Herbs & spices

Avoiding Common Pitfalls of Maintaining a Herb Garden

Avoiding Common Pitfalls of Maintaining a Herb Garden

Herb gardening has become a popular past time for both novice and seasoned gardeners. Property curated herb gardens can be used to create medicinal treatments, all natural beauty products, or seasoning for cooking. No matter what the reason may be for growing herbs, nurturing and maintaining this type of garden can sometimes be a challenge. Knowing some of the most common mistakes that gardeners face with their herbs can help you be aware of the typical pitfalls and challenges that may surprise you along the way, and help you create a healthy, thriving herb garden to call your own.

Developing a Plan

A successful herb garden is a well planned out garden. One of the biggest mistakes that gardeners make is that they don’t start their garden with a plan. Determine the type of herb garden you want to have and make certain you have the right location for it in place to grow your herbs. These herb gardens need to get around four-six hours of sun every day.

Bearberry

Bearberry

The bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) is an attractive evergreen shrub of great importance in herbal medicine. It is a very useful plant. The bearberry was used for tobacco by the Native Americans, who also utilized the mealy red berries for food and beverages. The small, leathery leaves yield a medicinal astringent and a dye. It is used to treat bladder and kidney infections but, as with all medicinal herbs, on no account should any part of the plant be used at home. The roots can be made into a tea that can treat a constant cough or slow down menstrual bleeding.

It needs acid soil to flourish and can be grown in a container with conifers or in the garden, used as a ground cover plant in acid soil. Being evergreen, it retains the interest of the leaves throughout the winter.

Vanilla Bean: Planting & Care

Vanilla Bean: Planting & Care

The vanilla bean plant, also known by its botanical name as V. planifolia, is actually a member of the orchid family. Commercial vanilla beans are cultivated in Central and South American countries; particularly in Mexico.


You can plant your own vanilla bean plant at home. You may need to order the plant root or a cutting of the plant via the Internet or through a tropical plant company. If you receive the plant through a tropical plant company or an Internet company, follow the directions that come with it. The vanilla bean plant requires an artificial tropical climate similar to the area where the plant is normally grown. The vanilla bean plant is sensitive to light, heat, and moisture. An ideal environment should be in indirect sunlight with ample humidity and away from extreme cold temperatures.

Growing Dill

Growing Dill

Dill (Anethum graveolens), a member of the carrot family, has been a favored culinary herb for centuries. Not only its flavorful foliage, but its pungent seeds are used. Native to southern Europe, dill is a staple in Greek cooking. Though dill is best known as a pickling herb for cucumbers, the leaves can be used fresh or dried in salads, meats, vegetable dishes and soups. Used whole or ground, the seeds add zest to bread, cheese, and salad dressing.

Dill grows well in gardens throughout the entire United States. Its delicate foliage provides an ornamental element wherever it is grown, making it an ideal candidate not only for herb gardens, but for flower beds as well.

Parsley – Planting & Growing

Parsley – Planting & Growing

Parsley is one of the best known herbs in the kitchen and is sprinkled over vegetables as a garnish and added to soups and stews. What most people don’t realize is that parsley is extremely nourishing, containing vitamins C, A, and B; iron, calcium, manganese; phosphorous; and even iron. Its fresh taste enhances dips, spreads, soups, quiches, salads, potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini. Parsley also acts as a breath freshener, so chew a sprig after eating a garlicky dish.

It is difficult to germinate and requires a high temperature. Some people delay sowing until into the summer but it is a help to soak the seed in warm water overnight and pour boiling water down the seed drills if parsley is to be sown directly in the kitchen garden.

Thyme – The Herb For Your Garden And Kitchen

Thyme – The Herb For Your Garden And Kitchen

A well-known and important herb, common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a perennial subshrub and is still used in the kitchen after many centuries to flavour meat, fish and vegetable dishes, in bouquets garni. It is a charming, attractive plant for the herb container. There is a number of thymes that can be used in the kitchen including T. herba-barona, with the scent of caraway traditionally used to flavour a baron of beef, and some creeping thymes.

Thyme is a shrubby perennial with small, oval, narrow, grey-green leaves, long, woody, branched stems, and sturdy roots. This plant blooms in mid-summer and has lavender-pink flowers that occur in small clusters. The flowers attract bees and the honey produced is highly valued. The leaves are very aromatic. Leaves, stems, and flowers may all be eaten.