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Economical Herb Gardening

October 1st, 2009 at 11:40 am


I love to cook with fresh herbs but find that they are quite expensive at the supermarket and they are also very perishable. Several years ago I began to cultivate my favorite herbs in pots and keep these on the patio. When I need some for cooking, I just step outside and clip. My herb garden includes:
~ rosemary
~ thyme
~ oregano
~ basil
~ mint
~ lavender

I probably have less than $20 invested in the original plants and because we live in a mild climate, they usually last several years. Herbs are easy to care for and great for small or patio gardens. The exception is basil which I buy each spring from Trader Joe's. A a gallon plant is ~$2.99 and I will use it until December.

I also dry my own bay leaves because I have access to a beautiful Bay Laurel on one of my walks. A very small clipping will yield dozens of leaves that will quickly dry and will last for a good long while.

Have you ever eaten a dish that contains lavender? A lot of folks don't realize that lavender is edible and there are many culinary uses. A few years back, at a little quaint restaurant, I tried a "flower omelet" that included lavender flowers... it was one of the best I've had.

12 Responses to “Economical Herb Gardening”

  1. LuxLiving Says:

    Is that your herb garden? BEAUT.I.FUL.

  2. Analise Says:

    Yes, these are the herbs I grow in my little patio, humble as it may be.

    I forgot to mention I also grow chard and bok choy. Today I'll pick the Swiss chard and prepare it for our dinner.

  3. monkeymama Says:

    Interesting.

    This is one of my future tasks. We really need to grow our own herbs. I unfortunately have a black thumb.

    A co-worker gave me a basil plant because hers was growing in abundance this summer. She brought in TONS and my spouse told me he couldn't find any fresh basil in the store. So when I told her how grateful we were, she potted some for me.

    Anyway, the plant was doing well, but I noticed today it was dead. Could be the colder weather?

    I have MUCH learning to do!

  4. Analise Says:

    monkeymama - Yes, it could be the cold weather with your basil plant. It is not a hardy herb and likes lots of water and sun. Keep the plant bushy by snipping off the tips when they flower.

  5. LuxLiving Says:

    Can't basil come inside for the winter and survive on a windowsill?

  6. monkeymama Says:

    Lux - Probably, but I'd forget to water it - LOL. It's much better off outside.

    Our winter is the same as Analise's so I feel hopeful that other herbs will survive outside, year round.

  7. fern Says:

    What a really lovely herb garden/patio you have there. I think you've got all the essential herbs growing. I myself cannot do without basil, although i don't think they like lots of water. I always pinch mine when flower buds start forming, but somehow that doesnt seem to make it grow more bushy.

    Becus i'm in zone 6 here, i have to treat herbs like the basil as annuals. I plan to get 3 basil plants next year as i felt like i was denuding the 2 i had this year when i wanted pesto sauce.

    chives are also very easy to grow, as are garlic. Pretty much maintenance free, and the chives come back every year with very pretty (edible) spring blossoms.

    Herbs are incredibly expensive in the store, so much so that i refuse to discard my 5 year old bottled herbs! I just use double what the recipe calls for!

  8. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    Nice! I put in an english lavendar in a footed urn in front of the house last year, still small. I planned to use it for good smells in the bathroom, bedroom. Hmmmm, might look at using it for cooking??!! We also have loads of rosemary (can you say turkey stuffing?).

  9. homebody Says:

    Basil is hard to grow and snails LOVE it! We did manage to grow some. We finally yanked our 2 year old herb garden out of out half wine barrel and starting over in the spring. Maybe I will suggest do DH we do individual pots, then we don't have to take everything out when something grows too much and we have to cut back, etc. We can use the half wine barrel for something else.

  10. shiela Says:

    We grow almost the same stuff except for the lavender. I also like growing coriander/cilantro. Isn't it great to just go outside and pick fresh herbs.

  11. campfrugal Says:

    Love your Herb garden. I also grow herbs and yes, I just recently had some delicious Lavender brownies at a farmgirl retreat last weekend. I will be making them in the future.

  12. Nika Says:

    It is a great way to save money without compromising quality! I wish I had a yard or a terrace.

    Normally one just needs few leaves. This saves a person from having to buy an entire bunch, only use few leaves, and throw the rest out - the ones you buy in a store wilt very fast.

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