2013 Herb Garden

June 4, 2013

“Where are the herbs?” you might ask when you see the other garden posts.  Herbs are certainly some of the most commonly grown plants for amateur gardeners, and just like with growing greens they’re very rewarding because you can continually harvest throughout the summer.

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After a failed herb garden last year planted in a shady corner of the yard, we are trying round two in containers with more sun. I decided that I want the raised beds to be for rotating seasonal veggies, so this means I have to grow herbs in a separate location.  We chose these great looking pots partly because they liven up the deck.  My only complaint about container gardening is you have to be even more diligent about watering.  It’s so easy for them to dry out!

Mint for juleps:

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Mint is worth containing because it can really take over a garden.

Note our forks and spoons are custom made herb markers we bought at our local market!

Oregano and thyme together:

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This low growing thyme would be great to fill in space in a yard or between stepping stones, etc.

Lettuce Leaf Basil:

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This tastes pretty much like Sweet Basil, though maybe a little milder, but it has huge leaves.  You can use it in place of lettuce on a sandwich for a basily blast, or to add some flavor to a baby spinach salad.

I really like the big whiskey barrel because I feel like all the extra soil holds the water and makes it more resistant to drying out.

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There are three more sweet basil plants, some cilantro, and little dill sprouts.  Planting multiple basil plants helps you get over that “well, I really want to use basil, but I don’t want to cut down my entire plant for one meal.” 

The herbs only get about a half-day’s worth of sun so they’re a bit slow growing right now, but in a month or so I expect them to take off!

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeri June 4, 2013 at 8:02 am

Maybe I will start an herb garden like this, but use the terra cotta planters, unless I can find the whiskey barrels

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2 Aisling @ Sunny Side Up June 4, 2013 at 8:28 am

Love the idea of lettuce leaf basil. I have coriander growing on my deck and delighted in grabbing a handful for yesterday’s hummus! Yum!

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3 Maria Tadic June 4, 2013 at 8:39 am

Your herbs look great! I love those herb decorations – do you know if the vendor for the famer’s market sells those online maybe? My mom has been looking for some “cute” garden decorations and those definitely fit that description!

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4 KathEats June 4, 2013 at 8:44 am

I don’t think so : (

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5 kristen June 4, 2013 at 10:11 am

Maria – search for them on Etsy, there are a ton of great options that look similar to these! :)

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6 LaShaune June 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I saw some cute ones at my local Target this past weekend (on sale too). I know it’s supporting a small business, however, they did have some. you could try Etsy as your next alternative.

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7 Carly @ Snack Therapy June 4, 2013 at 8:42 am

I love those little garden spoons. Adorable! I’m dying to get a basil plant, but I have no idea where I’d put it in my apartment. One day, I’ll have a nice garden filled with veggies and herbs. And then I’ll probably kill everything, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

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8 Lynn @ the actor's diet June 4, 2013 at 8:49 am

You’ve inspired me to resurrect my porch herb garden! They’ve been empty for about 5 years.

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9 Lauren @ The Highlands Life June 4, 2013 at 8:49 am

I love all my little herbs each summer. I just hate that once the heat gets to rising consistently that my cilantro bolts so quickly! But I love my basil. Especially for weekly caprese salads with home grown tomatoes. Can’t get much better than that in our house.

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10 Sally June 4, 2013 at 9:02 am

Love container gardening — it really livens up an outdoor space. I live in an apartment with a very shaded balcony – which herbs grow best in shade (aka don’t need a lot of sun to flourish)?

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11 Annie @ my fuel and fitness diaries June 4, 2013 at 9:09 am

Ah, I love the little containers and spoon and fork markers. Go great! And I’m super jealous…Im still living in an apartment and cant even figure out a place to put herbs by the windows to get enough sun :( Major bummer.

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12 Jane @ Not Plain So Jane June 4, 2013 at 9:38 am

So beautiful and it’s perfect deck decor! Love those spoons. I’ve been meaning to order some on etsy. Maybe I’ll save it as a self-gift after the RD exam. Nothing like a little study motivation…

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13 J June 4, 2013 at 9:51 am

What vendor at the market did you buy your spoons from, this is so cool, and I have a feeling my 6 year old son would LOVE to do this with me this summer!

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14 Jeri June 4, 2013 at 9:56 am

Hey again Kath, after reading about the herbs and thinking of your garden (It was so bountiful last year) I thought of you when I saw this on twitter. Using vinegar as a weed killer because its biodegradable and eco-safe. I was using boiling water from making pasta or corn that I saw on Extreme Cheapskates earlier this year. But everyone has vinegar and it’s so cheap too. Happy Gardening!

http://www.agardenforthehouse.com/2011/06/got-weeds-use-vinegar-not-roundup/

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15 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh June 4, 2013 at 10:21 am

You’ve just reminded me to go water my container herb garden since we don’t get rain until tomorrow. I’ve got 3 basil plants and might add a few more so I can make a good batch of pesto!

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16 Kerjan June 4, 2013 at 10:50 am

Your herb garden is SO cute!! I absolutely love it.

I’ve been wanting to start my own garden for so long and it shows that you can always start small!

Thank you for the post <3 p.s. the basil looks so fresh!

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17 Nina @ Too Hottie For That Body June 4, 2013 at 11:14 am

I love the fork and spoon herb markers! In truth, as soon as I saw that your post was about your garden I quit reading long enough to go water my own and then came back to finish. I planted a lot of stuff from seed and I’m on pins and needles to see if they actually work. So far the pumpkins are a go but we have such a short growing season here in Denver that I get so jealous when I see other gardens from around the country.

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18 Emily @ Life on Food June 4, 2013 at 11:36 am

Herbs are my favorite things to grow. I love just rubbing my fingers on the leaves sometimes for the fresh smell.

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19 Christina June 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Very cool- thanks for posting this.
Is that “creeping thyme”? Did you grow it from seed or buy a plant? I bought some for between patio stones but it’s very tall right now and looks pretty stupid.I want it to look like yours!

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20 Nicole June 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Love herbs! Thanks for the inspiration to plant them myself. Question: Will we get to hear more about Laura’s wedding?! ;-)

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21 Marissa @Barefoot Colorado June 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Love the herb markers! SO CUTE. I have never tried lettuce leaf basil, but now I am intrigued! I usually just grow regular basil and then thyme. I would love to try mint, though!

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22 Shel@PeachyPalate June 4, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Looking good! That’s pretty much the only basil we get here! Love it!

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23 Josephine Tomato June 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Try Etsy for the garden spoon markers. Kath – look into Ollas for the pots – they are unglazed clay ‘vases’ that you plan up to the rim and fill with water – it is a kind of self watering method used a lot here in New Mexico (or you could google self watering – looks like folks have used plastic water bottles with holes for the same purpose. I agree, watering containers is time consuming and you have to keep on top of it. This solves the problem, at least for me.

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24 Cyn June 4, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Anyone looking to buy similar fork and spoon herb markers…they are available from several venders on etsy. So cute!

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25 Katherine June 4, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I love your pots, Kath! especially your “labels”. :)

http://therealfoodrunner.blogspot.com

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26 Susan H @ The Food Allergy Chronicles June 4, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I have a separate part of our vegetable garden for my herbs…Genovese Basil, Purple Basil, Flat and Curly Leaf Parsley, Coriander, Oregano, Thyme, Chives, Garlic Chives, and a very large Rosemary…otherwise, it takes all summer long to get to a size that one can actually use it! :) My mom does container herbs and tomatoes, this year she added arugula. Thyme, chives, oregano and her sage come back every year and she just adds in the parsley, basil and rosemary. Along with the watering…she has to keep an eye out for the rabbits and chipmunks that like to feast on her veggies! :)

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27 Robert June 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm

A great article on herbs as you stated they are in fact very satisfying to grow. I personally am having a time growing Tomatoes here in Arizona. So if you have any info it would be greatly appreciated. I’m trying to get my herbs and vegetables to look like yours! I also have mine in pots and they do seem to dry out faster for some reason. I will start some Basil as I have never thought of using it in place of Lettuce great idea! By chance do you know of any Herb that will grow and co-exist with Bell Peppers?

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28 Elle @ The Clean Project June 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Basil’s a good companion to bell peppers

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29 Elle @ The Clean Project June 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm

I love the little fork and spoon markers. I wish I’d done something like that, I can’t tell what any of my herbs are yet.

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30 Liz @ iheartvegetables June 4, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I don’t have a lot of sunlight on my porch which is a bummer because I’d love to grow some herbs!

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31 Amy June 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm

please write about larbs’ wedding!!!

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32 Raine Blunk June 5, 2013 at 1:33 am

Hi Kath,

I admire your creativity. After reading this article, I’m inspired to make my own garden. I always use mint and basil to my recipes. Thanks for sharing! :-D

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33 Discount Weight Loss Supplement June 5, 2013 at 2:33 am

Although I haven’t any garden in my home, but I love greenery. Herbs are not only beautiful but also helpful in making many medicines. I will try to grow plants in at least in pots.

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34 Lisa @bitesforbabies June 5, 2013 at 6:00 am

Once again…SOOOO jealous! And I LOVE the markers ;-)

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35 char eats greens June 5, 2013 at 6:43 am

I absolutely LOVE how vintage and rustic this looks. I can’t wait until we have a deck/backyard that’s accessible!!

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36 chris June 5, 2013 at 7:50 am

Beautiful Kath! I love Thai Basil, their flowers attract hummingbirds!

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37 Carolyn @ SmallThingsTrilogy June 5, 2013 at 8:19 am

I have a problem combining the right herbs in the same pot. Like how do you know if one herb needs more water then the other. Any suggestions?

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38 chris June 5, 2013 at 8:42 am

if they are all in the same pot, just water the same! usually every day if it’s not raining and the pots are not clay.

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39 Robyn @thereallife_RD June 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I love those herb markers from the market! I oooed and ahhhed over them before I realized…I have no garden.

Maybe one day :)

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40 Brittney June 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Sorry for this unrelated comment, but a friend of a friend has been preaching the evils of all cow’s milk and dairy products all over my facebook newsfeed. I have seen from your blog that you consume plenty of dairy product. Could you explain to me why you think they are a perfectly healthy edition to someone’s diet? Trying to find a definitive (and unbiased) study on the internet seems nearly impossible.

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41 KathEats June 5, 2013 at 8:56 pm

I look to the past for answers to food questions and took a class on human adaptation in college. We learned the following: as humans migrated out of Africa, they moved to colder European climates and had to cover their skin to keep warm. As a result, they didn’t get vitamin D from the sun. Those who turned to domesticated animals and dairy survived while others died of rickets and other forms of malnutrition that would come about in a cold climate. So Europeans naturally selected to adapt to dairy as their way to get nutrition. So I feel that if you have no trouble digesting dairy you’re probably a descendant of these ancestors and should consume it with no problem. I think its benefits far outweigh any drawbacks.

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42 Kerjan June 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm

I love this!

Question, is it too late to start a successful blog?

I just started my own and I was wondering if I’m too late in the game to create a successful one like you? I’d love to hear your input!

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43 Amanda June 5, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Great post! I have a bunch of herbs in pots on our deck too and I love being able to walk out the door and grab, mint, parsley, and basil for recipes (and it pains me to have to buy it in the off season because of this!). But you mentioned not wanting to cut down the entire basil plant for one meal. I’ve just been pulling leaves off as needed. Should I not be doing this!? {:-)

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44 ds June 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Hi Kath! I got all of the ingredients for the low country boil, which I’m SO excited to make! My Whole Foods didn’t have any raw kielbasa, so I got smoked (cooked) instead. Would you recommend adding it at the end and not boiling it with the other items? I assume you used uncooked? Where did you get the uncooked by the way? Thanks so much!

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45 KathEats June 5, 2013 at 8:52 pm

I’m pretty sure we always buy ours smoked too. We cook it a bit just to let the flavors go throughout the broth.

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46 Jenny Lo June 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Im such a fan of fresh herbs thanks for the info.. x

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47 Paula June 5, 2013 at 9:45 pm

We have discovered that plain old homemade ice tea is something totally fantastic with some mint added. I had stopped making iced tea so often until we discovered that, now it’s on the menu again.

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48 Food Guy June 6, 2013 at 7:06 am

You’re absolutely right about mint spreading like crazy. You may want to put your oregano in a seperate pot as well. It’s not as agressive as mint but I think it’s very likely will overwhelm your thyme once it gets going.

Also, consider getting a sage plant. They do well for years. Try to find a sunny place for it. I’m up north in zone 4 and even here I can usually go out, shake the snow off the plant and get some fresh sage for the Christmas turkey stuffing.

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49 Valeria June 7, 2013 at 11:12 am

where did you get those lovely spoons??

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50 Mags June 11, 2013 at 2:48 am

I am not much of a gardener, but after this post, I too am inspired to start a herb garden. The smell/aroma of basil to me might be the most intoxicating in the world. :o)

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