Nursery owner

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner.

Herbs can be such a wonderful addition to all types of garden areas. The aromatherapy herbs can provide makes them a wonderful plant for any location. The wonderful herbal fragrances are not these plants only assets. Many herb plants attract hummingbirds and butterflies and, of course, herbs just look good.

Herb plants can be easy to grow with little care and many are also drought-tolerant once established. It’s a good thing to frequently trim your herbs to keep them in good shape and to encourage new growth. It’s not such a good thing to cut herb plants completely back, with the exception of the annuals that are harvested at the end of their season such as dill in late spring and basil in the fall.

There’s a rule when growing herbs that you never cut more herbs at one time than you plan to use. They can last better on the plant than in your kitchen. All culinary herbs can be used fresh or dried as a seasoning.

Most cut herbs can be held successfully for three or four days when they are rolled up in a damp cloth or paper towel and put in a zip-lock plastic bag. Keep the bag in a cool place in your kitchen out of any direct sunlight or keep it in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Basil cuttings can last for days in just a plain glass of water. In fact, if kept in the water long enough, basil cuttings will sprout roots.

Harvested herbs can be added to all kinds of recipes or tossed in with salad greens. Fresh herbs can be processed together with olive oil or butter and kept in the freezer for longer storage times.

Herb plants offer gardeners such a variety of pleasures, more so than any other kind of gardening.

Until next time, let’s try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to laurie@vicad.com or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.

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