Zipperer Land Management

Tips & Trends

Topic: The Garden

Herbs For Success

Whether you have an estate of five acres, or a courtyard, herb containers placed right by the kitchen make cooking with herbs easy.  After a long day, a walk to a distant herb garden does not seem worth it even if there is an abundance of herbs awaiting you.  However, herbs planted by the kitchen are too handy to ignore.  A sprinkling of chopped chives, an infusion of mint, or the perfume of fresh basil will enhance any recipe.

There are many options in getting started.  Plant from seed in spring, buy starter plants, (my wife's preference) or divide perennials from a friend's garden.  Most herbs want sun.  They all need good drainage, regular watering, and fertilizer is optional depending on the herb.  Here are my favorites:

Basil:  Annual.  Strong fresh flavor.  Keep flower buds pinched off to encourage bushy growth and keep from bolting.  Leaves are plentiful during late summer for the handfuls required in pesto sauce.

Cilantro:  Annual.  If you grow from seed, keep part of the pack to plant a month later for continuous supply of leaves.  It is a critical flavor in Mexican dishes.  To maintain leaf production, cut off flower buds as they appear.

Mint:  Perennial.  Rapid spreading growth habit encourages gardeners to grow in pots.  Use snippets for teas, desserts, and salads. 

Parsley:  Hardy biennial.  Pretty and leafy especially curly varieties.  Although a classic garnish, taste shouldn't be taken for granted.  Purchase plants, as growth from seed is too slow for many impatient souls.

Rosemary:  Tender perennial.  Pungent, aroma and flavor recommended for lamb dishes and fish.  Easy to form into topiaries and indoor decorations.

Cleve Zipperer