Beautiful Home Garden

Useful tips on gardening 7


Herbs to Grow at Home


There are a huge variety of herbs in the world, and each one is unique in its own way. If you are interested in a specific type of herb, you should research that one to understand the care it needs and how to use it properly. This article will hopefully help you begin to to understand the different types of herbs, and what they are used for.

From a growing perspective, there are of 3 main categories of plant – Annuals, Biennial and Perennial:

  • Annuals – common examples are basil, and cilantro – these will not survive the winter frost. Each year they must be planted from seed, or from a small plant you have kept indoors from the summer growth. .
  • Biennials – herbs form leaves in their first growing season, and flower and seed in the second season; then they die. Biennial herbs – such as parsley, angelica, or caraway – are best be sown in late spring, not in seed trays but directly into the garden. Prepare the soil first by working it to a fine texture and dampen the soil slightly. Plant the seeds in shallow rows, then firm the soil on top of them. Fine seeds can be planted in a mixture of sand, which will allow them to spread more evenly. You can also cover the herb bed with wet burlap or paper in order to keep the soil moist during germination.
  • Perennials – such as sage and winter savory – can and do survive cold temperatures, and with tending, will grow year after year.

Herbs can also be grouped into the categories for which they are used:

  • Culinary herbs are probably the most useful to herb gardeners. They have a huge range of different uses in cooking. Because of their extra strong flavors, some herbs – like chives, rosemary or basil, are best used in small quantities to add flavor to different types of food. Parsley is an extremely popular herb that is used mostly as a garnish. Some herbs act as natural sweeteners – examples are stevia, licorice, and the aztec sweet herb.
  • Aromatic herbs have lovely smelling flowers or foliage. Oils from aromatic herbs like loyage, mint, and rosemary can be used to make different types of perfumes, toilet water, or other various scents. Parts of aromatic herb plants used intact can also be used in the home to scent linens or clothing. They can even be dried out and made into potpourri, thus retaining their aroma over a long period of time. Lavender and lemon verbena are 2 great herbs to use for potpourri.
  • Some herbs are also used for medicinal purposes. For centuries herbs have been thought to have the ability to cure the body. Present medical knowledge recognizes that some herbs are beneficial to one’s health, others are overrated. Herbs used for medicinal purposes should be used carefully. Some herbs are harmless but others can be dangerous if eaten. Herbs have many important uses – to relieve stress, ease pain, or to boost the immune system, and even to cure insomnia – herb Robert, and lemon balm I have found that Aloe vera is great to have around the house (usually potted) for any accidental burns and cuts (more healing than anything you will find in your local drugstore).

A final category are herbs that are used mainly as decoration, because they grow beautiful brightly colored flowers and foliage:

  • Many have whitish flowering, some have various light colored flowers – like valerian – which has crimson blossoms, and borage and chicory, which grow gorgeous blue flowers

Not all herbs fit neatly into one of the above categories, and indeed some serve more than one of these categories. For example, mint may be used for cooking, tea, and pest control – but make sure you border its growth, or it will become a pest itself growing wild across your garden!

Whatever the interest that you may have in herbs, by understanding the facets of herb garden plants you are able to pick the herbs that will be most useful to you, and you can grow healthy, fresh produce at home!