Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Want a great way to save money and get some really good food.  Do you have a small space and want to get a big bang for your buck? Try a herb garden. Herb gardens are easy to grow and many herbs are perennial in Northern Michigan(will come up next year without replanting). Fresh herbs are especially expensive in stores where a few stalks of oregano, sage, chives etc., can be $2.00 or more. Furthermore, nothing tastes better than fresh herbs. Once you start using your own herbs you will wonder why you spent so much money for so little flavor from dried store bought herbs?

Some favorite Northern perennial plants you can grow in your herb garden are: sage, mint, chives, oregano and catnip. Basil is a popular herb to grow but, it is an annual in Northern Michigan. Dill will sometimes seed down and come up the next year but, I don't count on it.

All of these plants can be purchased in most garden centers (sometimes in produce departments in some supermarkets), and are easy to grow. Just plant in well drained soil and keep them watered enough so they won't dry out. Remember though, keep your basil plants covered when it freezes. Also, remember that oregano spreads by roots and is a prolific seed producer so, you will need to keep it contained from the rest of your garden and yard or, it will cover your entire property.

The herbs talked about in this article require little care other than weeding, watering and trimming in the fall. I like to start my plants with a little peat around the roots when I plant them especially, if the soil tends to dry out and get hard. Once established outdoors however, a good mulching is all the soil care these plants require. Any basic fertilizer will work on these plants but, you should avoid high nitrogen fertilizers since they will burn the leaves of your plants and make your harvest less abundant and succulent. Overall, herbs can be taken care of just like your other plants. The herbs mentioned above do like lots of sun and water so, plant in fairly sunny locations and don't be timid about getting out the hose or watering can.

Herbs are great for container gardening so if you have a sunny patio or window sill, you are ready to start herb gardening. From window sill to sauce or frying pan gives you the freshest herbs you can get for your favorite dishes.

I like to plant my herbs with my other perennial plants like rhubarb and asparagus. That way, with all my perennial plants in the same area, I know which garden to clean off first in the Spring.
Overall, herbs are easy to grow, will save you lots of money and, give you a fresh garden to kitchen flavor in your cooking.

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