Starting your Herb Garden Part 2: What to Plant

We spoke last about setting up your herb garden, but what would you put in it? Here are some standbys to get you started. Basil Anyone who likes tomatoes usually uses basil a lot in cooking. But beyond seasonings for soups, basil is great for making...

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We spoke last about setting up your herb garden, but what would you put in it? Here are some standbys to get you started.

Basil

Anyone who likes tomatoes usually uses basil a lot in cooking. But beyond seasonings for soups, basil is great for making your own fresh pesto, salads, and caprese pizza. Basil likes lots of sun.

Parsley

A kitchen standby, and always tastes better fresh. It will grow only in an east or west facing window.

Chives

Often, recipes call for chives as a garnish, but that makes for an expensive garnish. Chives like sun. Also give them a crew cut, leaving about two inches of growth periodically to keep them healthy.

Oregano

This is essential for anyone who likes Italian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, basically any cuisine from that area of the world. To harvest, strip the leaves from the stem.

Mint

There are literally dozens of varieties, from regular peppermint to chocolate. Mint has no sense of personal space, but it’s trailing stems can make an attractive house plant.

Rosemary

A staple when cooking poultry and potatoes, this plant is very hearty. Though it prefers cooler temperatures, it can withstand hot, sunny, dry locations quite well. To harvet, snip off sprigs about one to four inches long.

Thyme

You’ll find thyme in pretty much every country’s cuisine. This forgiving plant likes a warm sunny window and can also double as a house plant.

Cilantro

This is also called coriander, and it’s often an acquired taste. It shows up in lots of Mexican cooking. It’s short-lived, so start your seedlings in a staggered schedule at two- or three-week intervals to keep a continuous supply.

Try any or all of these for well-rounded herb garden. If all goes well, try adding some less used herbs like sage, lemongrass, dill, tarragon, lavender, and fennel.

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