Why grow an herb garden? Gardening itself is somewhat difficult in southern climates, unless you grow things that like hot weather. Besides, why should I grow herbs when I can get both fresh and dried herbs at the store?
Here are some good reasons why planting an herb garden might be the best thing for your spice cabinet since you discovered Johnny’s Cajun seasoning.
They are surprisingly easy to grow.
Whether or not you have a green thumb, herbs can be very forgiving and heartier than most flowers. For example, my sister grew an herb garden next to the kitchen where she worked. It was in perhaps the worst spot imaginable: in direct sunlight a good part of the day and walled on two sides with bricks that heated up dreadfully in the summer. Not only did the garden survive, it thrived so well her rosemary threatened to become a small tree.
They are compact.
Despite some variety’s tendencies, herbs usually don’t grow to be very big, so they make wonderful container gardens either indoors or out. Many are also flowering plants, so they provide an aesthetically pleasing addition to the front walk or entryway.
They are healthy.
No one is going to deny herbs are good for you, but people have been using them for medicinal purposes since the Middle Ages. Only a little research with reveal that Camas makes a good salve. Peppermint is excellent for the sinuses, and Lavender can provide relaxing aromatherapy. Growing an herb garden can open a whole world of possibilities for healthy home supplements.
No more boring dinners.
Even if home remedies and supplements are not your cup of tea, you most likely cook with herbs more than you realize. Having a garden full of edible flavor enhancers is an asset to any cook, especially on a weeknight. Adding some fresh herbs to a chicken breast or dish of potatoes can boost it from okay to scrumptious. I once had an abundance of parsley, so I made a salad with parsley, pears, and some honey vinaigrette. It was delightful! Go try that at home.
They save you money.
Herbs especially can be expensive, even though dried ones last a long time, especially if you love making a variety of Indian or other international dishes. However, even if you buy the most basic herbs: parsley, cilantro, perhaps basil, at reasonable prices, it is often difficult to use the whole bunch before it starts going bad. What a waste.
With an herb garden, you only need buy the plant and pay for its upkeep to get a constant supply of fresh herbs that are in no danger of spoiling in the fridge.
Having the necessary spices on hand for international dishes is convenient and cheaper than buying them each time you want to make that Peruvian dish, but did you know there are also more than thirty types of basil alone? Growing your own herb garden provides avenues of flavor exploration you might only get from specialty food stores.
So there you have it. What more reasons could you want for starting your very own herb garden? In the next few posts, we’ll be exploring some helpful tips on how to do just that.