Organic herb gardening is becoming more and more popular every day, and for a good reason. Herbs have practical value, serve a purpose and with herb gardening you can actually use your plants for a natural pest control method. When most people think of herb gardening they automatically think of cooking, but herbs are also grown for their pleasant aroma and their beauty.
Drying Your Herbs for Cooking
One important part of Organic herb gardening is drying the herbs for use during the winter months, especially if you plan on cooking with them. First, the tops of leafy herbs have to be cut, washed and hung up for the water to evaporate. Then, tie stems together and hang up in a paper bag to dry. After two to three weeks they must be removed; crumble the leaves, dry them out in the oven and store in a glass jar.
Types of Herbs
One of the most common herbs grown in herb gardening is basil. Dark Opal and regular green basil are beautiful additions to any garden and often used as decoration. Dark Opal has light pink flowers and dark red leaves. Basil isn’t just used for its looks; it is used for extra flavor in tomato juices and pastes.
Chives are very petite looking and resemble a blade of grass. They are much stronger than they look, however, and will grow well throughout a drought. Their toughness and sturdiness makes Chives a perfect plant for herb gardening, especially if the gardener doesn’t want plants that require a lot of maintenance. Chives are great in salads, egg dishes and many different sauces.
Mint is also very easy to grow and is very refreshing when used in mint jelly, mint juleps, lemonade and any other kind of fruity drink. Mint is also very popular when used in herb gardening for its unique minty smell. Two herbs that appear in nearly everyone’s herb garden are thyme and sage. Both of these herb gardening favorites are used for flavoring soups, chicken, turkey, pork and other sausages. Sage is also grown sometimes for its beautiful blue spiked flowers.
Lavender is probably the nicest smelling herb out of all the herbs and is often used in candles, as a perfume scent and to improve the smell in linen chests. The light purple flowers not only look attractive but also leave a beautiful aroma.
Other types of herbs often grown in herb gardening include borage (used in salads), chervil (used in egg dishes), sweet marjoram (flavors lamb, fish, salad, and soup), sesame (flavors crackers, cookies, and bread), and dill (flavors meats and used in pickles).
Organic herb gardening allows gardeners to use herbs from their own garden for cooking, looks, and smell. Herb gardening will produce much fresher herbs with more flavor than store-bought herbs, with the added benefit of not only being cheap to grow but something you can say that you grew yourself.