Following is a nice introduction article about herb gardening that we picked up from http://www.articlerumble.com/an-introduction-to-herbs-and-herb-gardening.htm. We have a great selection of herbs on hand and as we head into outdoor gardening for Spring 2010 I think the timing is great for this article:
"Herbs go way back to the time of the ancient Egyptians and Chinese. There are also bits of evidence in the Bible and medieval documents that show herbs were used in several homes. Planting herbs is something that is very useful to gardeners for several different purposes. Herbs may be used to flavor food, for potpourri, for tea, for medicinal uses or to even control pests in the garden. Herb gardens can be dedicated towards one of these particular areas or a mixture of a few different uses. They can also be cultivated in a garden with other species of plants or in containers inside.
Herb gardens can be made in different ways such as an indoor herb garden in the kitchen or a tiny portion in your garden. A tiny plot about four feet by six feet is a large enough area to grow a small family. Though a well-accepted utilization for herbs are for cooking otherwise known as culinary herbs, they are also planted for their aromatic foliage and some for the beauty of their flowers. They can either be used fresh or dried. Some herbs are made as adornment for plates or salads while other kinds of herbs can be used to spice up the taste of a dish.
Like some other plants herbs grow as annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees. When planting herbs, you should use well-drained soil. If you find that your mud is heavy or tight, you can sprinkle some organic matter to it. Fertilizers are not a necessity. Most herbs thrive in a sunny spot although a few thrive in full shade. Amazingly, very few diseases or insects destroy herbs. Occasionally in dry, hot weather, red spider mites can be found on low-growing plants, and aphids may stick themselves to dill, caraway, anise, or fennel. Rust can also destroy mint.
Herbs can be bought and grown into a home garden or they can be grown from seeds. It is a wonderful honor and a joy to be able to see a plant thrive from one seed. You are able to take pleasure in every step of the development from birth to death in a way. When cultivating a plant like an herb from a seed the the whole thing is all the more rewarding because herbs are very practical. Almost all herbs can be grown from a seed. Seeds should be placed in a low pot or box during the late winter season. Use a light, well-drained pot of earth to plant your seeds in. Since herbs lack a deep root base, make sure not too put too much soil on the seeds. They should be planted shallow.
Follow the rule: the finer the seed, the shallower it should be sown. You can replant the baby plants to the outdoors during spring. Even though most herbs can be grown from seeds, some herbs do not react well to being transplanted. Herbs like dill, fennel, anise, and coriander should be planted directly into the garden. "
April 20, 2010