Go Green and Grow an Herb Garden

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As we start this month of April, we are reminded that it is National Garden Month and this month includes Earth day which is April 22nd. When I think of Earth Day, I always think of how I can make an impact on this planet. As a passionate gardener who found her green thumb several years back, I plan my garden each year in a way that I can make my food supply chain as local as possible. When you do this, you know where your food comes from and you feel a spark of joy eating what you sow.  If you are looking to do the same, my recommendation is to start small. To start, I recommend growing HERBS. You don’t need a green thumb to grow herbs; You need patience and some seeds (or seedlings)!

When it comes to Herbs there are two major types; perennial and annual herbs. Annual Herbs you only have for one growing season and will have to replant every year. These includes your basils, Cilantro, Parsley and dill. Perennial Herbs are plants that will return each year, these include thyme, sage, oregano, mint and chives. Perennial herbs you plant once and can harvest for many years. Herbs require full sun and need well drained soil. 

Now what’s next? Where and what do we plant these herbs in? I would highly recommend growing herbs close to your house. On your steps, patio, deck or even your window sill!  And since we are talking Earth Day, I love to consider sustainable planting ideas; Use what you have.   You can grow herbs in any container as long as you have proper drainage, sunshine and good soil. Use any pot you have at hand or direct sow into the ground. Just to note, Mint should always be planted in a pot, otherwise it will take over your garden. My dad is a contractor and we typically like to reuse what he takes out of a job in our projects. We created a raised herb bed out of 100+ year old roof rafters that our herbs continue to thrive in each year. In your container or designated garden area, be sure only to plant herbs that you will use. Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, Sage and Rosemary grow great together! Basil is a great summer herb that provides excellent freshness to any meal. To have plentiful basil throughout the growing season, consider replanting seeds every two weeks.

Where do we buy these herbs? You can stop by your local nurseries for seedlings or seeds. Otherwise, shop for seeds online and direct sow. I get most of my seeds from Hudson Valley Seed Company in Accord, NY. Always consider supporting and shopping local and small when you can. 

With having an array of herbs at your fingertips the opportunities are endless. I love to dry my herbs and use them throughout the year.  I grow a lot of Basil and make pesto that I freeze to enjoy during the long cold winter nights to remind me of summer. Whatever your garden goals are, remember every step you make to eat and grow local will go a long way for the planet and bring you lots of joy.