Why Grow Herbs?
An age-old adage says that small changes can make a big difference. This is certainly true for anyone who has tasted the difference between store-bought herbs and fresh ones. The flavors of fresh herbs are more robust, vibrant, and delicious, and growing your own is one more way to become more self-sustaining on the Llano Estacado. The good news is that growing your own herbs is easy, even for the most novice gardener.
Basil not only adds a delicious flavor to your food, it also offers a wonderful, fresh fragrance you’ll enjoy as you’re working in your garden!
Tips for Growing Herbs:
Herbs take up little space in your garden area, but they do best when they are all in their own space. For your cooking convenience, make sure that they are close to your kitchen. You can plant herbs from seed each year, or grow perennials that come back annually after winter. Although you will want to check to make sure how the herb will grow in our zone, most herbs thrive with full sun and regular watering.
Some favorite herbs to grow on the Llano Estacado include basil, sage, thyme, oregano, mint, rosemary, parsley, and tarragon. Some of these may be familiar to you, while others you have rarely used. Each herb is delicious and can bring a unique flavor and taste to your food.
Uses for Herbs
Herbs grow very quickly, which means that you’ll want to have a plan to use them regularly. A few days after you’ve snipped some sprigs of parsley, you’ll begin to see new ones coming back. Basil seems to do particularly well in our climate, and in no time at all, you will probably have a flowering bush on your hands. If you want to find a way to keep up with the rapid growth of your plants, you can dry them to have quality seasonings available year round. Simply cut a bunch of herbs (late afternoon is the best time, so that they will be dried from any morning moisture), and make sure the leaves are free from dirt and bugs. Then, tie them into a bundle, and allow them to dry in the sun. If you’re still having a hard time finding a way to use up all of those thriving herbs, you can try giving away or selling some to those around you.
Next week, we will share more about using these wonderful herbs to give your meals a boost of flavor. What tips do you have for growing herbs on the Llano Estacado?