Harvesting Herbs

Learn all about harvesting herbs, such as oregano, thyme, parsley and rosemary for fresh eating and drying. Also, learn about the best way to harvest basil so you continue to get large leaves throughout the season. Learn more about herb growing here.  


How to Grow: Aloe Vera

Sun Requirements Bright, indirect light outdoors and a bright room indoors Bloom Period and Plant Shape Outdoors aloe vera has yellow or red flowers in spring depending on the selection. Indoors aloe vera is mostly grown for its succulent leaves and rarely flowers. Mature Height x Spread Outdoors aloe vera can grow mostly to 2 to 3 feet tall and wide depending on the variety with some reaching 10 feet tall. Most indoor aloe vera only grow less than 1 foot tall.  Aloe vera is hardy in USDA zone 8 to 11. It's native to North Africa and...


How to Grow: Basil

Learn about basil, including how to plant and grow them. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript How to Grow: Basil A good Italian boy like me has to grow basil (Ocimum). I grew up eating tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese sandwiches. I freeze pesto cubes in summer so we can enjoy the flavor right through winter. If you can grow lettuce, you can grow basil. While I favor the Italian Genovese-type basil, there is a wide variety of other flavored basils to grow. Cinnamon, lemon, and anise-flavored basil all make for great additions to soups,...


How to Grow: Chives

If you’re looking an onion flavored edible, but don’t want to fuss with onions, grow the milder flavored chives. Chives are one of the easiest herbs to grow. This perennial pops up quickly in spring in a clump form with bright green leaves. It adorns the garden in early summer with lavender blue, red or white edible flowers. Chives are a mainstay in soups, salads and, on a baked potato. There’s even a garlic chive that has a more pungent taste. This plant looks great all season in the garden. Simply cut it back once the flowers fade and it...


How to Grow: Cilantro

Learn all about how to grow cilantro, if you dare. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript How to Grow: Cilantro My family is split on cilantro (Coriander sativum). I love it in Asian and Mexican foods, such as stir fries, soups, salsa, and burritos. My wife, Wendy, hates the flavor of it. She even will pick it out of dishes at restaurants. I love my wife, but I think she’s in the minority when it comes to cilantro. Cilantro is exploding in popularity due to the interest in Latin and Asian cuisines. It’s easy to confuse the look of cilantro...

AnnualsFruitGarden Design & CareHerbVegetable

How to Grow: Companion Planting

Learn about companion planting, including what plants grow well next to other plants and which to avoid. Listen to Podcast: Gardening is known for its folklore. Some of these old wives tales have some truth to them and others, not so much. I often get asked about companion planting for insect control. Although many say plants such as onions, marigolds and rue can deter pests, scientifically, few of these folklore remedies have been proven. It might happen that you get fewer pests on your tomatoes if onions are growing nearby, but that may...


How to Grow: Dill

Most gardeners think of dill (Anethum graveolens) as that herb in pickles, but dill is much more. This easy to grow annual herb has ferny leaves (unfortunately called dill weed) and a flat clusters of yellow flowers. If you let the flowers mature, you can collect the dill seeds in late summer. Beside using dill in pickles and beans, I also like it in potato salad, egg salad, bread, soups, and various dips and spreads. I even cut and use dill plants in flower arrangements indoors. They have a great airy feel to them. Dill has an important...


How to Grow: Edible Plants with Seasonal Color

One of the popular ways to have color all season in your foodscape yard is to grow plants that flower in each season. This common concept is used to make cottage flower gardens look so great from spring to fall. You can use it in the foodscape, too. You don’t have to exclusively use just foodscape plants, but they can help provide color, especially ones that will continue to bloom all summer. These might include eggplant, citrus and roses. Some foodscape plants, such as daylilies and bee balm, may flower for a limited amount of time and...


How to Grow: Florence Fennel

Learn how to grow Florence fennel including information on varieties. Listen to podcast: podcast transcript Although listed as an herb, I think of Florence or bulbing fennel (Foeniculum vulgare azoricum) as a vegetable. I've made a meal out of a fennel bulb. Once you get hooked on the licorice flavor of fennel and the juicy, crunchy texture, you'll be growing these 3-inch wide bulbs for grilling, steaming, or roasting. No Easter meal would be complete in my mother's house growing up without a marinaded fennel salad. There is also the...