Herbs – Great Additions To The Garden

Oregano planted several years ago in a Trussville garden

Prostrate Rosemary in a tall pot planted several years ago from a 4-inch pot

I have really grown fond of using herbs in the landscape. While some of my evergreen herbs in our area got burned from the cold weather, all seem to be flourishing with new foliage. Here are some I think are very dependable and easy to grow.

  • Oregano – While there are lots of types this basic one shown above is the vigorous one for me. I have it in full sun and well drained soil. While this is evergreen in our area, it is not much more than stems and a few leaves in winter. Easy to grow.
  • Rosemary – There are so many types and selections, but the prostrate one (Arp) in the picture is a beauty. I especially like to plant it where the stems are accented. All of the variations seem to do well in our area, and any of them can be used in cooking. Big key to growing it is to make sure the soil is well drained. But be careful if the plant drys out, it will crisp and die quickly. Frankly the only time I worry about this is in summer when the temperatures are high and rain is scarce.
  • Parsley and Coriander – I really like to seed these two plants because they are so easy to grow from seeds. Friends of mine reseed every time their crop starts putting up flower shoots. I generally seed mine in February and then again in mid-September. To tell you the truth, I have never had any trouble doing it this way, as long as the soil has been prepared for sowing seeds. Of course, you can buy pots of the plants, but just know when they start putting up flower shoots the end is near.
  • Thyme – I generally grow this in pots and while it is suppose to be evergreen, I seem to replace mine every year. It likes sun and well drained soil, and all the different types have great flavors for cooking.
  • Basil – You can grow it from seeds, but I generally by a 4 pack and that will give us all we need all summer. Many times I plant it in a left over sunny place in my veggie garden. Just remember to cut or pinch off the blooms to keep it growing and producing fresh leaves. Again, all types of different flavors for cooking.
  • Dill – I seed it every year in the veggie garden twice, about 6 weeks apart, and have an abundance for the summer and early fall. Just keep the soil slightly damp until the seeds germinate.

Folks, while there are lots of herbs and types, this is what I basically grow. And yes, the Floyds like to cook and use herbs from our garden for flavoring.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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