoes. Substitutes: Marjoram, Mint,

Chives: Good with salads and Cold Plates. Substitutes: Scallions & Green Onions

Cilantro: Salsa, Asian & Caribbean Foods. Substitutes: Flat-leaf Parsley Spicy Basils

Dill: Fish, Chicken, Eggs, Salads, Beans, Carrots, Cucumbers, Cabbage, Potatoes,
Pickles & Sour Cream or Yogurt Dips. Substitute: Caraway

Lemon Grass: Thai Dishes, Chicken, Beef, Curry sometimes combined with coconut milk.
Substitute: Lemon Zest

Lemon Verbana: Fish, Poultry, Marinades, Salad Dressings, Jams, Sauces, Teas
Substitute: Lemon Grass & Lemon Zest

Mint: Lamb, Eggplant, Desserts Teas, Salads, Vegetables, Fruits. Substitute: Spicy Basils

Oregano: Beef, Chicken, Pasta, Tomatoes. Substitute: Marjoram, Mint, Basil

Sage: Poultry, Beans, Stuffing, Pasta. Substitute: Thyme, Summer Savory

Tarragon: Chicken, Eggs, Fish Substitute: AniseHealth Fitness Articles, Fennel

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