Gardening 411: Planning an Herb Garden

eady to have your own herb garden? I’m here to help you figure out where to start, and how to maximize your garden’s output this summer, so follow along closely. If this is your first time at the herb garden rodeo, keep in mind that while sometimes it’s good to go with the most favored, indispensable herbs, usually you just have to ask yourself “What do I want to be eating this summer?” Because cravings for fresh, summer produce and herbs are real. Eat what you love, baby. Eat it all summer long.

Emily Fazio, 2016

Choose your plants

If you have a hankering for Caprese salads, basil is the gift that will keep on giving. And the same can be said for parsley, which like basil can be used as a flavorful addition to a number of dishes, but can also reign supreme in a big batch of pesto. (Pesto is my #1 reason for planting lots of basil and parsley – it freezes well and I like having it on hand all year round.)If you’re a pickling fanatic, don’t skimp on the dill. You’ll always wish you had planted more.And if you love a fresh, oniony flavor on your veggies or in your breakfast omelets, plant yourself a nice supply of chives (blend it with butter for a great steak rub). Our chives come back more vigorously each year, so keep that in mind.

Emily Fazio, 2016

Mint can be aggressive when it grows back the following season. It’s great for drinks and some desserts, but I found myself clearing 50 sq. ft. of it from a neglected garden bed when I bought my house! And it kept coming back.If salsas and guacamole are your specialty, plant some cilantro and be prepared for any friend and family get-togethers. Both thyme and rosemary are powerful in scent and flavor, making them perfect additions to many recipes including meat and poultry, fish, in soups and on vegetables. Rosemary thrives easily year-round, but if you live in a colder zone, consider keeping it in a container that can move indoors during the winter.Lavender is fun to grow yourself if you’re into making homemade aromatics, or experimenting with it as a palate-cleansing flavor.Lemongrass! For Southeast Asian dishes, and for those delicious green smoothies.

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