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3 Best Herbs For Your Organic Garden

Mar 26, 2012
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I've been thinking I'd like to write a short piece on herb gardening for beginners, and I was trying to think of what I would recommend as the 3 best herbs for getting started with in an organic culinary herb garden.

It's a tough one, so I'm going to ask for your help. There are a lot of great plants for organic herb gardening out there, so I set a few parameters to narrow it down:

  • Perennial. While herbs like basil are dill (they're annuals where I live) are some of my favorites, I think it's a great idea to start with perennial herbs that you can plant just once and harvest from throughout the year, every year.
  • Easy To Grow. Rosemary is nice, but difficult to maintain in colder climates (it may need to be brought inside, which can cause problems). If you're just starting out, I think you'll want to start with the herb plants you can put in the ground and not worry about.
  • Often-Used. I have a nice tarragon in my garden, but I rarely use it in the kitchen. I figure it's good to start with garden herbs that are used often in your cooking.
  • Easy To Find. I didn't go for plants that are direct seeded outdoors. Most herb plants are better started inside anyway. Instead, I went for garden herbs that you'll easily find in the garden centre, as that's the simplest way to start your organic herb garden.

With that, here are my 3 recommendations for herb gardening for beginners:

1. Chives. Related to onions and garlic, chives are actually a small bulb, but you use the above-ground leaves in the kitchen. They are very nice in many dishes, raw or cooked.

Once you get the plants going, you can ignore them and they'll continue to grow in your home herb garden. They'll self seed, too. Not as medicinal as the others below, but chives are good for digestion and improve the appetite. They're also used as an insect repellant. Full sun or a touch of shade.

2. Oregano. A staple in sauces, we use oregano all the time - fresh and dried. It's often used dried in the Mediterranean.

Apparently, most dried oregano from the store is actually from others plants - mostly Lippia and Origanum (same family, but a different plant). Great for herb gardening, as it attracts insects and has a whole whack of medicinal uses. It really helps the digestive system. Not great in medicinal quantities for my cousin Kari though (8+ months pregnant). Full sun or a touch of shade.

3. Thyme. A staple in herb gardens that is great in sauces and attracts insects. It's mostly used in cooked foods. The oil in the leaves is an antiseptic and disinfectant.

You can even walk on some varieties and they will be okay. A good choice for herb gardening for beginners. Needs full sun and doesn't like wet feet.

So those are my picks, but more important, I want to know yours. If you're into vegetable gardens, what are your top 3 herb plants that people should start with in their organic garden?


Test comment.
One of my favourites is mint. Make sure you contain it. Plant it in a bottomless bucket or you will find it popping up in places you don't want to see it all. It likes moist soil and can handle a bit of shade. Buy it from a nursery or beg a bit of root from a friend because it doesn't come true from seed. There are dozens of different types but the most common are spear mint. peppermint and apple mint which has furry leaves. I like the leaves snipped onto cooked beets, salads, tomatoes, tabouli and in Vietnamese salad rolls. I also hang big bunches to dry for mint tea. It is good for stomach upsets and headaches and helps with staying awake and concentrating. When it gets around to flowering bees love it.
All good choices. I wish to add sage and parsley to this selection, although parsley has a biennial life cycle, I wouldn't want to be without it ( flat leaf Italian). Sage is such a flavor enhancer I always want it on hand fresh and dried.
i love dill and let it reseed itself so it comes up here and there. i harvest it if it's in an annoying location, let it grow to maturity otherwise. great with seafood dishes, dilly bread, pickles, of course. marjoram is another i use a lot in pot roasts and stews,along with thyme. i think i like it better than oregano. i always plant basil in pots otherwise something other than me eats it ??? i have a bay plant i bring in over winter and rosemary i also bring in. seems i can only keep a rosemary plant alive about 3 years even with repotting. one of those things that don't really have a concerete explanation. i have a corner of the yard devoted to spearmint. it's choked out other mints i planted in the area. and then there's lemon balm that began as one tiny plant several years ago and is now abundant, yes, i'll use the term "abundant" and play nice. sage comes back every year and loves to be pruned.
What is oregano, and Thyme,Thyme is available in Indiathoough I ahve notseen. Likewise the bulb size onionPl explain about the other herbs also Thanks and regards
hi I would like to start a little herb garden in my garden, I was thinking rosemary, oregano, chives, thyme, mint. Was wondering about the best position in my garden? light or shade etc? would appreciate any advice. I am in north west england so lots of rain and wind but quite a lot of sunshine also.
I grow lemongrass for my early morning and afternoon teas, Tarragon and bunching onions are at the top of my list. I find having three of the same plants in different places in the garden works well for me. While I am plucking from one plant it gives the other two time to grow and spread.

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