Herbs come in many different varieties. You can choose to grow herbs that are classified as annuals, perennials and biennials – whatever suits your herb-growing needs and provides you with the herbs you most wish to harvest. This information will help you find out how to grow the types of herbs you are seeking to grow.
Some herbs will die if they are exposed to frost – this includes annual herbs like cilantro, basil and summer savory. But you will also find some herbs that survive frost well, such as perennials like winter savory and sage. You will be able to recognize biennial herbs as the plants that form leaves in their first growing season and return flowers in their second – these herbs include parsley, angelica and caraway. You should plant biennial herbs in late spring and they are best-planted directly into the garden outdoors.
Herb gardens must have well-prepared soil that is slightly wet, and seeds must be planted in shallow rows and often in a mixture of soil and sand. Some herb garden growers also choose to use paper to keep the soil wet for the herbs when they are in germination stages.
Herbs can be defined by the categories in which they are used. For examples, herbs used in cooking are known as culinary herbs. These herbs usually have strong flavors and include things such as chives, thyme and basil. Aromatic herbs include things like mint and rosemary and have strong smelling foliage. You will find that perfume is often derived from the oils in aromatic herbs.
Some aromatic herbs like potpourri are dried and used as aromatic aids in the home. Potpourri often contains herbs like lavender and lemon verbena – these two herbs hold their aroma for a long time.
Herbs can also be medicinal in purpose and for a long time this was the sole purpose for herbs in ancient times. Herbs can actually provide some types of medicinal cures, and many herbs are used alongside modern medicine practices.
But what about herbs that are not used for cooking or healing? Can we grow herbs that just look pretty? Sure. Some herbs are grown ornamentally, simply because their foliage is pretty, and this includes chicory, valerian and borage. These herbs may have other uses in culinary or medicinal terms, but for many, are just grown for their appeal.
Growing herbs is a rewarding act and the harvest can be used to cook, heal or appeal to the senses in a variety of ways. You can use a sprig of mint to flavor your tea or a cut of parsley to garnish a dish. Whatever your reason for wanting to grow herbs, you can be assured that they will be useful to you.