Oklahoma’s clay soil make is a little tricky to plant herbs, but don’t let that deter you from planting the herb garden of your dreams! With a little prep and planning, you can have a beautiful herb garden no matter if you have a big backyard or small apartment patio.
Culinary herbs like basil, thyme and rosemary are a great way to add fresh flavor to all your favorite recipes.
For a beginner gardener, it easier to start your garden from plants rather than seeds. When picking a location for your garden, pick a location with adequate, daily sun and is easy for you to water.
If creating a patio garden, chose containers that have holes in the bottom for water draining. You can choose from plastic, clay or terracotta pots for herb planting. If creating a garden in your yard, make sure your ground soil is prepared for planting. Break up old, hard soil with a gardening shovel and add healthy compost to provide nutrients. For potted plants, soil is equally important. Fill pots with well-draining, loose soil.
If your backyard soil is to clay-like, you may need to build garden boxes off the ground to fill with a healthy mixture of store-bought soil and compost.
How often you’re required to water will depend on the type of herbs you plant and how sunny the location they’re planted in is. As your garden grows, watering will become more intuitive.
Grow thyme in a sunny, slightly dry corner of your garden or porch. It likes a well-draining soil and lots of sun. Be sure to trim it back when it starts to flower.
Thyme has beautiful, light notes of pine, pepper and lemon. It’s perfect for fish, chicken, potatoes and lemon.
Rosemary is incredibly sturdy. It does best with good sunlight (about six to eight hours), sandy, well-draining soil and fresh air.
Rosemary has a peppery, aromatic taste. It pairs well with roasted veggies like potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and garlic. It can also compliment citrus notes, cranberries, seafood, Italian dishes, meat and cheese.
Basil needs about six to eight hours of sunlight. You can tell it needs watering when its leaves begin to wilt. Be sure to trim it down as it flowers.
Basil is an essential Italian flavor. Pair it with classics like tomato, olive oil, garlic and mozzarella. Grilled summer vegetables like zucchini and yellow squash will be taken up a notch with a few fresh ribbons of basil. Basil pesto anyone? In a food processor, chop together fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts or walnuts and olive oil for a rich, flavorful sauce.
Sage is a very forgiving plant to grow, but it does best in a sunny area. Like thyme, it prefers well-draining soil. It’s fairly drought resistant and needs to be watered once the soil is completely dry. Unlike other herbs, it doesn’t lose flavor intensity as it grows and doesn’t get bitter once it flowers. It grows well both in a pot or a ground garden.
Warm and fragrant sage works wonderfully with meats like lamb and sausages. It pairs well with other spices like thyme, rosemary and oregano. Pair it with a butter garlic sauce or add it to flavor tomato sauces, risottos, pesto and beans.
While it doesn’t mind sunshine, mint needs some shade. Protect it from direct, harsh sunlight. Mint needs soil that is slightly moist but well-draining. If you have tomatoes in your garden, try to plant mint near it. Many pro gardeners consider mint to be tomatoes companion herb. Companion herbs can help ward off pest and encourage pollination.
Mint is incredibly fresh. It loves citrus notes like orange and it goes great with summer berries like blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. Chop some up to put in a fruit salad or add it to Mediterranean dishes like tabbouleh or lamb.
Want to freshen up all the water you’ll need to keep hydrated this summer? Try flavoring water with blackberry, lime and mint or even a combination of cantaloupe, honey and mint!
Parsley is easy to grow in a home garden. It does well in full sun or partial shade. It prefers a moister soil than other herbs, just be careful not to over water it.
Parsley is a wonder herb. It’s slightly sweet yet slightly bitter flavor and vibrant green color make it a grand finish for many dishes. Use a fresh bunch to make chimichurri sauce for grilled steaks or chop it finely and add to a pasta salad or tabbouleh. Sprinkle it on top of frittata, breakfast casserole or sautéed veggies for added flavor and color.
Oregano likes full sun and well-draining soil. Like sage, do not water it until the soil is completely dry.
Warm, savory tasting oregano is Mexican oregano, while Mediterranean oregano is slightly minty. Use both in marinades for chicken, or to flavor homemade dinner rolls and flatbreads.
Don’t fret if your herb garden doesn’t go according to plan. Whether you have a green thumb or a knack for drying out your flowerbed, Homeland Stores have you covered with fresh herbs and every dry seasoning imaginable. Visit your local store to stock up on flavors for all your summer dishes!’