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Herbs

Catnip/Catmint

 

CatnipNepeta cataria-a hardy perennial herb of the Mint Family, with pungent fragrance which is highly attractive and exciting to cats. Cats aren’t the only creatures that benefit from Catnip as the leaves may be candied to enjoy as a dessert and it’s oil is used to relieve the symptoms of headaches and nervousness.

Growing Cultures

Outdoors, containers (sow direct in final pots, or in plugs and later transplant to final pots), and hydroponics.

Plant Height

Catnip usually grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet (90 -120cm).

Plant Spacing

Catnip plants should be spaced between 15 and 18 inches (38 and 45 cm) apart.

Soil Requirements

Catnip grows fine in well drained, average soils.

Sun & Lighting Requirements

Catnip grown outdoors prefers full sun, but will tolerate some shade.

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Mint

Cold ice tmint (1)ea with mint is a favorite during our squelching, hot summers. What we generally refer to as mints are in the Mentha genus or group of plants, and are some of the most delicious. They are almost always perennials, with very few exceptions.  Depending on the variety they generally like sun, but do well in part sun with afternoon shade. They do not like to dry out, and so are definitely not drought tolerant.  The flowers of mint bloom on slender spikes in shades of white, purple, or pink.  Given the right conditions some mints will take over a good section of a garden, while a variety like Corsican mint is more difficult to grow. 

Here at the nursery we strive to keep as many varieties in stock as possible, but they are not always available.  Please call ahead to see if your favorite mint is in.

 Mint can be invasive, so grow it in a container to prevent take over.  Add to flowerboxes or hanging baskets for fragrance and beauty. Use mint to make teas & candies, or with lamb, salads, peas and other veggies.

Peppermint and spearmint are always in demand, but there are some varieties with names giving us an idea of what they taste like:

 Chocolate mint

Apple mint

Orange mint

Pineapple mint

Wintergreen

 A variety NOT recommended for use in foods is Pennyroyal, which has long been used in herbal medicines, and can have detrimental side effects if taken incorrectly. 

 

Parsley

parsley2Parsley is one of the easiest and tastiest herbs you can grow in your garden. It is very easy to grow and is biennial so it will last at least a year to a year and a half before going to seed. Parsley thrives in plain soil with good drainage and a moderate amount of sun making it a good candidate for the partly shady areas in your garden. Like most herbs, Parsley also grows well in containers and is very ornamental making it a good choice for container arrangements. I have used Curly Parsley as a border in my flower beds with good success. It is bright green and will last through all of our seasons. Of course parsley is also used in cooking for anything from fish to pasta sauce.

Parsley is notoriously hard to grow from seed and takes quite a while to germinate. Buying Parsley plants is the best way to go for most gardeners. I grow Parsley from seed only when I can’t find the kind of plant I want. Nothing beats seed for a large variety of choices. As mentioned before, plant parsley in a well drained garden bed or container in part sun. Give it plenty of water when first planted and a good organic fertilizer for green leaves. When deciding which type of parsley to grow consider how you will use it . Curly parsley makes a beautiful garnish and has a lighter taste than flat leafed parsley. Flat leafed parsley does better when cooked and has a stronger parsley taste. Flat leafed parsley also stands up better in our summer heat if you do not have any shade in your garden. Watch your Parsley for white flies, one of the only pests that parsley has. Spraying with an organic insecticidal soap will quickly get rid of white flies. When buying parsley plants buy plenty to share with the black swallowtail caterpillar. The beautiful black and yellow striped caterpillars will eat part of your parsley but will not destroy your plant. It is great fun to watch them eat and grow and as an added bonus you will get a black swallowtail to help pollinate your garden.
 
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To harvest parsley, cut the outer older leaves and leave the younger leaves to develop. This will insure you always have a fresh batch of parsley on the way. Some people divide their plants in threes harvesting from only a third of the plant at a time. This also helps provide a continual parsley harvest. To preserve your parsley, it is better to freeze it than dry it. Frozen parsley keeps its flavor better than dried. If you plant new plants every year you will always have fresh parsley. Parsley is a great herb to grow and has many, many uses. Plant it in your garden for both decoration and cooking and you will have a beautiful yard and great tasting food.
 
Plant Profile:
 
Biennial
Plant in full sun to part shade.
Drought tolerant once established
Small white flower umbels the 2nd year
Bright green leaves   
Frost tolerant 

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Dill

dillDill, Anethum Graveolens, is in the carrot family.  It likes full sun in well drained soil.  Dill can grow 3 to 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide.  It is a warm weather annual.  The wispy fern like leaves have a tangy flavor.  It is a great seasoning for vegetables, fish and dips.  It is reported to promote bone health, boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.  Dill is a source of Calcium, Potassium and Manganese.  Pinch flower heads off for longer production.
 
Plant Profile:
Annual
Full sun
Well drained soil
 
 
 
Dill Dipping Sauce dill1
 
1 cup Greek Yogurt (I use non fat)
1/2 a Cucumber peeled seeded and minced
1/4 or less Sour Cream (splurge ingredient)
Big squeeze 1/2 Lemon
4 T Fresh Dill Chopped
1 Clove Garlic minced
A twist of two of cracked Pepper
A twist or two of Sea Salt (I like Pink Himalayan)
 
Mix together and chill.  Great for vegetables or with chilled Salmon. Enjoy your food.
 
Recipe by Kim Messer

Culantro

Culantro, Eryngium Foetidum, also known as Mexican Coriander, is native to Mexico, Central and South America. Related to Cilantro, thisculantro herb is stronger in flavor and more heat tolerant than Cilantro. It will grow in full sun with well drained soil. It is compact in nature and will do well in a pot or in the garden.  This herb goes well with vegetable and meat dishes.  The flowers should be pinched back to keep the leaves from becoming bitter. This annual should be planted after the last frost.

Plant Profile:
Annual
Full Sun
Well drained soil
12 inches wide by 2-3 feet tall

Pineapple Sage

pineapple sagePineapple Sage (Salvia elegans) is in the mint family.  It is both a hardy & showy herb, whose crushed leaves really do smell like pineapple. It has soft fuzzy light green leaves and red tubular flowers that bloom in late summer and fall. This herb is a perennial that can die in the winter and re-sprout in the spring. In colder climates, it needs to be brought inside and treated as an annual.

Pineapple sage can be planted in a garden or container. Just give it plenty of room as it can grow to shrub size (4 feet tall and 3 feet wide) in one season. It grows in full sun and requires regular watering for optimal growth and flowering.

You can use Pineapple Sage in fruit salads and drinks. When used in tea, just crush some leaves and drop into the tea. The flowers can be used to add color to salads or deserts.

 

 

 

Plant Profile:

Type: Herb – semi-woody subshrub – usually grows in our area as a perennial

Garden habitat: Garden or container.

Exposure: Full sun.

Care: Regular watering.

Italian Parsley

ParsleyItalian Parsley, Petroselinum crispum neopolitanum, is an herb that is traditionally used in Italian cooking, more flavor than the curly varieties with deeply cut flat-leaf glossy green leaves. In addition to being a culinary delight, it is a host plant for swallowtail butterflies and attracts beneficial insects. Parsley is a biennial grown as an annual.

Parsley can be grown as border plants in raised beds or in containers.  This plant is easy to grow from transplants or seeds, does well with part sun or even part shade. Italian parsley grows to 2-3’ tall. 

 

 

 

Plant Profile:

Partial to full sun

Needs regular watering

2-3’tall

Host plant for the black swallowtail butterfly

Winter Savory

Winter Savory (Satureja Montana) is one of the lesser known herbs we sell. Winter savory is a perennial that grows about a little over a foot tall. It is semi-evergreen with dark green leaves and white flowers. It’s stems become woody and structural with age. This herb is very easy to grow and can be used to border a garden bed just like you would use lavender or rosemary.  Winter Savory is also very pretty in a container alone or in a mixed container planting to give the arrangement  height and form.
Herb
 
Give Winter Savory soil that drains well and about 6 hours of sun. It can be grown in full sun or part shade. Like Rosemary and lavender, Winter Savory does not like wet roots. Water it everyday for the first month or so then cut back. This herb establishes quickly and then is very drought tolerant. In Spring Winter Savory should be cut back to 4 or 5 inches tall. In fall Winter Savory can be divided and replanted for more plants in your garden. Another great thing about Winter Savory is that it has no known pests or diseases making it a wonderfully carefree small shrub.
 
Besides being an attractive shrub in your garden, Winter Savory has many culinary uses, Mix Winter Savory with other herbs in a marinade for chicken or beef or use it as a topping on fish. Mix it with other herbs to make herbed cheeses. Harvest Winter Savory’s tender leaves at the end of the stems for the best flavor. These leaves can be used fresh, frozen or dried. Whether you use Winter Savory as just a pretty garden perennial or also as a kitchen herb for cooking, you will enjoy Winter Savory in your garden.

 Plant Profile:

Perennial semi-evergreen shrub
Zones 5-11
Hardy to 10 degrees F
Full to Part sun
Drought tolerant
Grows 12 to 15 inches
Small white flowers along branches 

Artemisia

The Artemisia group is an herb that was named after Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and the moon, who watched over women and children.artemisia

This plant has between 200 and 400 species belonging to the daisy family Asteraceae. The aromatic leaves of some species are used for flavouring. Most species have an extremely bitter taste. Some species, such a wormwood, are used to treat skin infections.  Another in this group is Tarragon which is commonly used in French cooking.  

Artemisia is a perennial. It grows to 18” in height and 3 feet wide. The beautiful silvery foliage tends to be dense right to the ground, it has a fast grow rate and can live for approximately 10 years. This plant needs full sun, and prefers well-drained soil. It is considered to be drought resistant and makes an ideal choice for low water gardens. Other common names are Wormwood, Sage and Mugwort.

It requires occasional maintenance and upkeep. Be aware of the following characteristics, it spreads and is self-seeding.

It is excellent in spots where nothing else survives.

herb

 

 

PLANT PROFILE:

Plant Type: Herb, Perennial

Sun Exposure: Full

Growth: 18” Height and 3’ feet Wide

Water: Low

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemongrass

lemon-grass-plantLemon Grass, Cymbopogon Citratus, is a tall perennial grass with gray-green leaves. It can grow from 3-4 ft. in well drained soil. It prefers full sun, but will need protection from a freeze. This herb has a subtle citrus flavor and blends well with garlic, chilies and cilantro. It is very popular in Asian cuisine. It can be dried, powdered or used fresh in teas, soups or curries. It is a natural insect repellent and the oil has anti fungal properties. It is rumored to ease digestion