Herb Gardening: My Favorite Herbs and Uses for Them

Written by contributor Krissa Jeldy of More Than Mundane

My dreams of having a full-on garden may not be a realistic option this year, but having a small herb garden is always a possibility. Choosing a few of your favorite and most used herbs to plant each year is something you can do no matter how limited your space.

I use pots on my back porch for a small herb garden, but you can also create an indoor herb garden if you don’t have any outdoor space at all. I love being able to walk out the back door and have a variety of fresh herbs available for my use, rather than having to buy those small bunches at the store for $2.00 or more every time I want some fresh herbs!

Choosing Your Herbs

Think about which herbs you most regularly use in your cooking or in other creations and plant those. These are the ones I’m planting this year:

Calendula (Pot Marigold)

Photo by Robert Verzo

Not only will calendula add some color and beauty to your garden, but you can also use it in many personal care products, such as this calendula salve, perfect for treating skin irritations, rashes, chapped lips and more. Calendula is mild and perfect for sensitive skin, so it works well for babies and kids also.

Lavender

Lavender is another great one for making your own personal care products. Use the dried flowers to make a Simple Lavender Salve, or use them in a Lavender Sugar Scrub. You can also use lavender in your baking. Try one of these recipes for your next tea party:

Basil

Basil is a must have for me. There’s nothing better than making fresh pesto with basil from your own garden. Basil does best in warm, sunny climates and should not be planted until the weather is warm. You can start seedlings indoors and move them outside once the weather is warm.

Oregano

Oregano also does best in full sun. Fresh oregano pairs well with tomatoes in recipes, and is often found in Italian dishes and other Mediterranean dishes like this Greek-Style Chicken Skillet Dinner. You can also use fresh oregano to make your own Oil of Oregano.

Rosemary

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs. I use it in my cooking, or even to jazz up a drink, like in this Honey Rosemary Lemonade. Try one of these recipes using rosemary. Rosemary is also an herb that is great in personal care products as well, such as in this Rosemary and Lavender Softening Hair Rinse.

Cilantro

Cilantro is most commonly found in Mexican dishes and there’s nothing better than fresh cilantro in your homemade salsa. You can also use it to top tacos, enchiladas, or chicken tortilla soup. Or make some Cilantro-Lime Butter to top freshly grilled corn on the cob.

Mint

There are all types of varieties of mint. Mint is best planted in it’s own container because it has a tendency to take over. Fresh mint is great in iced tea, lemonade, and all kinds of refreshing summer beverages. We even like to add fresh mint to our coffee grounds when we’re brewing a pot of coffee to give our coffee a delicious minty flavor. This year I planted chocolate mint, spearmint, and my peppermint from last year is still going strong.

Additional Uses for Herbs

  • To replace dried herbs with fresh herbs in cooking, use double to triple the amount. So if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon dried oregano, use 2-3 teaspoons fresh oregano.
  • No matter which herbs you plant, you can use them to make an herbal infused oil, either for topical use or for use in cooking. Fresh herbs are also great when making your own salad dressings.
  • I also love to make herb-infused honey. You can infuse any herb you like in honey, but I especially love lavender.
  • And any time you have an abundance of fresh herbs, compound butters are quick, easy, and wonderful to have on hand to spice up your cooking.

Resources:

Picking, Drying, & Freezing: How to Preserve Summer’s Herbs @ Simple Bites

Start Crafting Your Perfect Crunchy Herb Garden-Now! @ Crunchy Betty

Do you plant herbs in your garden? What are your favorites?

About Krissa

Krissa Jeldy is a busy mom of two who, since starting a family, has become passionate about learning all she can about living a simpler, more natural lifestyle. She enjoys discovering new home remedies to try, greener products to make and use, and real food recipes to nourish her family. She juggles her time between her job as an educational specialist, homeschooling her kindergartener, and chasing after her toddler. When she's not busy grading papers she blogs at More Than Mundane .

Comments

  1. I have a brown-ish thumb, but I’ve still managed to grow potted herbs every summer for years. I love always having fresh herbs at the ready (and my kids love to run out to the porch with the scissors to snip some for dinner!)

    My favorite is lemon thyme. I picked up a plant on a whim at the farmer’s market a few years ago, and we’ve planted it every year since. It’s wonderful on grilled summer vegetables, just with a little salt and olive oil. Mmmmmm, good!

    • I actually have lemon thyme too…it’s stuck around through several seasons. I will have to try it on grilled summer vegetables. That sounds delicious!

  2. Thank you for the reminder to plant an herb garden. Fresh herbs make cooking so much more tasty and it is such a cost savings to grow your own.

  3. This is a great summary of must-have herbs for the herb garden. I would also recommend chives as well, especially if you are container gardening. They are very easy to maintain and come back on their own every year! I recently wrote a post with 15 different recipe ideas for chives:

    http://www.2sisters2cities.com/2012/03/recipe-ideas-for-chives/

    Can’t wait to plant the rest of the herbs you mentioned above soon!

    -Meaghan

    • Thanks for the chives ideas Meaghan! I had chives on my list but ran out of room…maybe I’ll have to make some a space for them after all!

  4. Calendula will also help to deter some insects as well.

  5. Where in the world do you get chocolate mint to grow? I would love to try that.

  6. I am in central Canada so I don’t have the option to grow herbs outside all year and inside I would have cats snacking on them all the time. Can I start herbs from seed in the garden for the short growing season we will have here? I hate to spend the money on seedlings every year.

    • I’m no expert but live in Alberta and find that buying a small plant, rather than starting with seeds, is the way to go! And I don’t recommend pots since they can’t overwinter. A garden works best to save $.

    • Hi Leanne! Sorry it took me awhile to find an answer for you…I checked with my horticulturist friend, and here’s what she had to say: “Yes it’s possible to start seedlings in the ground every year but 1) given a short growing season and 2) given the likelyhood of seedlings surviving planted directly into the soil as compared to that of a starter plant that is somewhat established I’d recommend not doing seeds for most herbs. If you want to do seeds, I would start them indoors, let them establish a bit, thin them and then transplant to ground. You can cover the seedlings before the cats attack them.” Hope that helps!

  7. I can’t wait to make homemade pesto from homegrown basil!

  8. I’ve just been bumping up my herb garden as well. I planted some beautiful basil with my tomato plants in the front. And I just transplanted some marjoram, oregano and thyme. I love the way the herbs smell and it’s a real treat to go out into the garden and pick herbs for dinner. Nice post.

  9. We’re growing basil, dill and sage in our window boxes. It’s the first year we’ve actually dared to “garden” inside (we live in in NYC so personal green space is limited). And, so far so good!

  10. basil is my favorite herb to grow and has done great in both containers on a porch and in a garden bed.

    my recent post: a little bit of real life (and my 37.5 week maternity pics!)

  11. So glad I read this… I just realized that I forgot to put cilantro on my “to grow” list for this year! That cilantro-lime butter sounds amazing.

  12. I love lavender and mint and we must have plenty of chives since my girls continually nibble at them (and invite their friends to do the same). Will be planting calendula for this first time this spring. Basil is good and surprisingly works well in iced tea (made a mistake once):)

  13. I love terracotta

  14. I¡¦m now not certain the place you’re getting your information, but great topic. I must spend some time learning more or working out more. Thank you for great info I was on the lookout for this info for my mission.
    Discount Louis Vuitton beanie http://www.leversance.fr/payment/param/Discount-Louis-Vuitton-beanie-7069019.html

  15. Your way of explaining the whole thing in this paragraph is in fact nice, every one be capable of without difficulty understand it, Thanks a lot.
    Discount Louis Vuitton polo http://www.blackthorn1.com/pictures/engine1/Discount-Louis-Vuitton-polo-15611499.html

  16. You are a very bright individual!
    Discount Louis Vuitton jeans for men http://www.artigraficheramberti.it/images/Discount-Louis-Vuitton-jeans-for-men-13453907.html

  17. I am continually searching online for articles that can aid me. Thx!
    Discount Louis Vuitton suhali http://www.vasterbybadet.se/Img/Discount-Louis-Vuitton-suhali-4138416.html

  18. Great write-up, I am normal visitor of one¡¦s web site, maintain up the nice operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a long time.
    Discount Louis Vuitton ad http://www.adkisonneed.com/Intranet/Property/Discount-Louis-Vuitton-ad-12251514.html

  19. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!
    Discount Louis Vuitton josephine wallet http://www.mapungubwereservations.com/Images/Layout/Discount-Louis-Vuitton-josephine-wallet-16100391.html

  20. My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!
    Discount wholesale Louis Vuitton handbags http://www.bioreklam.se/film/Images/Discount-wholesale-Louis-Vuitton-handbags-3396229.html

  21. hello there and thank you for your info ?I have definitely picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical points using this site, since I experienced to reload the website a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and can damage your high-quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for much more of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you update this again soon..
    NEFF snapback hats wholesale http://www.askdammsugare.se/bilder/NEFF-snapback-hats-wholesale-6883472.html

  22. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?
    Defy snapback hats wholesale http://www.centrocongressifondazionecariplo.it/Temi/Default/Defy-snapback-hats-wholesale-19566577.html

  23. Whats Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively useful and it has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to give a contribution & help other users like its helped me. Great job.
    cheap IDGAF Beanies snapbacks hats http://www.bovinevet.com/dati/Logs/cheap-IDGAF-Beanies-snapbacks-hats-3037037.html

  24. I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your website?
    cheap Mishka snapbacks http://www.paladineholdings.com/images/cheap-Mishka-snapbacks-16253894.html

  25. Great ¡V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Excellent task..
    COMME DES FUCKDOWN snapback hats http://www.mamantapett.com/images/COMME-DES-FUCKDOWN-snapback-hats-15808948.html

  26. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such excellent information being shared freely out there.
    Hawaii snapback hats wholesale http://www.salthaugsag.no/foto/Hawaii-snapback-hats-wholesale-2890553.html

  27. I take pleasure in, cause I found just what I used to be having a look for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye
    COMME Des FUCKDOWN Beanies snapbacks wholesale http://www.festivitiesbirmingham.com/highslide/images/thumbs/COMME-Des-FUCKDOWN-Beanies-snapbacks-wholesale-19251941.html

  28. Thank you for another great post. The place else could anyone get that type of info in such an ideal means of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the search for such info.

  29. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!
    Gangnam Style snapbacks wholesale http://www.curecarpaltunnelnow.com/surgery/Gangnam-Style-snapbacks-wholesale-19715198.html

  30. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?
    fitted hats wholesale http://www.chmpinc.com/images/fitted-hats-wholesale–10255970.html

  31. Hi there, You’ve done a great job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this website.
    Discount Louis Vuitton boxers http://www.grsc.net/Header/Discount-Louis-Vuitton-boxers-2508778.html

  32. I do accept as true with all of the concepts you’ve introduced on your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for novices. Could you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.
    cheap FUCK YOU Beanies snapback hats http://www.northmooretilapia.co.uk/maps/cheap-FUCK-YOU-Beanies-snapback-hats-17025073.html

  33. It¡¦s in reality a nice and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.
    Trill beanies snapback hats http://hearingcliniconline.com/testimonials/Trill-beanies-snapback-hats-11644519.html

  34. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks
    cheap snapbacks hats free shipping http://www.horsecountry.it/immagini/cheap-snapbacks-hats-free-shipping-11625293.html

  35. A lot of thanks for all your valuable labor on this web page. My mother delights in carrying out investigations and it’s easy to understand why. Almost all notice all about the lively tactic you produce practical strategies by means of the website and as well as attract response from other individuals on the subject then our own child is always studying so much. Enjoy the remaining portion of the year. Your performing a terrific job.
    cheap Light Work snapback hats http://www.skaralammslakteri.se/Img/cheap-Light-Work-snapback-hats-19753955.html

  36. of course like your web site however you have to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth on the other hand I will certainly come back again.

  37. Hi, I just wanted to mention, you’re dead wrong. Your blog doesn’t make any sense.
    cheap ymcmb snapbacks for sale http://www.Peterjacksondevelopments.co.uk/img/common/cheap-ymcmb-snapbacks-for-sale-7366260.html

  38. Great amazing issues here. I¡¦m very glad to peer your post. Thank you so much and i am having a look forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a mail?
    Sneaktip snapback hats http://www.galliaHotel.it/images/Sneaktip-snapback-hats-6454700.html

  39. This video post is in fact impressive, the echo quality and the picture feature of this film post is truly amazing.
    Discount Louis Vuitton tattoo http://www.gift-heaven.com/tong/Discount-Louis-Vuitton-tattoo-10941700.html

  40. Whats up very nice website!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds also¡KI am happy to seek out numerous helpful info right here within the submit, we want develop extra strategies on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .
    cheap NFL snapbacks hats http://www.sinapsys.it/myChristmas/Properties/cheap-NFL-snapbacks-hats-16962207.html

  41. I will right away snatch your rss as I can’t to find your email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly allow me recognise so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.
    cheap Wasted Youth beanies snapback hats http://www.alpinecomputers.net/chat/images/geo/cheap-Wasted-Youth-beanies-snapback-hats-19727405.html

  42. It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!
    47 Brand snapback hats http://www.pinkcustardprint.com/images/file/47-Brand-snapback-hats-19472583.html

  43. I savor, lead to I found just what I was looking for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye
    MEOW Beanies snapback hats wholesale http://www.imagosa.com/images/Enhanced/MEOW-Beanies-snapback-hats-wholesale-1170582.html

  44. Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!
    OBEY Beanies snapback hats http://www.kaffeeautomaten-nrw.de/ftp/OBEY-Beanies-snapback-hats-14377674.html

  45. Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely magnificent. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is actually a great web site.
    cheap snapback hat http://www.eventsbylaproductions.com/whatYourEventStyle/cheap-snapback-hat-16438831.html

  46. Touche. Solid arguments. Keep up the amazing spirit.
    GIVEAFUCK Beanies snapback hats http://www.drkerrymiller.com/images/GIVEAFUCK-Beanies-snapback-hats-14619983.html

  47. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this web site. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own site now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a great example of it.
    Discount Louis Vuitton damier azur http://www.ilfiordo.it/images/Discount-Louis-Vuitton-damier-azur-16264575.html

  48. Thank you, I have just been searching for info approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I have discovered so far. However, what about the conclusion? Are you positive about the supply?
    NHL Beanies snapback hats wholesale http://www.homesnetwork.com/ads/images/NHL-Beanies-snapback-hats-wholesale-14015430.html

  49. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!
    Sneaktip snapback hats http://www.gsfi.net/images/Sneaktip-snapback-hats-19588550.html

  50. you’re really a good webmaster. The website loading pace is amazing. It sort of feels that you’re doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you have performed a great job on this matter!
    KILL Beanies snapback hats wholesale http://www.sarugbychat.com/Images/BigPics/KILL-Beanies-snapback-hats-wholesale-11825184.html

Trackbacks

  1. [...] new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!Today I’m over at Simple Homemade talking about planting an herb garden and sharing ideas for the many ways to use fresh herbs. From [...]

  2. [...] find some links to posts I found helpful or inspiring this week. We planted our first herb garden yesterday. We have mint, thyme, oregano, parsley and chives. We hope to get some basil this week [...]

  3. [...] gel; mousse; pomade; spray; wax; Removal. waxing; threading; shaving; chemical … Read ArticleMeaningful Beauty 5 Piece Age Maintenence System (30 Day) Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty 8 Piece K… /> Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty 8 Piece Kit ANTI_AGING SYSTEM Lysol Healthy Touch Hand Soap, [...]

  4. [...] which makes it perfect even for balcony gardeners. I learned a ton from this post, and this one gives ideas for how to use the herbs you [...]

Share Your Thoughts

*

CommentLuv badge