March 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm , by nicole
Late March to mid-April is the best time to start thinking about your summer herb garden. Here, on the east coast, the weather just started to get warm after several snow day-worthy storms. There’s still a bit of frost in the air, so starting to grow seedlings indoors is a good idea to get a head start. Homemade caprese salad isn’t as far away as you think.
A few herbs that are easy to grow include parsley, thyme, mint and basil. Even you notorious plant killers with limited space shouldn’t be alarmed. You can buy different varieties of seeds at a local gardening shop, and plant them in containers you find around the house — old pots, kitchenware and even cleaned olive oil cans poked with a few holes in the bottom for drainage work great. Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell, author of Grow Your Own Herbs in Pots, suggests placing the growing plants near windows with plenty of light and moving them outside (in their containers) once the weather permits. She notes that it’s important to transition the plants slowly to avoid overexposing them to the sun and causing them to dry out.
Herbs are versatile and can be used to season anything from meat, poultry and fish to pasta, vegetables, salad and fruit. Chopped up leaves are more pungent and less concentrated than dried herbs, and add pretty splashes of color to food, too. Planting them in different containers allows for a more diverse assortment than growing herbs in the dirt where quantities can’t be controlled as easily. Just remember that every herb is different and some, like mint, require more room than others (basil).
There’s no better way for me to count down to the summer than by planting some seeds and nurturing them while they grow. How do you count down to the summer?
Photos copyright CICO Books, 2010.
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