An herb garden is a great way for a beginning gardener to get their feet wet! Herbs are relatively low maintenance, so they are a great option for someone who isn't quite ready for the full time relationship a vegetable garden can require. With most enjoying full sun and moderate water, they are perfect for those of us living in Texas!
Before you start your herb garden, there are a few things to consider:
1. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO PLANT?
When choosing to begin an herb garden, you first need to determine where you will grow your plants. Most herbs will thrive both indoors or outdoors. I personally have always chosen to grow my herbs in my flower bed or in a container, and both have proven to be extremely easy and fruitful!
2. WHAT IS YOUR INTENDED PURPOSE FOR THE GARDEN?
The next thing to consider is why you're planting an herb garden. Are you seeking their aromatic qualities, to use them in your cooking, or maybe both?
My top 3 aromatic/ visual herbs:
LAVENDER is a favorite for so many reasons! Not only is it beautiful with its purple blooms, it also smells amazing and can be used for so many reasons! Dried it is beautiful in arrangements, and it can also be harvested to use in potpourri, soap, or can be ground into a lavender essential oil for a diffuser!
ROSEMARY is a staple in my garden. I have it in my herb garden as well as in most of my flower pots. It has an amazing woodsy smell that I love. It is also known to deter mosquitoes which is always a good thing in my opinion! One of my favorite uses for rosemary is on top of pork tenderloin or when used to make focaccia bread! That might need to be another post entirely!
MINT is extremely aromatic! There are so many types of mint that you really can't go wrong. Traditional mint has the wonderful spearmint smell, but there is also pineapple mint, lavender mint, and my favorite, chocolate mint! Y'all it smells JUST LIKE CHOCOLATE! I really need to try using it in tea! Yummy!
My favorite herbs for cooking:
BASIL is my go to! Y'all we are a pizza family, and there is nothing better than a homemade pizza with fresh basil on top! Basil is also perfect for making pesto, pasta sauce, on sandwiches, or added to a variety of soups!
CILANTRO is also a top favorite! Who can ever get enough salsa or guacamole? Am I right? I love being able to pull a handful of cilantro from the garden when making guacamole or salsa to give it a fresh boost.
DILL is one that I am very excited about this year! This is my first year to grow cucumbers, and I am so unbelievably excited to make pickles!! My grandmother used to make them all of the time growing up! I can't wait to try them!
SAGE is one of my favorites because it adds a different texture to the herb garden then some of the others. It has a soft dusty green color that I just love. It is also a staple herb most Thanksgiving recipes, so it is perfect to dry and have on hand for the fall!
PARSLEY is one of those herbs that even if you aren't that into cooking, and will never actually use any of your herbs for cooking purposes, you can always find a use for parsley. I'm always amazed at how just a little sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley takes a dinner from average to photo ready. This easy little garnish is a great way to feel like you're one step away from sustainable living when in reality you're one call away from take out!
3. HOW DO YOU START?
Most herbs can be started from both seed or plant form. I am beginning to dabble more into seed planting, but I truly prefer buying a plant that is already started because 1) I am notorious for accidentally planting two things in one spot because I forgot that I planted seeds there already. 2) Most herbs are slow growing their first year, and I'm impatient, so I want to be able to harvest almost immediately! Either option works, you just have to choose which best fits your needs!
Are you planning on planting an herb garden this year? If you're still anxious, just try starting with two or three herbs in a pot and see how it goes! I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with how easy they are! Do you have any other favorite herbs? I'd love to hear how you use them!!