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Beautiful & Frugal, too...Growing Your Own Herbs!
Toward the end of winter, when the days start to get a little longer and there's just a hint of spring in the air, don't your thoughts always turn to gardening?
This year, why not think about starting an herb garden? Growing herbs is an ancient art--for centuries herbs have been grown and used to heal the sick, flavor food and dye clothing.
Herbs are easily grown, and even a novice gardener can harvest enough for tea or spicing up a few pots of pasta sauce.
Herbs don't really require their own special garden. They can make quite nice additions to flower beds anywhere around your yard where they can be enjoyed and admired.
Some of the most well-known herbs are also among the easiest to grow:
Rosemary is my favorite herb because it is evergreen and it smells so good! It is good in soups and stews.
Oregano is a very fast grower. During very cold winters it dies back, but it comes back out at the first sign of warm weather. It will also attract butterflies to your garden.
Parsley is an herb everyone is familiar with. It is a very hardy, fast-growing plant. Parsley can easily be grown from seeds.
Mint for tea is very easy to grow. In fact, it is a good idea to plant mint in a pot and then "plant" the pot in your garden, in order to keep the mint from taking over the whole garden!
Lavender is another herb I have had very good luck with. It stays green all winter here in Central Texas. It adds a pretty texture to the garden and the dried flowers are a fragrant addition to potpourri.
Chives are also easy to grow and can be used in many recipes. They can be grown indoors on your kitchen windowsill. You might try substituting chives for green onions in some of your favorite recipes.
Most herbs do seem to enjoy a well-drained soil. For this reason, raised beds are a perfect choice for planting herbs. Most herbs will thrive if you choose a spot that receives six or more hours of sun a day.
Herbs don't require a lot of constant care, but they do require some tending. Remember to have patience, especially when you're planting from seed.
Be careful not to overfeed your herbs and only water when dry. Once you have your herbs established and they are flourishing, don't forget to harvest. Herbs can and should be cut back by about 1/3 any time of year, except for late in the fall. They will soon grow
back and be ready for another cutting.
The wonderful thing about herb gardening is that you don't have to be an expert to be successful.
So go out and visit the garden center and see what you can find to go in your first herb garden!
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Cares melt when you kneel in your garden.
Cyndi Roberts is the editor of "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another" bi-weekly newsletter, bringing you creative, practical tips to help you with budgeting, cooking, shopping, parenting
and much more as you strive to "live the Good Life... on a budget". To subscribe visit the "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another" website at http://www.cynroberts.com