Herb

Learn about basil, including how to plant and grow them. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript How to Grow: Basil A good Italian boy like me has to grow basil (Ocimum). I grew up eating tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese sandwiches. I freeze pesto cubes in summer so we can enjoy the flavor right through winter. If you can grow lettuce, you can grow basil. While I favor the Italian Genovese-type basil, there is a wide variety of other flavored basils to grow. Cinnamon, lemon, and anise-flavored basil all make for […]

If you’re looking an onion flavored edible, but don’t want to fuss with onions, grow the milder flavored chives. Chives are one of the easiest herbs to grow. This perennial pops up quickly in spring in a clump form with bright green leaves. It adorns the garden in early summer with lavender blue, red or white edible flowers. Chives are a mainstay in soups, salads and, on a baked potato. There’s even a garlic chive that has a more pungent taste. This plant looks great all season in the garden. […]

Learn all about how to grow cilantro, if you dare. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript How to Grow: Cilantro My family is split on cilantro (Coriander sativum). I love it in Asian and Mexican foods, such as stir fries, soups, salsa, and burritos. My wife, Wendy, hates the flavor of it. She even will pick it out of dishes at restaurants. I love my wife, but I think she’s in the minority when it comes to cilantro. Cilantro is exploding in popularity due to the interest in Latin and Asian […]

Learn about companion planting, including what plants grow well next to other plants and which to avoid. Listen to Podcast: Gardening is known for its folklore. Some of these old wives tales have some truth to them and others, not so much. I often get asked about companion planting for insect control. Although many say plants such as onions, marigolds and rue can deter pests, scientifically, few of these folklore remedies have been proven. It might happen that you get fewer pests on your tomatoes if onions are growing nearby, […]

Most gardeners think of dill (Anethum graveolens) as that herb in pickles, but dill is much more. This easy to grow annual herb has ferny leaves (unfortunately called dill weed) and a flat clusters of yellow flowers. If you let the flowers mature, you can collect the dill seeds in late summer. Beside using dill in pickles and beans, I also like it in potato salad, egg salad, bread, soups, and various dips and spreads. I even cut and use dill plants in flower arrangements indoors. They have a great […]

One of the popular ways to have color all season in your foodscape yard is to grow plants that flower in each season. This common concept is used to make cottage flower gardens look so great from spring to fall. You can use it in the foodscape, too. You don’t have to exclusively use just foodscape plants, but they can help provide color, especially ones that will continue to bloom all summer. These might include eggplant, citrus and roses. Some foodscape plants, such as daylilies and bee balm, may flower […]

Learn how to grow Florence fennel including information on varieties. Listen to podcast: podcast transcript Although listed as an herb, I think of Florence or bulbing fennel (Foeniculum vulgare azoricum) as a vegetable. I’ve made a meal out of a fennel bulb. Once you get hooked on the licorice flavor of fennel and the juicy, crunchy texture, you’ll be growing these 3-inch wide bulbs for grilling, steaming, or roasting. No Easter meal would be complete in my mother’s house growing up without a marinaded fennel salad. There is also the […]

Learn how to build an herb spiral and which herbs to grow. Listen to podcast: It’s time to design new gardens. But instead of thinking big this year, consider some easier, smaller projects. One is designing and building an herb spiral. Herb spirals create a nice landscape feature to grow herbs in a small space. They mimic the spirals seen in nature such as in snail shells, plant tendrils and leaves. They also allow you to grow different plants that require different growing conditions together in the same space. Because […]

Learn about the best way to grow an indoor herb garden in your home this winter. Listen to Podcast: There’s nothing like the taste and smell of fresh herbs in winter. Thyme, basil, oregano and rosemary all remind us of warmer days ahead, but why wait? You can grow your own herb garden indoors, right now. You just have to the right herbs in the right conditions. It’s best to select herbs that grow well indoors this time of year. While cilantro and dill are tasty, save those for the […]

Learn how to select and grow Italian herbs in your northern garden. Listen to podcast:   What’s the key ingredient to Italian food? I think it’s all in the herbs. When you’re enjoying your summer dinners potato salad, pizza and grilled meats you can thank some Italian herbs for making them so tasty. While basil gets all the attention (and rightly so), oregano, thyme and flat-leafed parsley also give Italian food that unmistakable flavor. Oregano and thyme are perennial herbs hardy to zone 5. They can survive the winter in […]

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