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Fresh herbs are a great way to add a punch of flavor to foods

Sunday, June 16, 2024

If you’re looking to spice up your favorite dishes in the kitchen, consider planting a variety of culinary herbs. They’re easy to grow and can enhance all of your favorite recipes. Plus, fresh herb plants add another layer of interest to the garden.


One advantage of growing herbs is gardeners can have a vast amount of space or just a couple of pots on a patio. They can even be grown indoors near a window that gets plenty of sunlight.


It doesn’t take a lot of fresh herbs to add flavor to foods, so gardeners don’t have to plant a lot of them. Some tasty options include basil, rosemary, dill, chives, mint, oregano, thyme, coriander, garlic, horseradish and mint, to name a few. Remember, the flavor of fresh herbs is much stronger than the dried varieties, so gardeners don’t have to plant many plants to meet their needs.


Growing fresh herbs is a great way for beginning gardeners to discover the love of growing plants. Seasoned gardeners also reap the benefits of an herb garden. 


Use good quality soil when planting herbs. Check with the local garden center for a well-drained, organic soil or potting mix specially formulated for herbs. For those who compost, incorporate the compost into the garden beds or flower pots.


Like growing flowers and vegetables, proper spacing is essential to avoid overcrowding. Also, be sure to follow recommended insect control. Regular pruning is necessary to encourage bushier growth and prevent plants from becoming leggy. Pinch off the tips of the stems to promote new growth. Herb plants don’t require a lot of fertilizer, but gardeners can give them a boost with a water-soluble fertilizer every few weeks during the growing season.


Herbs prefer consistent moisture but be sure not to overwater. They don’t like sitting in waterlogged soil. Add moisture when the top 1 inch of the soil feels dry.


Once the plants are established gardeners can begin to harvest. However, be wise when harvesting and never remove more than one-third of the plant at once.


Gardeners who find themselves with an overabundance of fresh herbs have a couple of options. Many herbs make a great garnish on a plate. Another option is to dry them. Contact the local Oklahoma State University Extension county office for more information on drying herbs.

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