For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   May 31

Your Questions About Gardening

Mary asks…

Does anyone grow their own herbs?

I want to grow parsley and I was wondering if anyone grows their own and if it is better than buying them at a store

GardenersCardiff answers:

I grew some basil and some oregano once and it was awesome. The basil was so strong, it was almost hot. When the herbs got just to the point of budding, but not yet blooming, I cut them down and hung them upside down in the garage to dry. This forces all of the essential oils out to the foliage prior to drying. I then cut the stems to fit into mason jars. I didn’t crush them right away. I only did that when I used them. This preserves the oils and keeps the flavor intense long after you cut them.

Sandra asks…

Does anyone grow their own herbs?

I want to grow parsley and I was wondering if anyone grows their own and if it is better than buying them at a store?

GardenersCardiff answers:

I grow parsley–curly leaf and Italian and they are much better tasting than store bought. And I can just take off what I need as I need it. In my last yard, my parsley was uncontrollable–it overwintered, spread seeds everywhere, I was pulling it up, giving it away, my kids were ODing on it. It was crazy.

I also grow chives–that is so cool. It’s oniony and garlicky but delicate all in one. And the green is so pretty in all sorts of dishes. I grow that in a pot tha I planted oh, 9 years ago? That one packet of seeds has really paid off!

Basil–I plant it every year. To me it really signifies summer is here. While I was at Home Depot gathering some new plants, an elderly woman told me she picks her basil leaves and puts them in freezer containers as is, and she uses them all winter. I can’t wait to try this tip!

Lavender–I’m growing this for the first time this year. Not quite sure what to do with it yet, but I love lavender and just enjoy sniffing it every time I go past.

Let’s see, I planted Thyme, oregano and cilantro

Mint– I have to disagree with Christa. I’ve grown mint in my yard since 2000 and never had any problems–not like the killer parsley! We use it in watermelon, mint and lime salad, iced tea with mint, hot mint tea, tobouli salad and just to chew on.

I guarantee that once you start growing herbs, you’ll be hooked. The scent, the taste, the usefulness, the ease…Enjoy! :)

Michael asks…

how do i grow my own herb?

im trying to grow my own herbs and i dont know where to start, plus im on a poor mans budget so help me please find the cheapest, idiot proof ways to growing my own herbs….

GardenersCardiff answers:

Most herbs are really pretty forgiving. They like a well drained soil so if you’re using potting soil, mix in some sand and/or vermiculite (very cheap and a little goes a long way).

Herbs need full sun, too so be sure you have a southern exposure for at least 4-6 hours per day.

During the spring it’s easy to find seed packets because everyone is getting ready to plant. At this time of year, I’m not sure what you’ll find in the way of seeds but if you have a local nursery, you should still find some packets available. If they’re packaged for 2008, you may also get a price break – the season is over.

I will assume you already know what kinds of herbs you want, but I would just give you one suggestion:

Mints are VERY pervasive so I’d keep those in a separate pot – otherwise they’ll invade everything else.

Have fun and welcome to the world of Herb Gardens!!

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