Herb Growing: A satisfying Hobby:
Growing herbs can be a very satisfying hobby because they can grow quickly. They are also quite hardy and have many practical uses. For beginner gardeners it is important to understand it is never too late
to take up herb gardening, and it can be a lot of fun.
There is nothing more satisfying than harvesting aromatic herbs during a warm summer morning. Often the fragrances will waft throughout the garden, and those herbs that might be planted in among pavers or stones on the garden path, will crush underfoot as you walk along, releasing some incredible intoxicating scents. It is a wonderful, relaxing way to spend your leisure time.
As a beginner, to get you started there are various necessities and instructions that you will need to understand. For one you will need to make sure you have all the
essential tools you will require before you start creating a herb garden. Secondly you must be aware of which herbs are suitable for your location and soil conditions. So grab your Spade, Hoe, garden rake and wheelbarrow and get busy.
But don’t forget your plants. Most local Garden centers or plant nurseries will stock a huge range of plants. Simply talk to the expert in these centers to find out which herbs best suit your climatic conditions.
It is never advisable to try growing every herb at once, but you can choose a few easier to grow varieties to begin with. Start with about five or six species that will satisfy your personal requirements and provide you with seasoning for your recipes. This way you will be able to test out if they are the plant for you and just how easy they will grow in your conditions. Once you find that your initial plantings are beneficial to you and growing well, then you can become more adventurous and try other varieties.
Generally, herbs types, like other plants are classified according to the length of their growing season and usages.
There are three major categories which are:
Which are planted at the beginning of each growing season and only last for one season. You will need to replant new ones of these every year.
Some more popular annual varieties include basil, cilantro, anise, borage, chervil coriander, dill, fennel, and summer savory.
Annuals will not survive extreme cold weather.
They are planted once and will survive for many years. In colder climates certain varieties will die off in winter, becoming dormant, and return every
spring with a new flush of growth.
Herbs in this category include, oregano, tarragon, bee balm, mint chives and winter savory.
These are plants that survive for at least two years as they require two full seasons to complete there life cycle.
The seeds of this type are usually sown in the last days of spring on moist soils that have been prepared to a fine texture.
Some of these types of herbs include; angelica, parsley, and also caraway.
Types according to their usage:
Herbs are also grouped into categories according to their various usage.
For most gardeners,
culinary herbs are the favorites because of their multiple applications in the kitchen.
They can be used as food flavors, in various recipes or used as a garnish.
Examples of culinary herbs include bay leaf, coriander horseradish, curry leaf,
garlic, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, lemon balm marjoram, safflower, saffron,
sage, savory, rosemary, ginger, star anise, tarragon, tamarind, thyme.
Varieties that are fantastic in salads include; Angelica, basil, celery, chervil, fenugreek, chive, dill, fennel, cress,
mint, oregano, onion, parsley.
These types of herbs are a fine choice for the beginner gardener who has just started growing herbs. They are often used in cottage gardens or even container gardens, where their aroma’s can permutate from outside, through an open window and into the home. Some are used for toiletries and others used for perfumes or simply used scent linen and clothing.
Aromatic herbs include; Sage, vanilla, lavender, peppermint, chamomile, rosemary, bergamot, and
cinnamon. Many of the above herbs, when dried, are used to make potpourri, creating a long lasting fragrance for the home.
For thousands of years people have been using various herbs as cures for different ailments, and for purification for different transendencies in ancient civilizations.
It is becoming an increasing practice today to grow herbs for medicinal purposes. Because of
various side effects of many over the counter drugs, many people have grown a
tendency to turn towards natural herbal cures. However, it is always advisable to
seek professional help before deciding to use any herbal mixture for curative
The major examples of these types of herbs are; bee balm, ground- ivy catnip and the red clover. Lavender can be used to relax spasms; rosemary for headaches, etc.
Herbs are not only used for physical illness. Mental and emotional treatments are usually alleviated by
natural treatments, for example, you can use chamomile tea or a lavender bath
to relieve anxiety. Try it sometime and you will feel the stress melt away.
Readily available herbs can be used to keep your mind refreshed and calm. Helping you to deal with mood swings that can often cause you lose your self-esteem.
These are herbs used or grown for their beauty, most of them have bright colors or foliage.
They can range from white, light colors through to the richer tones of say, Valerian, which
has reddish blossoms. Other ornamental herbs include borage, and chicory which also have gorgeous blue flowers.
Many of the herbs included in other categories, such as lavender, are also included as being ornamental.
There are other herbs which have multiple uses like mint which is used for cooking, like herbal tea and
even used for pest control. You can keep all your refreshed herbs readily available
by developing your own herb garden. You will find the whole experience, inexpensive, calming, and invigorating.
“Herb Growing” Can Be lots of Fun.
Know that you know what are the “best herbs to grow”, there’s nothing to stop you from starting your own little plot. Growing your own herbs will guarantee that you have what you want, when you need it, readily on hand. Why not plan and decide to start one today. All you will need is a small area somewhere in the garden to begin. Or you can simply grow them in containers.
Happy Gardening. Jim