I have been happily surprised by how many herbs I have learned about and are now some of my favorite ones to use! I have also been surprised by how difficult some common herbs are to grow and maintain. So here is run down of herbs I have grown and how I like them from best to worst.
- Sage: Sage is at the top of my list of my favorite herbs! The flavor of freshly dried sage goes well with so many things. The plant and leaves are big, easy to harvest and work with, leaving you plenty left over.
- Mints: I already liked mint before I started to grow herbs. Then I learned how many varieties there were and found Chocolate Mint! I love using it in baking such as Zucchini Bread. Mints grow so easily, they are the best beginner herb to try and so many fun flavors! I currently have 5 different mint plants, I love it.
- Rosemary: Next to Sage I use Rosemary quite a lot. However, since it makes a great evergreen bush, I just harvest what I need, when I need it. Very low maintenance herb to grow and makes a great decorative bush too! I love brushing the leaves as I walk by it.
- Pineapple Sage: Never heard of it? Neither had I until I saw it at the garden store and fell in love with it! The smell, the flavor, is so wonderful, you have to try it. It goes well with Asian recipes and for making cocktails. It grows fairly big too and has lovely red flowers that attract hummingbirds.
- Lemon Balm: When I couldn’t find Lemon Verbena, I got Lemon Balm from a friend. It makes a good lemon flavor that is nice fresh as well and easy to prune and maintain. Can grow quickly and large.
- Marjoram: Marjoram has a sweeter flavor than Oregano which is why I like it. It grows easily and compact. Dries nicely and comes in pretty varieties.
- Oregano: Oregano was one of the first herbs I tried growing and has always done well. It’s very easy to harvest and dries nicely, a must have for the kitchen!
- Feverfew: I am so glad I tried Feverfew, not for cooking but for Migraines. The flavor is just right and tends to help me feel better rather quickly. It is very bitter tasting however, so I tend to wrap 2-3 leaves in a couple Lemon Balm leaves. Others I have talked to say it didn’t help with their migraines. I wonder if they’ve only tried pills and not fresh leaves-while not a cure, it really has helped me.
- Green Onion/Chives: These are easy even if you don’t use them regularly. Just trim off when your cooking and they grow back!
- Thyme: I have a love-hate relationship with Thyme. Love the flavor, not fond of the plant. I currently have four Thyme plants just in case one of them dies, I have one die on me at least once a year. They don’t grow very big and are a pain if you don’t want stems (I just leave the stems now a days). But most of all I run out so quickly! I love using it on so many dishes but it’s so small there’s only so much yield 😦
- Lavender: Another nice ornamental herb. I don’t use it very much but it’s easy enough to grow and harvest I keep it around.
- Basil: Why you ask is Basil so far down on the list? I tell you why, it’s better to just buy what you need then try to maintain this plant. Unless you’re using it every week, it’s leaves get too big, brown or get bugs. It is very high maintenance and needs regular pruning-I’ve stopped trying to grow it.
- Cilantro: Same story as Basil, I buy it when I need it.
- Yarrow: I’ve grown it, it’s pretty, I forget what I was going to use it for….
- Dill: Not worth it, no really. Trying to harvest the tiny dill leaves is just ridiculous itself. But then the plants tend to fall over from being top heavy….just don’t do it. I use Dill a lot, but I buy it.
Those are most of the herbs I’ve tried to grow and maintain. Maybe some day I will growing Basil and Cilantro indoors, but for now I have my Sage and Mint plants to keep me happy. I think I need more Thyme plants though….. 😛