Wednesday, April 5, 2017

We are what we eat: herbal!

Photo of two cabbage plants completely surrounded by a sea of nasturtiums
Nasturtiums smothering cabbages, 2016
Perennial herbs

By far, the best herbs for me are the perennials:  they require little work and keep coming back every year.  True, they don't all come back every year;  I seem to have lost the marjoram and I actually managed to kill a mint?!  Here's my tally of perennial herbs currently still alive:
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Chives
  • Sage
  • Mint 
  • Sorrel
  • Lemon balm
  • Bergamot
Of all of these, tarragon is probably my favorite, but rosemary is the biggest and most used.  Lemon balm and bergamot are more used for scent than flavor.

Annual herbs

I do my best with the annual herbs every year, but the slugs love them as much as we do.  I almost never get basil because of slugs;  even when grown in pots on the patio table it's been demolished.  However, I've had success with:
  • Chervil
  • Parsley
  • Arugula
  • Nasturtiums
  • Calendula (this and the above two are pretty good self-seeders)
We eat nasturtium leaves as a cooking herb (I like to eat them raw, but the seven year old finds them too peppery);  I use calendula to make a soothing salve although it too is edible.

Trying to grow

I've got seeds for summer savory and Chinese chives (garlic chives), neither of which I've managed to grow before;  the chives are a perennial, so hopefully I can get them going this year.  And I'll probably try basil yet again;  wish me luck!

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