It's almost Mother's Day which means the danger of frost has passed and it's time for me to plant my container garden on our little backyard deck! I got up early and made a trip to the Home Depot to pick up all my supplies...
I grow fresh herbs on our deck from May through September. In the colder months I resort to (higher priced) grocery store fresh herbs. Growing your own herbs is more cost effective than purchasing them at the grocery store (one plant costs less than a handful of fresh herbs at the store, plus it will keep producing for nearly 6 months), plus you don't waste anything. I mentioned my herb garden back in this post. I also think that fresh herbs are essential herbs and spices. If you decide to start a garden it will cost you a few bucks the first year (I need to buy pots, plants, fertilizer, etc.), but I get so much pleasure out of growing my own vegetables and herbs and snipping them from the garden just minutes before cooking them. If you consider how much you spend on grocery store produce and how much of it may be thrown away before you get to eat it you'll understand the convenience of having your own garden.
Here's a list of my essential fresh herbs:
Basil - One of my favorite herbs, ever, but it's very delicate and can be difficult to grow. I use it for bruschetta and marinara. It's the perfect companion for fresh tomatoes from my garden
Rosemary - One of the few herbs that I can re-pot in my my kitchen after the cold weather arrives. I use it on my roasted pork tenderloin, in white bean dip, soups, and on any type of poultry.
Sage - Easy to grow and fantastic on pork and chicken.
Cilantro - I grow jalapeno peppers and tomatoes and cilantro helps me make delicious salsa.
I don't grow my herbs from seed because I'm impatient and busy. I prefer to purchase small plants for $3-5 each. To each her own. Bonus: sage is a perennial (it comes back every year)! Who knew? I know I was shocked when mine turned green and grew into a huge bush after this long winter.
So even if you have a tiny, tiny yard (like our 1/16 of an acre) you can have a garden as long as you have 8 hours of sunlight a day. Consider giving it a try this year.