It’s always been the general rule of thumb, at least with my family here in the mid-west, that nothing gets put in the ground until after Mother’s Day. Still some cool nights, but beautiful warm days and no worry about frosts. I would love to have a huge yard with space for an amazing garden. However, my house, a lovely old home that has been in my family since the early 1900’s, has the tiniest yard. Great if you don’t like to mow, but not so wonderful for gardening. So, I make do with a container garden. I have a tomato plant, some jalapeños and my herb garden, of course. The invention of the hanging garden bags has provided the option of a few more plants as well.
This weekend was an amazing weather weekend, perfect for yard work and planting! I went to a local market and greenhouse on Saturday to purchase hanging baskets, flowers to plant and the herb and vegetable starts. I have tried a couple of times to start my herbs from seed, but I wasn’t very successful. So, what herbs do I plant??
I plant all my favorites, especially those that I need for salsa and other summer grilling recipes. My herb garden this year includes: Rosemary, Cilantro, Chives, Mint, Thyme, Tarragon, Sage, Parsley and Basil. Given plenty of sun, moist soil and pruned occasionally (which is easy since I will cook with the fresh herbs on nearly a daily basis), the plants will provide herbs all summer. If you have a place inside your home that is conducive to good growing, you can move the herbs indoors when the weather gets cold. Herbs can also be frozen to be used in cooking whenever the recipe calls for fresh herbs.
I recently made quick and easy chicken and steak fajitas using the Cilantro I had leftover from making salsa, and didn’t get that posted (yet) but watch for more recipes using fresh herbs to come! Because of their wonderful fragrances, herbs can be used for other purposes too. A new favorite room freshener of mine combines a lemon cut in half, a few sprigs of fresh Rosemary and a couple tablespoons of vanilla. Place in a small saucepan half filled with water. Put on the stove and simmer to fill your home with a fresh scent. I actually put a small bowl in one of our vehicles overnight to help remove “wet dog” smell…it worked great!