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Home > Articles > Herb Gardens - Spice Up Your Cooking
Herb Gardens - Spice Up Your Cooking
Herb & Spice If you enjoy cooking, you probably have quite a collection of herbs and spices in your kitchen cupboards. In fact, even people who don`t like to cook frequently tend to have some dusty jars filled with dried herbs in their kitchens. However, those herbs and spices eventually lose a lot of their flavor. Herbs that are picked fresh from herb gardens have so much more flavor that recipes often recommend using smaller amounts when you are substituting fresh herbs for dried herbs. Having your own herb gardens can really take your cooking to a whole new level.

When you decide to make one of these handy herb gardens, you may find that you are a bit overwhelmed by all of the herbs available. Start planning your garden by thinking about the herbs you use on a regular basis when you cook. You will want to make sure you have plenty of these herbs available, especially if they are perennial plants that will come back each year. Next, think about the herbs you only use occasionally. If they are inexpensive, you may want to pick up one or two plants. However, some of the less common herbs, such as the bay tree, can be a bit pricey, so make sure they can survive the winter in your area before you buy them. If you still really want one of these herbs, you may want to plant to overwinter it in your home so that you can keep it alive until the next spring.

Once you grow your herbs, you will need to harvest them. After all, the whole point of having herb gardens is to actually be able to use the herbs. Unless your garden is right outside the kitchen door, you may want to pick several stems of herbs like parsley and basil once a week so they are close by when you begin cooking. To keep the herbs fresh, place the stems in a glass of water as if they were cut flowers. They should last at least a week this way. As winter approaches, you should plan to dry enough of your favorite herbs to last you until you can grow fresh herbs in the spring.

Finally, while kitchen herbs may be the most popular types, there are many different herb gardens. Once you realize how much fun it is to grow herbs to season your food, you may want to expand your collection. You can grow herbs to dye your own fabrics, to repel insects, to create scented soaps, and even to heal your body.
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