We had the best time recently at one of our complimentary Spring gardening classes! Cindy Shapton came and taught many eager gardeners and avid cooks all about herbs. I am excited to share below many of the tips and knowledge she gave us, so read on!
First off, a couple of general tips!:
-Many plants that go well together in the kitchen also go well together in the garden.
-Too many nutrients in the soil means you'll have less flavor from your herbs. You want to make them work. They need good drainage but not the absolute best soil.
-Herbs love full to mostly sunny locations.
-Use the flowers at the end for teas.
-Basil is heart healthy!
-You can freeze the leaves for Winter: cut them off the plant, wash them, let the sun dry the leaves. Then put in airtight zipped bag and freeze.
-Plant Basil near your tomatoes to keep Hornworms away.
-Try Basil in your eggs (I have, since this class, and can attest- A-mazing!). Make rollups with Basil, salsa, and good mozzarella.
-Use to keep ants away.
-Makes a great calming tea.
-High in Calcium.
-Grow it with your cucumbers; great.
-A host for butterflies.
-Wonderful cut flower.
-The "weed" is the part that has the flavor.
-Plant it by itself because it will invade.
-Makes a great groundcover.
-Plant different mints apart or after awhile they will all taste and smell the same.
-Great in brownies, freshly brewed coffee or tea.
-Great for tummy troubles or if you have no appetite- drink a cup of mint tea.
-Great in containers.
-Known as the "Herb of Memory"!
-Needs good drainage.
-Water every now and then but don't overwater.
-Has natural food preservatives to it.
-Makes a great pesto with Parsley.
-Rosemary tea will take a tension headache away.
-Snip Rosemary and place in the dirt, keep it moist, and another Rosemary plant will grow.
-Hard to do in a container. Plant in the ground- goes to seed quicker in a pot.
-The flower part is Coriander.
-If you start from seed, plant it three weeks apart in your garden for Cilantro all Summer.
-Make a tea with it.
-Great natural insecticide for spider mites. Also keeps aphids away.
-"Balancing Herb": this plant will balance flavors when cooking with herbs
-Hard to start from seed.
-Great for smoothies to help with allergies.
-Dry it in the Fall: cut it, place in a jar and label it.
-Brew tea, throw a leaf in.
-Very sweet; can get bitter if you use too much.
-The one sweet that is good for your teeth- it builds enamel.
-Great to make a tea from.
-Lowers blood sugar if you drink it on an empty stomach.
-Helps with nervousness: drink on an empty stomach before whatever activity.
-Make a tea out of it.
-Use it in Quiche- delicious! Also great when making breads and Dressed/Deviled Eggs.
-An expectorant (make a tea and drink).
-If it browns in the center, add good potting soil in the center and it will rejuvenate.
-Will keep spreading/ growing out of pots. Is a prolific grower.
-Pairs well with almost every vegetable combination.
There were many other tips given in the class, but my fingers couldn't write that fast! For more in-depth tips not covered in a one hour class, we offer Cindy's book here at our Nursery! It is filled to the brim with expert advice on growing, using, and cooking with herbs. Also, check out her blog and website at http://www.cindyshapton.com/ !
We have many herbs available now at the Nursery! All grown right here and the perfect addition to your Summer cooking and baking. Have a great one and come shop your local Nursery soon!