Heirloom Herbs for the Kitchen

Author: Meera, January 12, 2016

The green stalks of the red and yellow onions I planted in late summer are now up about a foot in a raised bed. The garlic that I planted around the same time is also poking up. Having onions, garlic, and fresh culinary herbs available year-round is not impossible in the Bay Area’s mild climate, especially when they are grown in cold frames, protected areas, and raised beds.



Use garlic for companion plant to deter pests from lettuce and cabbage

Garlic growing in our garden during spring last year produced lots of bulbs for cooking.




Some will re-seed themselves in the growing beds or around your yards. We’ve got Greek oregano and chives growing all over the place. Some of my favorites herbs include basil, cilantro, chervil, chives, dill, fennel, lemon balm, lavender, oregano, mint, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage, and savory.




We also grow a few ornamental herbs such as borage, hyssop, and catnip (for our new kitty), tea herbs (chamomile and mint), and medicinal herbs (like echinacea).




Herbs in a pot for use in the kitchen

Parsley and basil share space in a pot on the patio






Herbs are easy to grow. Their blooms will attract insects beneficial to the garden. Butterflies and hummingbirds are also attracted. And herbs don’t need much–light, and porous soil, warmth, and decent drainage. For a light feeding of the herbs, we make chicken poop tea. With so many varieties of herbs available, why not tuck a few in your garden or in containers in a protected but sunny and warm area of your patio to enjoy in your culinary creations?



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