“Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” is a refrain from the song “Scarborough Fair” by Simon and Garfunkel. It is also a list of herbs that are commonly used in cooking. When cooking with herbs it can be difficult to decide which herbs will bring out the flavor of foods and which herbs are best suited for other recipes. A cook can find an herb guide on the internet or in cookbooks that will help them decide which herbs to use in their recipes. Dried herbs are most commonly found in grocery stores; however they can be expensive and not as potent as fresh herbs. Growing your own herbs at home for culinary use is an inexpensive way to add flavor to your cooking.
The first step in deciding what herbs that you would like to grow is determining what main dishes you usually prepare. This will help you determine which herbs you would use most often. For instance, if a family eats spaghetti often, you may want to grow oregano and basil. Families that eat chicken often may want to grow tarragon and thyme. Some herbs that can be used in a wide variety of recipes are chives and parsley. The main point to consider when choosing herbs for your home garden is what herbs your family likes and how often you will use the herbs for cooking.
Once you have determined what herbs you want to grow the next step is deciding where you want to place your herb garden. Depending on the size, an herb garden can be outdoors or a series of windowsill pots in your kitchen. If you are growing your herbs outdoors it is important to plant the seeds according to the weather pattern in your area. Planting the seeds when the ground too cold will hinder the growth of your herbs but waiting until the middle of summer may not allow enough time for the seeds to sprout and mature.
Culinary herbs are planted and cared for just like any other plant. It is important to weed the herb plants in your garden so the plants can thrive. Water your herbs every other day or as needed to prevent the plants from becoming too dry. As the plants continue to mature you will be able to snip off portions of the herbs to use for your recipes. At times you may not be able to use all of your herbs that you are growing. In order to save the herbs for later use, you will need to preserve the excess herbs. One way to do this is to dry the herbs. The process of drying herbs is easy. First you will cut the herbs that you want to dry and lay them flat on a baking sheet or in a food dehydrator. Place the baking sheet in an oven set on warm or turn on the food dehydrator. Once the herbs have dried out, place the dried herbs in recycled containers or small baggies. Using this method will allow you to use all of your herbs that you grew and not waste any of the garden bounty.
Growing your own herbs at home for cooking can be a fun process that will save money in your grocery budget. There is a wide variety of herbs you could choose to grow at home. Deciding which herbs you want depends on factors such as what foods you normally cook, what herbs you enjoy, and the space you have at home to grow your culinary herbs. The process of growing herbs is easy and is not very time consuming. As long as you have an area you could turn into a garden outdoors or even a few flowerpots, you can grow your own cooking herbs. Growing culinary herbs is a great idea that will give your recipes a fresh taste without breaking your budget.