As you are creating your edible landscape, you will likely be interested in including herbs. Many people are aware of the versatility of herbs, and the many uses there are for them in every kitchen.
You may already be familiar with growing herbs and even if not, growing herbs is something you will want to strongly consider. Here are some things to think about as you contemplate their use in your edible landscape plans.
Specialty Herb Gardens
Planning ahead for your dream homestead? Why not have a tea garden and grow beneficial herbs right out your back door!
Another popular themed garden idea is to grow herbs and plants beneficial for skin care. Try these eight skin care plants as you are planning your gardens.
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Find Your Favorite herbs
Most individuals are familiar with at least a few herbs. Even if you do not consider yourself to be an accomplished chef, you are sure to have experienced some tastes that appeal to you, and that you wish to cook with.
If you are not familiar with them all, go to the grocery store and pick up a few varieties in order to decide what would be worth your while attempting to grow in a home garden setting.
You may not be able to grow your own cinnamon, allspice, or cloves, but many common culinary herbs can be grown in any climate.
Grow Herbs That You Use in Cooking
When cooking, most dishes call for at least a few herbs. Even some baking includes herbs for a delightful twist on a common taste. Oregano, basil, and thyme go well with chicken and give delicious flavor to rice dishes and pasta.
Mint is a versatile herb, goes well with both savory and sweet dishes, and is easy to grow. Use it as a topping for ice cream, or freeze one leaf per cube with water to make a great looking and slightly minty ice cube.
Chives are delicious chopped over baked potatoes or sprinkled into salads and can be easily cut fresh each time you are ready to use them.
Grow Herbs that Fit Your Climate
It is wise to check with your local garden center in regards to what herbs grow best in your area. Some herbs are suited to warm climates, and others can be grown in cooler weather.
Parsley, for example, will grow as a perennial plant and can be enjoyed year after year, even when there is a harsh winter interrupting its growth. Cilantro is a cool weather herb and should be grown in the spring before the heat of summer settles in. Rosemary and other Mediterranean herbs like the warmth of summer.
Make Space for Herbs in Your Edible Landscape
Since you are growing your herbs in your edible landscape design, you will want to decide where the best spot for them will be. Perhaps you will use some of them as a luscious way to cover a large area of ground. Consider mint, bee balm or lemon balm.
Perhaps you want to strategically place insect-repelling herbs such as lemon balm and basil in an area where people will be spending a lot of time.
Decide your purpose for the plant, and what it will look like when placed in a particular area. This will give you a good idea of where to place the plants. Don’t overlook container gardening for your herbs. They are especially well suited for growing in pots. In fact, it is the best way to grow mint.
Consider Companion Planting
Since you will be growing other edibles in your landscape, think about what herbs will complement them when you are cooking or baking. You may want fresh mint to put into the fruit salad you will make with your fresh berries and apples. Or you might want to grow some rosemary to sprinkle on the pizzas made with your fresh-grown tomatoes.
It can be fun to incorporate companion planting by combining two plants for a particular purpose. Let’s say that your crops are regularly attacked by insects. You can use companions to trap pests, repel them, or hide the plant altogether. They can’t attack what they don’t see or don’t like.
We all want to attract beneficial insects to our garden. Companions provide food and shelter to attract and protect them while they visit.
Some plants just grow well together just because they don’t compete for light or rooting space. It’s a win-win situation for both of them. Ultimately companion planting:
- Cuts out the need for chemicals
- Reduces labor in the garden
- Allows the plants to benefit each other by providing shade and attracting pollinators
- Helps the plants work in harmony by building nutrients in the soil
Edible landscaping opens up a world of flavor. You don’t need to be a world-renowned chef to enjoy the wonderful tastes of each herb you grow. Choose at least a few varieties to add to your landscaping efforts, and you will never cook a bland-tasting meal again.
Learn More About Growing Herbs
Our online course, Growing Herbs at Home: A guide to growing, preserving & using culinary herbs, is available at a discount until the end of January. Use code LOVEHERBS to get $8 off the course. That means that for UNDER $20 you can be growing, dehydrating and using herbs in your kitchen every day.
Good cooks know that when it comes to herbs, there is nothing better than those that are clipped fresh from the garden and preserved in your own kitchen!
You’ll learn everything you need to know to be successful with herbs. Take a look and see if it is a good fit for you.