Herb Gardening

Find Herb Plants at Alsip Home & Nursery

Fresh herbs and microgreens are a valuable commodity in any chef’s kitchen! And they can be expensive if not homegrown. That’s why home herb gardening is growing in popularity, as the demand for fresh ingredients and bold flavors has skyrocketed the past few years! Although we carry a selection of herb plants year-round, our best variety is right now, in the heat of spring gardening season!

Our customers’ most frequently asked questions regarding herbs:

How to Grow HerbsAre there any tricks to successfully growing herbs?

Most herbs are as easy to grow as any annual or perennial. In general, herbs need good spacing and prefer lots of sun and nutrient rich, well-drained soil in the garden or container in order to thrive. There are a few that tolerate shade or poor soil. You will find those varieties listed in any good herb book. Herbs like to have slightly moist soil and good airflow to prevent root rot and keep pests away.

How to use Herbs in the garden.How should I use my herbs in the garden?

Herbs will easily work into the landscape, within the garden, in containers or in their own beds.

Do some herbs live longer than others?Do some herbs live longer than others?

There are herbs that are annual, biennial and perennial. Among the annuals, dill and cilantro will complete their life cycle in as short as 6 weeks. As a result, successive sowing will be needed to keep a constant supply all season. Other annuals, such as basil, will bear from spring until they are killed by frost in fall. A few herbs, including parsley, are biennial. They produce leaves the first season, and quickly go to seed the second. And there are herbs that are perennial, most of which will live on for years.

If dill is an annual, why does it come back?If dill is an annual, why does mine keep coming back?

Some annuals will readily self-sow by dropping some of their seed as they ripen, which then germinates the following spring, starting the cycle again

Should I grow mint?Friends have told me not to plant mint. Why?

Mint, along with bee balm, tansy and a few others, are often called, “garden thugs”. These are plants that not only thrive where you initially plant them, but they also try to overtake all the neighboring space, too. Some of them are very desirable plants, except for this bad habit. If you want to plant a garden thug and are concerned about where they might spread, plant them inside a contained area.

Culinary HerbsAre culinary herbs easy to grow?

There are three keys to success with culinary herbs: provide plenty of sun, occasional feeding and plenty of pinching. For the most part, the more you use them, the more they will produce. Basil and parsley are great examples of this principle. When you don’t pinch your herbs often enough, they tend to go to seed or become bitter.

Indoor herb growing.When the season is over in the fall, can I bring some of my herbs indoors?

In our dark winters, your herbs may struggle unless you can provide supplemental light. Good candidates for growing indoors in winter are basil, bay, chives, fern leaf dill, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley and sage. Rosemary struggles in the winter under the best of circumstances, but its incredible aroma and flavor may make it well worth the trouble!

Originally posted 02/08/2013

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