Summer Herb Garden

Herbs are one of the easiest and most rewarding things one can grown.  Its also an economical way to enhance cooking.  Every time I have to purchase fresh herbs for weekly menus it costs $2 per pack.

Fresh basil and dill always make me glad I went for the fresh herbs.  Dishes turn out bright and full of flavor.  And it is something that dried just won't deliver.

At the farmers market, I purchased 5 containers of herbs that I use often.
Summer herb garden on my deck
  1. Dill - great for fish, dips and dressings
  2. Thyme - Poultry seasoning
  3. Sage - Poultry, squash and pumpkin
  4. Basil - Italian anything!
  5. Oregano - Mediterranean meals
If there are herbs that you use more often, then include these in your garden.  Its up to you!

Other pros to growing herbs is that they can easily grown in containers, so they work well with limited space and garden equipment.  I picked a plastic container that would work well.  Terra cotta herb pots are great, but they tend to dry out quickly.  This requires lots of watering and is not the best solution for the hot summers we have here.  Finally, these types of pots don't allow for much growth.  

The pot I chose has a large wide mouth that will allow my herbs to grown over the summer and hold a nice amount of water.  With the herbs, soil and pot, the expense was relatively low.
  • Herbs - 5 varieties @ $3 each = $15
  • Pot - $27
  • Soil - $3
The $45 price tag is well worth it.    I'll be able to use the pot for multiple years.  And, the herbs show grow for several months!

Why not use this as an opportunity to get the kids involved?  They can help with planting and watering.  In addition, you can smell and taste the herbs with your kids to involve the senses.  Even the visuals of each plant and how they are different is a chance to learn how to identify different types of plants.  Children can also take part in clipping for dinner.  

Simple pasta with herbs and goat
How can you use herbs?
  1. Add a mixture of chopped herbs to salad greens for salads.
  2. Add to dressings and dips for veggies.
  3. Season marinades for chicken with the sage and thyme.
  4. Create a simple pizza with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
  5. Simple pasta with goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes and basil is delicious.  

A few tips about successful herb gardening in pots:

  • Select pots with enough size for your plants to spread out and grow.
  • Select pots that also allow for drainage..
  • Grow herbs like mint in their own pot.  This plant is very evasive and will take over everything!
  • Be sure that you are planting in full sun.
  • Water regularly.  If you are out on your deck and have eaten dinner, pour left over water glasses into your container to give your garden a quick water!
Its not too late to get your herbs going.  Its a project that you will enjoy all summer long and well into the early fall!