Growing Herbs

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Fresh herbs are my favorite plants to grow because most are happy in containers, they are wonderfully aromatic and herbs have the ability to add extra pizazz and freshness to a simple meal. While most herbs thrive in full sun, mint and chives do fine with even 3 hours of full sun. The Mediterranean herbs (rosemary, sage, basil and thyme) require at least 4-5 hours of sun, though more sunshine will have them even happier.

Here are my favorite herbs to grow in outdoor pots:

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1. Mint. This is certainly one of the easiest herbs to grow. In fact, there are many jokes about how hard it is to eradicate mint from a garden if it spreads! So keep an eye on the trailing stems and adventurous roots, or it will infiltrate the lawn or garden plot. In fact, this is probably the only herb that should be planted in a container by itself. For variety, ask at your local nursery for chocolate mint and pineapple mint. Who says that we have to stick with only peppermint and spearmint? Mojitos anyone?

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2. Rosemary. Who doesn’t love vegetables roasted with olive oil, sea salt and rosemary? This favorite herb dries beautifully and keeps its flavor. Provided with sufficient sun, a potted rosemary grows inside just fine. Forget to water your inside plants? No worries because rosemary prefers to dry out a bit between watering.

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3. Sage, thyme, oregano and marjoram are similar to rosemary in their desire for a sunnier and drier environment. After all, these herbs grow together in the Mediterranean area and, thus, can be planted in a large container together. It’s a party!

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4. Basil. Essential for pesto, caprese salad and many Italians dishes, basil is also highlighted in Thai and Vietnamese food. This beautiful and delicious herb requires well-drained and fairly moist soil. Parsley and cilantro share the same moisture requirements as basil, creating their own gathering.