Sunday, May 29, 2005

Fresh Herbs and the Front Porch Garden

This year, I've got oregano, terrific chives, spearmint, lavender, and cilantro. Yesterday, found thai basil and lemongrass at the famer's market and put that in. Lost some lemon balm and another pot of oregano while I was out of town a week or two ago, so yesterday replaced and repotted. I'm hoping the lemongrass spreads (and also comes back year after year). And the thai basil should be wildly fun -- moreso than sweet basil which I spend most of the summer pinching back or replacing. My chives tend to be small since I cut them back so often and I've let them flower hoping they'll continue to propegate this summer. And the cilantro smells so good.

With all the small starters available everywhere from farmer's markets to home centers, it's very easy to start kitchen herb gardens. Indoor or out, you can plant multiple herbs in one large pot or seperate them into seperate containers. Potted herbs also make sense for plants like mint that tend to take over if left untended. In past summers, I've had chocolate mint, lime basil, sweet basil and thyme. I tend to focus on herbs I cook with and already this summer I've clipped my oregano and chives back to mere stubs. (I'm waiting for a good mojito craving to kick in and I'll start in on the mint.) So, get thee to your favorite plant source. It's prime season for starting herb gardens. And they'll serve you well through summer.

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