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5 Rules for a Culinary Garden

Posted December 16th, 2016 by Garden & Greenhouse in ,

A culinary garden can be the ultimate inspiration for budding cooks and gourmet chefs alike. Like any recipe, start your garden with the basics which are light, placement and planning.

Location, Location, Location

For aesthetic reasons, the garden should be close to the kitchen but not in it. It needs to be close enough to conveniently harvest the herbs, but remember, you’ll be cutting the herbs often frequently and they may not always look the best.

Love the Sun

Most herbs do well when they receive significant sunlight. Added to that, they just taste better, with more nutrients and richer colors that add up to better flavor.

Flowers Be Gone

When herbs flower, their leaves tend to grow bitter. The best strategy is to plant new plants every 4 to 6 weeks. This gives you better tasting produce and guarantees a consistent supply.

Prune the Evergreens

Sage, thyme, rosemary are the evergreen herbs that require care and attention. If you aren’t cutting them regularly, you’ll notice branches that appear dead or dormant. Prune them at least once a year (spring or fall).

Beware the Mint

If you want to grow mint, don’t put it in the garden and grow it in a separate pot instead. Mint is very invasive, will spread vigorously and eventually choke out anything in its path. Space plants at least 12 to 18 inches apart.

Great Herbs for a Culinary Garden

The following plants are excellent additions to a culinary garden. Three or four of each should produce a consistent supply of fresh herbs. The larger, woody plants like rosemary can produce for years so only one of them is needed.

  • Oregano – a staple in pastas, pizzas and stews.
  • Nasturtium – flowers and leaves alike add a peppery kick to salads and other dishes.
  • Basil – sweet or lettuce leaf, vital for pestos and versatile enough to do double duty.
  • Argula – the mother of mixed greens, bringing flavor and spice to salads.
  • Sweet Marjoram – a tasty take on Green oregano and an excellent accent in soups, eggs and butter.

Want more information? Read these articles:

Dried Herbs Require Little Work and Offer a Great Reward

Enjoy Fresh Herbs Year Round

Gardening in A Jar

Peppers are a Spicy Addition to any Kitchen Garden

Stop Torturing Your Taste Buds – Growing Lettuce and Herbs Hydroponically!

Summer Italian Herbs are Tasty and Easy to Grow

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