Grow Your Own Herbs!

Is there an herb you use a lot?  Do you find yourself always reaching for the italian seasoning mix?  Do you always wish you had fresh basil? 
We can spend a ton of money stocking our spice racks.  But a lot of the dried herbs are extremely cheap to grow and taste much better fresh.
I love this stuff called Laab.  It is a Thai meat salad.  It has ground pork, chicken, or beef.  It is seasoned with rice powder, thai chilis, lime juice, basil, mint, and green onion.  I have and could eat a pound of this stuff at a time.  There really is nothing quite like it.  But it takes fresh basil and fresh mint, and let's face it:  Those are EXPENSIVE to buy.  So I decided to grow my own herb garden.  With a little bit of research about what growing zone you live in, you can do your own herb garden too!  I live in Tennessee, so I can grow quite a bit. 
I grow my herbs in a raised bed up next to my house, in my backyard.  Here is what I have.
Sage:  I bought a small sage plant last spring.  Cost $2.00  It is evidently a perinnial and has grown into a big bushy plant.  I have had to cut it back quite a bit.  I dried most of what I cut off, until I had more sage than I will ever need.  Now I throw it away.  It is currently finishing up blooming and it quite pretty.
Basil:  This is an annual.  Keep pinching off the blooms to extend it growing season.  One plant grew pretty big and I let it go to seed and got more basil seeds than I know what to do with.  One plant gave me all the basil I could ever want.  You must plant more the following year.
Mint:  This plant can be very invasive.  It is supposed to be more than easy to grow.  I admit, I killed mine last year.  I have spearmint, not peppermint.  I got a cutting a from my cousin.  It is now growing in great abundance and I will have to keep it cut back, or else it will take over.  A perinnial.
Chinese basil:  I just got the seeds from a friend.  It is doing well so far.
Oregano:  It grows and grows and grows.  A perinnial.
Green onion:  I just stuck the onion bottoms from some green onions in the dirt and voila!  They grew and now I just cut the tops off.  Eventually, they bloom, and go to seed. 
Cilanto:  Plant a very good crop.  It will grow in very cool weather.  You can take cuttings off of it throughout its life, but it will eventually go to seed.  Let it and you will have all the cilantro you will ever need.  When it gets too cool, save the seeds for the next year or plant them in your indoor herb garden.
Thai Chili Peppers:  I got seeds from a friend, but they refused to grow.  So I bought a plant from Lowe's.  It said ornamental, I just laughed.  It has just got done blooming for the first time and I expect to have lots of these wonderful, red-hot chilis very soon.
I am going to plant Thyme, I have these seeds. Just need to find it a spot.
Lemon Balm:  Just got a cutting from another cousin.  I am not sure what I am going to do with it yet!
If anyone wants cuttings or seeds, send me your address and I will see what I can do.  It is, of course, first come first serve.


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Lisa said...

If you check, you can probably find a freecycle group in your area. People love plant cuttings of all types.

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