Growing an Italian herb garden is a great way to have fresh herbs all year round and save money at the same time. Popular all over the world, Italian cooking utilizes a wide range of herbs. For someone just starting out their own Italian herb garden, planting the dizzying array of Italian herbs is not a smart choice. Going with just a few select herbs is the best way to maximize time in the garden. Choosing the herbs below to plant in a person’s first Italian herb garden is a great way to experience the many flavors inherent in Italian cooking yet keep the size of their herb garden manageable.
An Italian herb garden can be grown in a small space or a large area. While outdoors is the ideal location for an Italian herb garden, success can be had growing a variety of Italian herbs indoors as well. Whether in a small box on the windowsill or grown in larger pots on a veranda or a sun room, the real key to growing an Italian herb garden is just beginning in the first place. Most Italian herbs are not difficult to grow and can provide a fun and diverting hobby. Listed below are the seven essential herbs that any person should use to start their own Italian herb garden.
Popular in more cuisines than just Italian, garlic is a primary ingredient in many Italian recipes. Growing an Italian herb garden without this essential herb is limiting the range of one’s dishes. One of the great things about growing garlic is once planted it will grow well with little attention paid to. Garlic can be frozen as well as pickled and stored in a cool area.
If grown outdoors and given space rosemary can grow to be a large shrub. This flavorful herb can be used in cooking as well as making a tea to treat headaches. Susceptible to frost in temperatures below 30°F, rosemary is best grown in a container. That way it can be brought inside when the temperature dips into the danger zone.
Another commonly used herb in Italian cooking, basil has a unique flavor that is highly valued in many cooking situations. Unfortunately, basil can take over a garden if not kept in check. Many gardening experts recommend growing basil either in a container or indoors. Growing indoors, basil can be kept year round.
Decorative and just as distinctive as basil, oregano is strong enough to be the primary herb in a meal. Its unique flavor is best enjoyed by waiting to harvest the plant until small purple flowers begin to sprout. This will allow the plant to unlock its full flavor potential.
Used primarily when making Italian sausages such as sweet and hot Italian sausage, fennel is grown from seed and easy to grow. Older fennel can become woody and lose much of its wonderful flavor. Most gardeners suggest dividing and replanting fennel every few years because of this.
Although typically regarded as a garnish in dishes, parsley can be eating both fresh and raw. Slightly more challenging than many of the other Italian herbs to grow, a little patience will reward the careful grower. One unique advantage to parsley its ability to neutralize strong smelling breath. Garlic lover should take note of this.
Compared to many of the other essential Italian herbs, sage may be lacking in strong flavor, yet it is an excellent source of vitamin A and calcium. Using cooking and in many home remedies for a variety of ailments, Sage can be grown indoors indefinitely as long as it has plenty of sun.
Whether an experienced grower or new to gardening, starting in Italian herb garden with these seven essential herbs will greatly enhance the flavor of one’s cooking and the aroma of their environment either indoors or out.