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Three Easy Herbs to Grow

Sage is an easy herb to growThis should really be titled, “Three Fool-Proof Herbs to Grow” because these herbs are easy to grow even if you’ve never gardened before.  Growing herbs is an excellent way to get started gardening because you don’t need fancy tools or special equipment to do it.  All of these herbs can be grown in the ground but can also be grown in pots on a porch, patio or window sill if that’s all the space you have.  You can start any of these from seed or pick up starter plants at your local plant nursery.  Many herbs need dividing so check with a neighbor or friend who gardens because they may be ready to divide a plant, too.

Fresh herbs make such a nice addition when cooking at home and if you’ve ever had to buy a small package of herbs, you know how expensive they can be.  Give these a try and you’ll be adding fresh herbs to your home cooking and saving money.  There’s also no plastic packaging to dispose of when you’ve grown herbs yourself.

Three easy herbs to grow

Plus a bonus makes four!

1. Sage
Hardy, super easy to grow and can easily survive the winter.  Sage has the sweetest little purple flowers that are pretty in a glass jar, too.  Sage has unique flavor and is very versatile.  It can be used in turkey stuffing and when sautéed with garbanzo beans, onions and garlic, makes a hearty entrée.  Sage is especially delicious with sliced carrots sautéed in garlic and onion.  If want to be indulgent, sage leaves are also really good pan-fried in a little canola oil and used as a topping for pasta or soup.  To pick, just clip a branch low and pick off the leaves starting with the most tender ones at the top.

Carrots sauteed with sage

2. Rosemary
Rosemary is another herb that is easy to grow, hearty and will last for years.  Rosemary is great for grilling and cooking with when preparing meat or poultry.  Minced, rosemary is good mixed with red pepper flakes and added to bread dough to make a savory loaf, pizza dough or cornbread.  Rosemary can can also be dried and stored in an airtight container.  It’s even been shown to help counter the carcinogenic effects of charcoal grilling.  To pick, just snip a branch and run your fingers backward on the stem to pull off the little green sprigs.

Rosemary with chicken

3. Thyme
Thyme is an incredibly multi-purpose herb.  While it is easy to start and to grow, it has yet to survive a winter for me.  I usually start seeds in early summer and can harvest the thyme in very little time.  Thyme is a lovely addition to salad dressings, soups and stews, pasta, seafood, shell-fish, and hummus.  No need to mince your fresh thyme, either.  While holding it in one hand, with your thumb and pointer finger, just pull the leaves off the stem quickly.

Thyme is tasty in hummus

4. Arugula
This is a bonus! While technically not an herb, arugula is my go-to plant in the garden for adding a little spice to  dishes like salads, sandwiches or as a garnish when you need a bit of green.  Arugula has a distinctive taste and is a peppery salad green. It’s super easy to grow and even winters over well, at least in mild winter climates. Growing arugula in your garden saves money, too, because for some reason, buying arugula at the grocery store can be expensive. To harvest, treat like a lettuce or chard and cut leaves off before they go to seed.

Arugula with chicken curry salad

If your arugula goes to seed, it’s very easy to dry these seeds and replant once they have had a chance to dry out. Simply remove the pod from the plant and open it. Place in a small cup or bowl and let it sit for several months and then plant these seeds. Or give them as a gift. A little packet tied with a gingham ribbon would be so sweet, wouldn’t it?

Whether you’re new to gardening or someone who’s an old pro, these herbs will be a welcomed addition in your kitchen when you’re preparing a simple or elaborate home cooked meal.

One final tip: if you are considering planting mint, only plant it in a pot.  It likes to take over.

What are your favorite, fool-proof herbs to grow? What would you add to my list?

Go Gingham related links:

I also like to save seeds and re-use those in my garden!
How to stake tomato plants – a very stylishly frugal method!
Why my tomato plants are happy – what I plant with them
My non-gardener-gardening-strategy – yes, non gardeners can fake it
How to build a raised vegetable bed
Growing vegetables in small spaces – I call it “sky gardening”

12 thoughts on “Three Easy Herbs to Grow

  1. Thanks for all your tips and I will definitely grow these 3 herbs – my thumb may not be green, but I think these hebs will start the greening of my thumb.


    1. Lynn, my thumb is barely green but I’ve been able to keep all of these alive easily! They’re the easiest – I like to gain confidence in the garden with simple, sturdy plants! Thanks for leaving a comment…


    1. Carol, yes! Great additions. I haven’t always had luck with my basil but that may have more to do with our weather – or lack of summer weather! I do have chives in my garden but forget to use them because our chickens like to trample on them. I may have to move those to a pot…thanks Carol!


  2. I love fresh herbs and wish I had a place to grow them. We were hoping we’d have some outdoor space when we bought our place, but that didn’t happen, so now I’m thinking I might have to sneak some pots up on the roof 😉


  3. Chives and dill. And for easiness, mint -though I wish there was an easy way to kill mint. I currently have a chocolate mint plant that keeps coming back, no matter how many times I think I’ve dug it all up.


    1. Yes, dill is one I always use. It seems to bolt quickly so maybe I need to pinch it back more often. That mint can really take root – literally! Thanks Heidi!


  4. I love rosemary and basil. Basil can be tricky. I have had great basil years and not so great basil years, but my rosemary always comes through for me. I have tried gardening over and over again. I did not get the green thumb gene. But you’re right herbs are pretty harmless.


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