Culinary herbs are the workhorse of your home garden. Grown for their versatility, herbs are used for more than flavoring food. The medicinal properties of oregano, for example, can help fight the common cold, and thyme is a lung booster. Rosemary is a well-known insect repellent and mint is an excellent rodenticide (mice HATE the smell of mint). There are even cosmetic uses for culinary herbs; rosemary combats dandruff and marjoram is a natural perfume. Who knew?
In the suburban garden, herbs are often planted because they are visually stunning and smell fantastic- think passion flower and tarragon. Chocolate mint is an efficient ground cover, rapidly filling in otherwise barren spaces while lazily climbing rocks and bark. Large clumps of bushy, wild thyme make for scenic garden back drops. In my garden, I like to just let the herbs grow au natural. Some varieties bolt, and bloom beautiful, aromatic flowers and seed, while others just seem to get bushier and leggy’er as the season progresses.
With all this green herbal goodness, who wants to wait weeks and weeks for the plants to mature? Great news! You don’t have to.
Three Fast-Growing Herbs From Seed
As a savory annual herb, sweet basil is actually a member of the mint family. Used widely as an aromatic flavoring in Italian cooking, it’s a very fast growing plant that needs little attention once it is established. Plant seeds in full sun, in well drained soil and expect them to germinate in as little as seven days.
It’s a twofer. You can grow cilantro for the leaves or the seeds (coriander). True, it grows quickly from seed, but it’s a temperamental plant. During extended periods of high heat, cilantro has been known to bolt, sometimes in a matter of hours. This herb loves cooler climates and chilly weather.
This Mediterranean herb mimics the common radish in appearance. Sturdy green leaves complement thin stems of white flowers. And talk about fast growth! In perfect soil conditions, the seed germinates in just four to 7 days, and you can be harvesting the leaves for your salad in just 21 days.
Editor’s note – Photos by: phyteclub.org, pantrygardenherbs.com, vegespace.com, 2bseeds.com
Congratulations to Lou Douros, for selecting the title and providing the inspiration for this article beginning with the letter “Q”. As promised, I’ll be sending him a little “sumthin’ sumthin'” for helping with the blog. Hint: I hope he likes herbs. 🙂
I know I’m not the only one who loves a good herb garden. What are your favorite culinary herbs to grow in the garden?
This article is the seventeenth in a series of 26 consecutive articles, as part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the whole month of April. Tomorrow, I’ll post an article with a title that begins with the letter “R”… So goes the rest of the alphabet, through the end of the month.