Have you ever considered growing an herb garden? This might be the year to start one… yes, even in the fall. The aromas of different herbs are wonderful. You could grow enough to make a few special tea bags, experiment with the wonderful essential oil trend that is gaining popularity or enjoy new herbs and spices in cooking and baking. The soft, fleshy green parts of the plant are considered the herbs and the other parts (the stems and seeds, etc.) are the spices.
The months between September and February are considered the cool season for herbs and most can even tolerate the freezes we get down here in the deep south. Lemon balm can thrive the entire year or for many years as can chives, rosemary and oregano. In fact, perennial herbs like these are usually planted in the fall to give them a chance to get good and strong before the stifling days of our summers.
Rather than attempting to grow plants from seeds on your first try, buy a few starter plants from your favorite garden store. Pick out a few that you really like to smell. You will find that herbs aren’t too fussy about where you plant them, and most can even survive through the care of novice gardeners. You can get planting tips from the LSU AgCenter website at www.lsuagcenter.com. When you feel the urge to start picking a few to use, try to make your cut close to a leaf intersection to ensure rapid regrowth.
If the idea of a separate garden seems overwhelming to you, grow a few in pots and place around your existing garden. Next year you will likely feel the urge to expand and possibly create a new garden that is solely dedicated to herbs.