Growing Fresh Herbs – My Go-To Plants For Home Cooks And Gardeners

By Bonnie Grant | October 30, 2021
Image by uuurska
by Bonnie Grant
October 30, 2021

One thing that is a must have for the home cook is fresh herbs. They’re easy to grow, most are quite drought tolerant, and you can preserve them quite well without sacrificing their flavor. Herbs also have excellent aromatherapy components and make useful and often therapeutic teas. Even a beginner gardener can successfully grow most herbs, providing a plentiful supply of flavors and aromas. 

Fresh Herbs

For me, having plenty of fresh herbs right in the garden is a necessity. Fresh herbs add a unique flavor as compared to those dried ones from the supermarket. There just is no comparing the two when it comes to home cooking. You can even freeze or dry your own herbs to get you through winter months when the tender varieties are not available. As long as you use them within a few months, that clean, bright, summer kissed flavor will remain. 

Getting Them Planted

Late winter to early spring finds me seeding my tender herbs like basil and cilantro. I can’t wait to get them in the ground and watch their flavorful leaves multiply. Sadly, in my zone I have to wait until Mother’s Day to install them safely without danger of frost. But even the babies that I’ve overseeded are tasty additions to sauces, salads, stews, and other dishes. What would Cinco de Mayo be without fresh cilantro? 

The one thing I can count on year around are my hardy types of herbs. These stalwart companions of the kitchen are a mainstay no matter what time of the year. Fresh herbs like sage for my holiday turkey, thyme for soups, parsley and mint for tabouli, and oregano for Italian night, buoy my cooking up through the winter. And they only get better come spring and early summer, when their lovely blooms enliven the landscape and attract plenty of bees. 

Most herb plants grow in inhospitable soil, provided it is well draining. They thrive on neglect and help keep weeds down. Some make lovely ground cover, while others stretch to the sky with elegant stems. The versatility of the different types of herbs adds interest to the garden while supplying an endless variety of culinary opportunities. 

Use Them All Year

As the season ends, you can dehydrate them, puree and freeze them in ice cube trays, make pesto, and add them to vinegars and oils. Tender plants may be dug up and brought in to the sunny kitchen window for easy access. 

Even if you aren’t a great home cook and prefer frozen or prepared foods, fresh herbs brighten up any dish. That frozen pizza becomes a thing of greatness when you add you fresh oregano and basil. A boring but useful frozen burrito takes on tones of Mexican beaches with some cilantro pesto drizzled over it. Herbs plants are easy to grow, forgiving, and make even pedestrian foods sing. I personally, can’t do without them.

This article was last updated on
Read more about Backyard Stories
Did you find this helpful? Share it with your friends!

Browse Dozens of Our FREE Gardening Guides Today

Whether your dream garden is a houseplant sanctuary, a bountiful vegetable garden, a pollinator paradise, a bright and bold flower bed, or a backyard oasis – Gardening Know How has the perfect gardening guide just for you.

Click the button below to access more than 3 dozen of our completely free and completely comprehensive guides to growing your dream garden.

Join Us - Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips!