The Best Herbs to Grow Outdoors
July is the perfect time to start an herb garden. Many herbs enjoy the warmth and sunlight that early summer brings, and July has some excellent rain showers that follow late spring. Growing your own herbs gives your family’s meals special freshness and flavor. You can also enjoy the beauty of fragrant plants in the garden all summer long. Which herbs can you plant and harvest in summer?
Planting an outdoor herb garden is rewarding and relaxing, whether you set aside a small plot, use a raised bed, or plant herbs to decorate the backyard scenery. Here are several herbs that do great in the garden:
- Basil: Fresh basil leaves are aromatic and delicious no matter how you use them. Many Italian chefs like to toss the whole leaves with tomato sauce and pasta, or you can grind basil into a scented pesto. Basil is a breeze to grow, and it lasts up to six months in your outdoor garden.
- Thai basil: Not as sweet as its Italian cousin, Thai basil has spicier notes that go perfectly with Thai and Vietnamese recipes. This delicious herb grows abundantly in warm weather and brings veggie spring rolls and Thai stir-fries to life.
- Cilantro: With a fresh, almost citrus taste, cilantro is the quintessential herb for Latino cooking. From mouthwatering fajitas to guacamole that will make you the talk of the town, cilantro can do it all. To have an endless supply of the fresh herb, you need to plant from seed every two or three weeks.
- Dill: Dill grows well from fresh seed as long as your garden soil offers good drainage. Slightly bitter, sour, and refreshing, dill has a unique flavor that gives ranch dressing and potato salad their characteristic flair.
- l in bright sunlight. Sage doesn’t need much watering, and it produces all season long.
- Oregano: Fresh oregano looks beautiful outdoors, with a circular pattern of small, bright green leaves that spread out to blanket the garden. Cooking with oregano makes roast chicken recipes sumptuous and flavorful. This Italian favorite has a pleasant texture and peppery flavors that go well with anything.
Herb plants don’t require a lot of maintenance, and they fill the outdoors with lush greenery and pleasant fragrances. The sweet aromas of fresh basil, mint, and other herbs can give any day a positive outlook.
Tasty Indoor Herbs for Year-Round Goodness
Many herbs grow well indoors, so this is by no means a definitive list. An indoor herb garden can make cooking more enjoyable and add a lively touch of warmth to the kitchen, dining room, or living room. Here are several of our favorites:
- Mint: Not only does mint make a delightful kitchen plant with fragrant leaves, but it also gives Middle Eastern recipes refreshing coolness. Growing mint as part of an indoor herb garden is a great idea because when it’s planted outdoors, this plant has a tendency to take over everything.
- Thyme: This gentle herb offers hints of lemon, mint, and floral notes, which is why it’s so popular in a variety of recipes. When potted indoors, thyme grows luxuriously, making it a great plant to brighten up a home office. All you need to keep thyme happy is some sun, a little bit of water, and well-aerated soil.
- Chives: Part of the onion family, chives are great for adding a savory pop to any meal. Chopped chives take herb butter and sour cream to the next level while adding incredible visual interest. Snip off the top third of your chives for any meal and give the plants time to grow back. When these herbs flower, they produce attractive pink bulbs.
- Rosemary: Chefs and cooking enthusiasts love growing fresh rosemary. Dried rosemary is much stronger, so it has a tendency to overpower dishes. Fresh rosemary isn’t as strong, letting its enticing pine essence complement other flavors. Rosemary plants add abundant greenery to the kitchen.
If you live in a part of the U.S. with cold winter weather, you’ll be happy to know that you can take part of the herbs in your outdoor garden to start indoors. Simply snip off the growing tips of sage, rosemary, oregano, and thyme, and plant them in a pot for winter.
How to Grow Your Own Herbs
Most herbs are easy to grow. You just need to invest a little time in the beginning and start with aerated soil that has plenty of nutrients. Follow these instructions to have a spectacular herb garden that makes you proud.
- Decide whether you want to use herb plants or start the garden from seed. Using young plants is easier and provides faster results, but starting from seeds isn’t overly difficult either.
- Prepare a mixture of one-part Harvest Gold Organics® Premium Soil Conditioner for nine parts of potting soil. Distribute the Premium Soil Conditioner evenly throughout the soil.
- For outdoor gardens, loosen and remove existing soil to a depth of at least two inches more than the size of the herb plant. Replace this compacted soil with the mixture of Harvest Gold Organics® Premium Soil Conditioner and organic potting soil. Leave about 18 inches of space between herb plants so each one has plenty of room for growth.
- For indoor gardens, select a pot large enough to allow your herb plant to grow deep. Place the mixture of Premium Soil Conditional and potting soil in the container.
- Hollow out a small well and place the herb plant inside.
- Gently add additional soil until level.
- Water the herb plants or seeds several times a week (about two inches of water a week), keeping the soil moist but not wet. An outdoor garden usually requires more watering than an indoor one from early June until late August.
- As the herbs grow, harvest! This actually stimulates growth. Just don’t take more than 30% of the plant. Basil grows faster and more abundantly if you remember to remove any flowers immediately.
It’s important to do some research on the specific amount of light and watering that each plant prefers. Rosemary thrives in sunlight, but cilantro needs to stay in the shade. When indoors, keep sun-loving potted herbs near a south-facing window for six to eight hours.
The Key to A Bountiful Summer Herb Garden
The best thing you can do for your herb garden is to give it the best soil. High-quality potting soil can literally make the difference between stunted growth and an abundant harvest. This is because herb plants need lots of water and sunlight, but the roots can’t handle too much moisture.
Combine potting soil with our Harvest Gold Organics® Premium Soil Conditioner so herbs can breathe. Premium soil conditioner also provides the plants with vital nutrients. Enjoy tasty herbs at home right now! Take advantage of summertime to plant a spectacular herb garden.