Herbs Series – Week #1

Herbs

Today I would like to talk about herbs and what I am learning about each one of them.  Each Monday I will make a post for the next several weeks about a particular herb with detailed information.

Oregano, Sage, Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Santolina, Artemesia, Tarragon & Fennel prefer soil that is dry and rock (light soil).

Herbs generally do not require fertilizer.  Improve the soil structure twice a year by adding organic material.

Basil, Chamomile, Thyme, Lavender, Mint, Dill, Chervil, Fennel & Parsley attract beneficial insects to your garden.

Basil, Lemon Grass & Garlic Chives require more water than herbs listed above.

Herbs that are invasive include:  mint and some oregano, so you will want to control these invasive herbs by planting them in containers or cut the bottoms of the container and sink container into your soil.

In the fall the following herbs can be started:  Anise, Borage, Caraway, Catnip, Chervil, Chives, Cilantro/Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Fennel (bulb), Garlic (clove), Garlic Chives, Horehound, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Salad Burnet, Santolina, Savory (Winter), Scented Geraniums, Thyme and Yarrow.

Herbs that can be started from cuttings in the fall include:  Horehound, Lavender, lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Santolina, Savory (Winter), Scented Geraniums, Thyme and Yarrow.

Herbs that are started from divisions in the Fall include:  Catnip, Chives, Fennel (bulb), Garlic (clove), Garlic Chives, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint, Tansy & Yarrow.

Look for posts on Mondays on specific herbs over the next several weeks where we will be looking a detailed information for each herb.

Lord bless you and keep you!

How to make Tagliatelle with Parsley Sauce

Plain Parsley

I have attached a video showing how to make Tagliatelle.  The recipe in the video is different than the one I have posted below.  Here is a list of ingredients you will need to make this dish  that serves 4:

1lb fresh spinach tagliatelle (I substitute any pasta noodles)
6 scallions, thinly sliced
3T olive oil
4 cloves garlic
12oz button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 c. chopped curly-leaved parsley
salt and black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2/3 c. heavy cream
8oz feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions:
Cook the tagliatelle (or pasta) in boiling salted water until it is tender.  Drain and keep warm.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and cook the onions over medium heat until clear or translucent.  Add the garlic and cook another minute.  Add the mushrooms, stir, cover and simmer over low heat for five minutes.  Stir in the parsley slowly to avoid breaking the mushrooms, then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Add the cream and heat all the way through.  Turn the tagliatelle into a warm serving dish, pour on the sauce and toss well.  Sprinkle with Feta cheese and serve with bread, a salad of roasted red and yellow peppers or tomatoes sprinkled with basil and sunflower seeds.

Enjoy the delicious dish.

What Kind of Soil do I need for Parsley to Grow?

Plain Parsley

When I first started gardening I didn’t know a thing about soil much less different types of soil that certain plants needed.  So I’ll share some things I have learned about herbs and soil.

There is clay soil, medium soil, light soil, sandy soil, wet soil and loam soil.  You can determine what kind of soil you have by getting a quart class jar with a lid.  Put a few tablespoons of soil in the jar and fill it with water.  Put the lid on the jar and shake really hard and then leave the jar alone for a couple days while the contents settle.  After a couple days get a marker and mark the jar at the point of each layer you see.

Here in Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9) we have clay soil.  Which means my jar once settled will have a narrow band of sand and stones covered by a much thicker band of clay.  This is called “clay soil”.  Medium soil will have equal layers of sand and clay.  Light soil will have a thick layer of sand and a narrow band of clay.

In light sandy soil water drains quickly and takes all the nutrients with it.  All Mediterranean herbs will love light sandy soil, such as:

Borage
Chamomile
Coriander
Evening primrose
Fennel
Lavender
Tarragon
Thyme
Wild marjoram
Winter savory

There are herbs that prefer Clay soil, such as:

Bee balm
Comfrey
Mint
Wormwood

Moist loam soil is loved by some herbs, such as:

Angelica
Bee balm
French sorrel
Lady’s mantle
Lemon balm
Meadowsweet
Mint
Parsley
Sweet Cicely

Here is a list of herbs that prefer wet soil:

Angelica
Bee balm
Marsh mellow
Meadowsweet
Valerian
Watercress

Loam soil is rich in nutrients and well drained, therefore the following herbs thrive in it:

Basil
Bay
Caraway
Catnip
Chervil
Chives
Coriander
Dill
Fennel
Lady’s mantle
Lovage
Rosemary
Rue
Sage
Thyme

Plain Parsley

Plain Parsley

Parsley

ParsleyIn our garden we have a few different kinds of Parsley growing, so I thought I would post some information that I have learned.

Parsley is a hardy biennial that grows in Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9).  Parsley likes full sun with afternoon shade. Make sure the soil is fertile and hummus rich.  It is grown from seed.  The leaves and roots can be used for cosmetic, culinary, household and medicinal purposes.

The plant will overwinter easily but we grow it as an annual.  The plant will grow 9″-12″ tall and will produce flowers in the 2nd year.  The seed germinates well if kept warm and moist.  This can be accomplished by soaking the seed in warm water for a couple hours before sowing.  Keep the soil moist until it sprouts.  Continuous sowing will allow for a continuous   harvest.

Do you grow parsley and how do you use it?