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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Planting Herbs - part IV



Many of the plants we grow such as annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees are herbs in the true sense of the word. With increased interest in recent years in continental or gourmet cooking the word "herb" is nearly always thought of by home gardeners to mean the "culinary" herb.
The herbs I have grown are listed below with instructions for growing them. Perhaps inexperienced gardeners as well as those who have not yet had the pleasure of growing these interesting plants will give some thought to starting a small herb garden.

HERBS TO GROW FROM SEED

LAVENDER (Lavandula). I have had excellent success with germinating seeds of lavender giving a four-week pre-chilling period in the coldframe before bringing into the greenhouse with germination in 14 days. This year sown under the lights the seeds germinated in 15 days with no pre-chilling period. 
This is a hardy perennial with gray foliage and spikes of fragrant lavender flowers, which when dried are used to perfume the linen chest and for sachets. Dry easily when hung free in a dry garage or attic.
MARJORAM, SWEET (Majorana hortensis) This is a perennial in frost-free sections of the South but is grown as a hardy annual in the North. Sow seed indoors with germination in 7 to 10 days. Grows to 12 inches; space 6 inches apart.
 Plants may be potted up and grown in the greenhouse or sunny window over -the winter. Adds a delicate flavor to lamb, fish, salads and soups.
MINT (Mentha spicata) This mint is very easy to grow. It is a hardy perennial and spreads by root stolons. Sown indoors seed germinates in 10 to 15 days. It grows to 2 feet and is rather sprawling, in habit. Space 12 inches apart. Is at its best in good rich soil. Fine to use for mint jelly and in mint juleps, lemonade and other fruit drinks.
SESAME (Sesamum orientale) This herb has whitish colored leaves and pretty pink flowers. Needs warmth for germination and should not be planted into the garden until -the soil and air are very warm; about 70 degrees. This would be in late May in our location. Germination will take place in 3 to 7 days. Although they grow 21/2 to 3 feet they need but 9 or 10 inches between plants as they do not branch. Seeds are used to flavor breads, crackers and cookies.
BORAGE (Borago officinalis) This has pinkish blossoms which turn blue like the perennial pulmonaria. It is an annual and should be planted directly to the garden in early May in the North. Growing to 2 feet it should be spaced 10 inches apart. Germinates in 7 -to 10 days. Resents transplanting except when quite small. It is excellent used in tossed salad to add a most elusive flavor.
CHERVIL (Anthriscus cerefolium) Although this plant will germinate in the fall and live over the winter I would advise the inexperienced gardener to grow it as an annual, sowing the seed to the garden in mid-May (in this area). Grows to 2 feet and should be spaced 8 inches apart. Grows quickly and is mature in 6 weeks. Resents transplanting. Fresh leaves can be frozen in small packets after washing carefully. Excellent to flavor egg dishes...

tags:Planting Herbs, The herbs I have grown,Planting Herbs

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