Monday, September 21, 2009

Herbs in My Garden

Sage

Herbs are plants that are used to add flavor, color, or spice to food. They are easy to grow and require a relatively small space to grow.   While some herbs are grown for their medicinal value, mine are grown them for their culinary value.  They come in different colors, shapes, and height that they can be ornamental at the same time.  In my garden, I like to plant herbs that I use in my cooking.

Herbs Found in My Garden:
Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Thai Basil (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora)
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
Peppermint (Mentha piperata)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
Flat Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Rosemary, sage and thyme are perennials.  Perennial plants come back year after year. They need to be trimmed from time to time to control their shape or to encourage more branching.

Annual herbs like basil and cilantro complete their life cycle within one season or one year after which replanting is necessary.  Sometimes their life cycle can be delayed by cutting removing the flowers.  This works weel with basil.

Mint is also a perennial plant but here is a word of caution: Mint is invasive and can become a weed.  To prevent it from becoming a problem contain its growth by planting it in a pot or a planter box.

Chives has its own special feature.  It is a perennial and self seeding plant.  Not only does it come back year after year, it also spreads its own seeds.  Unless the flowers are cut off before they mature, chives can also become a weed.


Rosemary


Yesterday I bought some cilantro and parsley seedlings.  There are three seedlings in a pot so what I normally do is to spread the seedlings apart into a bigger pot to allow more room for each plant to grow.   I like to plant them in pots so thatI can move them around.  When it is too hot I move them to a place where they get more shade.  As the cooler months approach I will be moving them so they get more sunlight to compensate for the shorter days.  The California temperatures will gradually decrease and by the time temperatures become limiting to plant growth it will be December.

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