True to its name, an edible herb garden is one that is composed of herbs primarily for cooking and eating. Being the most common type of herb garden, it’s also one that local plant and garden stores are most knowledgeable about. This means that the beginning gardener can get a lot of help and free advice for their first crack at herb gardening.
An edible herb garden is usually filled with herbs to flavor and enhance dishes from around the world.
Different herbs go with different types of cuisine. Thus a gardener must identify which cuisine is most often or regularly cooked in their home as this can help in making the decisions for which herbs to plant. Fresh herbs really make food taste better because herbs can help get the flavors and juices of meats, poultry, and fish come out which makes for much better and tastier dishes.
Beyond just flavoring dishes, an edible herb garden can be used for salads. Parsely, basil, dill, and chives are just a few herbs that you commonly find in salads. Having them fresh will make your salad taste much better. Plus, the four herbs just mentioned are commonly used in many more dishes. Their versatility is great!
Other perks of having an edible herb garden is that you can use the herbs to decorate everyday things.
You can freeze some mint leaves in your ice tray and use these as ice cubes that slowly give off a minty flavor as they melt. You can use lavender and jasmine blossoms to decorate your table settings, or scatter edible flowers on your plates for effect. Also having fresh herbs on hand saves you money since you won’t be buying these herbs from your grocery any longer. Plus you have the comfort of knowing that no pesticides were used on your herbs, and only natural fertilizers went into cultivating the soil. As a final perk, feel free to dry some of your favorite herbs and store these in air tight jars or vacuum sealed bags. You may put these containers in the pantry or in the freezer, it’s up to you. This allows you use the herbs from your garden even when they are not in season.
Most herb growing advisors will tell you that an edible herb garden is situated best near the kitchen so that it’s right where you need it. I know many women don’t like tracking mud through the kitchen, though, and might not have back or front yard access from the kitchen which means tracking mud through the house!
Situate your herb garden where it will grow best.
After all why have an edible herb garden if the herbs are wilting, sad, and not growing to their fullest and yummiest potential? Put your herbs where they will be happy and you will be happy with the products you harvest. You can harvest all the fresh herbs you need right before beginning your dish preparation. If your herb is no longer in season, and you dried and stored some to use during the winter months, you can cook with the dried herbs (just remember to add a little extra since drying an herb sometimes causes it to lose some of its flavor) or you can soak them in some water for half an hour to rejuvenate them a little. They’re not as good as fresh grown herbs, but they will do pretty well!
Your edible herb garden will have many uses, and it will help you discover the joys of both gardening and cooking. Experiment with dishes that use various herbs you find in your garden, and enjoy all the fruits of you labor.