There is nothing better than the smell of fresh herbs picked from your garden. Herbs enhance the flavors of many dishes like fresh basil in pasta sauce or mint in salad and refreshing drinks. Sure you can run up to the store and buy a year’s supply of basil or rosemary, but nothing beats the smell and taste of freshly picked herbs. Check out our pro tips for growing herbs here in Tennessee.
When growing herbs, it’s important to think about where you’re going to place the plants. You will need to know how much sun your herbs need. Basil, dill, and rosemary, for example, need over six hours of full sun a day while mint, parsley, and coriander require partial shade. Another great thing about herbs is that they are compact and can be planted in flower pots; this makes getting the right amount of sunlight a breeze as you can move the pots to different locations as needed.
When deciding on which herbs to grow, consider what dishes you usually cook. If you and your family heavy pasta eaters then you will want to plant plenty of basil and oregano. If you aren’t sure what types of herbs you’d like, take a look at the list we made below to help you out.
Peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint, orange mint, catmint, grapefruit mint are just some of the many types of mint you can choose from. Mint isn’t just used for sweet dishes, it’s also used for savory dishes around the world. Mint is a perennial herb that has a tendency to be invasive if left unchecked. If you don’t want your mint running wild in your garden then plant it in a planter or pot. Mint needs full sun to partial shade and damp, well-drained soil.
Everyone loves the smell of sweet basil. This sweet annual herb is native to the tropics and loves plenty of sun and heat. Plant it in a spot that you know will receive six to eight hours of sun. As it grows, remove the center set of leaves at the top to encourage it to grow bushier. Water basil when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. If you plant in containers you will need to water more often. When growing herbs, basil is often the first choice, and for good reason. Basil is ready to use immediately if you buy it as a plant so start cooking!
Rosemary is a perennial herb native to the warm climate of the Mediterranean. In their natural habitat they can grow three feet tall and five feet wide, but here in Tennessee, the cold winters will prevent them from growing. If you want to keep your rosemary growing every year then plant them in a pot and bring them inside during the winter.
Related to the mint family and native to the great plains, anise hyssop is a perennial plant with blue flowers. The leaves have a licorice-like scent and can be used in many recipes like tea, cookies, and salads. By the middle of summer, the cylindrical flowers begin to form and continue to bloom through the fall. The flowers are also loved by butterflies and bees who make a uniquely fragrant honey from the nectar.