All the dirt on gardening: Herbs

My garden has different herbs planted here and there. I must admit sometimes I forget where I’ve planted what and some don’t survive. I found my tarragon today under some weeds. The chick weed had grown over the top of it but it is still alive. The thing about herbs is that most are pretty hardy. They need to be with my hit and miss type of gardening.

The great thing about herbs is that you can grow them in small areas, pots, or on balconies. Seedlings are cheap to buy. Also some repel insects and are companion plants for certain vegetables.

So, here is a list of herbs, their health benefits and uses in the garden as well as kitchen. Mind you if you want to use these for your ailments, research first and consult your doctor if you have any doubts.

Sweet Basil: Basil is a companion plant for tomatoes. Plant in full sun and a well-drained soil. Use in soups, stews, pesto and salads. If I have a glut of tomatoes I freeze them with chopped up basil. Medical use: Can relieve pain as it contains eugenol which may mimic anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen. It is also reported to have anti-ageing properties.

Dill: Plant with carrots, tomatoes and celery. It repels white cabbage moth. Tea made from dill seed is reported to cure hiccups.

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Mint: Plant in full sun or part shade and water well. It can become out of control so is best planted in a container. Soothes stomach aches associated with indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome.

Oregano: Plant in full sun. It can spread like mint so is ideal in a pot. It is supposed to be a companion plant for cabbage. Add it to most vegetables, meat and fish or add to spicy foods. It has powerful antioxidant and antibacterial properties that help fight disease and infection.

Rosemary: Plant in full sun. Is quite drought tolerant. Leaves go great on a lamb roast. It boosts vision and protects against retina damage.

Tarragon: Grow in full sun. Dies down in winter. It is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants that promote health and fights diseases. Traditionally used to stimulate appetite. It also helps lower blood sugar levels. The antioxidant protects against heart attacks and stroke. It is rich in vitamin C, A and B complexes.

Thyme: It attracts bees to the garden and repels a range of insects including the grubs from cabbage moth. Add to bean, egg and vegetable dishes. Numerous antioxidant health benefits including helping acne (not that we need that at our age), lowers blood pressure, is a cough remedy, boosts immunity. Oil of thyme disinfects. It also repels rodents and mosquitoes. It is reported to also boost ones mood.

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These are only some of the herbs we can plant. Enjoy your gardening.

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