Friday, February 17, 2012

5 Herbs You Should Grow In Your Garden! (Friday Fives)

I couldn't imagine my garden without herbs.  Whether for making tea, dinner, or a myriad of other uses herbs are an essential part of my garden.  Some of the herbs in my garden I use as companion plants in addition to their culinary uses.  Herbs are awesome and you should grow them if you aren't already.  What herbs do I grow in my garden?  I'm glad you asked because today for the Friday Fives I'll share with you five of my favorite herbs.  Please note though that these do well in my zone 6b-7 garden and may not perform the same where you are!

5 Herbs You Should Growing In Your Garden!


  1. My then 2 year old daughter (now 4)
    examining the basil harvest!
    My number one herb, and perhaps my most favorite of all, is basil!  We use basil in pesto, tomato sauces, on bruschetta, and in many other dishes.  Essentially basil works great with almost any tomato dish.  For companion planting I always plant some basil around my tomatoes.  It repels insects like the hornworm and is reported to repel flies.  I haven't seen a hornworm in my garden since I began interplanting my tomatoes and basil.  The regular old Italian basil is great but my favorites are cinnamon basil and dark opal purple basil.
  2. Sage
    Culinary sage is another really good herb to plant.  We use it in many of our meat dishes like meatloaf or turkey and is just a great seasoning in general.  Sage is also an ally in the vegetable garden against cabbage moths and flea beetles.  One of these day's I may actually plant it in the vegetable garden!  Right now our sage is planted just off the patio where it's convenient to gather for cooking.
  3. We like our rosemary too! It was a beautiful addition to our front walkway but sadly it faded from glory over a year ago.  The cool thing about rosemary though is as long as you have a plant to take cutting from you can easily replace a lost rosemary.  Just place a 6-8 inch rosemary cutting in a glass of water and watch the roots form or stick it directly in some soil and keep it moist.  Rosemary when planted needs a location with good drainage and I don't recommend planting it on the north side of your home if you are in a borderline hardiness area for it.  That's what caused my rosemary plants to die. I have two other starts of rosemary in a better location as well as a couple in pots so I'm good to go!  Rosemary is a good repellent for cabbage moths and bean beetles so plant it around your vegetable garden somewhere!  
  4. Mint is a tricky herb.  It's great in tea and for use as a repellent for a bunch of different critters including rodents but it can spread. Let me rephrase that, it can spread a lot!  Mint loves to run its roots just under the soil's surface and reach out to new frontiers - like your lawn or your garden.  It's easy to pull though and if you like it enough you can dry it and have herbal mint tea throughout the winter.  If you don't want to go chase a running herb use a pot to hold it in its place.  You can even bury the pot with about 2 inches above the soil to give the effect of a planted well contained mint.  Only you will know the truth!
  5. Thyme planted from seed.
    Thyme is another good herb for your garden. Aside from being able to quip phrases like "I always have thyme to garden" or "there's never enough thyme in the garden," you will have a very nice evergreen groundcover herb that's also useful in the kitchen.  Thyme is another deterrent for cabbage moths like rosemary and is well worth incorporating into the garden.  I find it interesting that rosemary and thyme both repel cabbage moths and both have pine like attributes in their scents and flavors. 
There are a whole bunch of other herbs out there that can benefit you and your garden.  In addition to these five I also have lemon balm, oregano, catnip, cilantro, and stevia in the garden.


What's your favorite herb?  

Previous Friday Fives

11 comments :

  1. I love herbs --- just got some more thyme seeds, my one thyme plant isn't keeping up with my culinary needs. I know I am in the minority, but am not keen on cilantro. Besides sage, basil (which I also got seeds for yesterday), mint, rosemary, and thyme, I also have winter savory, salad burnett, parsley, and oregano.

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  2. Thanks for the tip about planting basil with the tomatoes!

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  3. I just came from a garden where a beautiful rosemary thrives. I so wish I could grow it here as I can still smell it!

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  4. Do you have any tips for cilantro? I've never had much success with it, and would like to do better!

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    1. Direct seed only, and put new seeds in often (every other week). My direct seeded plants do very well, but anything I have transplanted don't thrive at all. I even let them go to seed and collect for planting the following year. Also, keep well watered.

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  5. I have to very large rosemary bushes right now. I like growing different herbs so I can run my hand over them when I'm in the gardens.

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  6. Aren't there two types of rosemary-culinary and flowering? I know when I lived in Houston, you had to look for culinary. Is it cold hardy here? Your five are my fave fives too! They are very versatile in cooking. Mint is my all time fave because it's used in many of my favorite beverages such as the Mint Julep, Mojito, and the Limonfresca!

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  7. I planted an edible border to our patio when I had babies- so all herbs. I enjoy parsley, thyme, rosemary, chives and garlic chives, sage, basil (only one that is an annual) marjoram, oregano, lemon balm, mint, lemon mint... there may be more. I cannot keep cilantro alive here in Atlanta. I keep the mints in pots that are buried and I pull them out once a year to be sure no roots are escaping. Kids love to pick bits to taste when they're visiting- sometimes mint, but even chives and parsley.

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  8. I used to have a pretty lovely herb garden and grew quite a number of different herbs. It's been years though and I want to start another one, but now I am in Tucson so it will be a little trickier. I do know rosemary thrives here. But I happen to LOVE thyme and lavender. I always have basil, even in with my few veggies. I used to grow lemon balm to add to iced tea and a number of different geraniums that I used to flavor jelly. I like to grow parsley and cilantro also. Will let you know how things are going this year! :-)

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  9. Great herb list. By the way, these have all proven hardy up here at the Zone 5-6 border. I second four of your top picks, but would throw out mint (better termed a weed once it's established) and substitute oregano (establishes and spreads well, but is so much easier to manage) or lavender (more distinctive but equally versatile in an interesting way).

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  10. I just do my mint in a container, because it's so nice to have.

    Looks like all the main herbs have been covered. Lemon verbena is a really fun, lemony one.

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