One of the best parts about growing an herb garden is being able to use the herbs. From the lemon balm leaf in a glass of tea to the sweet basil in a pot of marinara sauce, herbs can add the most wonderful flavors.
A perfect example of why you would want an herb garden is this. Imagine a hot summer day when the only thing that can cool you off is a frosty glass of ice cold tea. You can brew the tea, pour it over the ice, add a leaf off the stevia plant and one off the lemon balm plant, and you have a wonderful sweetened glass of lemon iced tea.
You must understand something about collecting herbs. You need to do it often to allow the plant to keep growing so well. Once an herb plant has started producing flowers, it will not produce any leaves. Keeping the plant well pruned can keep it from going to flower.
There are three different kinds of herbs:
1) Herbaceous; these will die back come winter and grow back in the spring. These herbs do not need to be carefully cut back. You can just chop off what you need and they will continue to grow. It is advisable to at least let one pair of leaves remain. You will definitely do this in the spring to allow the new growth to form. These herbs are also great for container growing, especially the mint varieties.
2) Evergreen; these herbs require you prune them at least once a year. You can do it more often, and hopefully you are cutting for the kitchen, but you must also allow some of the plant to keep growing. You will want to remove any old growth so the new growth can benefit from the sunlight and not be crowded.
3) Annuals; Annual herbs need to be planted every year. You will not be able to winter these herbs unless you take them indoors. Even when you do take the best care of them possible do not be surprised when they start to die off.
When you do harvest the herbs from your garden, you will want to gather some for fresh use. This allows the plants to keep producing during the growing season. You will want to harvest for the winter later in the year.
When you harvest for the winter months you must make sure you gather all you will need. You will want to make sure before you store the herbs they are dried completely.
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