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Culinary Herb Series - What to understand before you begin...

See Paula's Video here from TV Living about beginning a culinary herb garden.

There are two Herb Categories: Hearty and Delicate

This refers to the texture of leaves (sturdy and tough vs delicate and tender), and also how their flavor compounds react when cooked.

Hearty herbs should be added early in cooking: Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Marjoram

Delicate herbs should be added at the last minute, or in cold food prep uncooked: Basil, Parsley, Dill, Cilantro, Mint, Chives

Delicate herbs generally tend to tolerate less direct sun and require more water.

Remember that herbs in containers will need watering more than herbs planted in the ground. Water and harvest herbs in the morning.

How to wash and dry herbs:

Rinse delicate and hearty herbs carefully, then let them dry completely on absorbent cloth, gently blotting dry before using. Ensure herbs are dry before you begin prep with them, as they are difficult to properly prep unless dry.

Storing Herbs: Hearty herbs take in moisture through their leaves, so it's important for them to be kept dry. Delicate herbs require and absorb a lot of water through their leaves and stems so keep them slightly moist but not wet.

There are many methods for storing fresh herbs. Zip lock plastic bags can be used to easily store the herbs in the refrigerator. For delicate herbs, place the herbs in an unsealed zip lock bag along with a slightly damp paper towel, and store in the food crisper drawer of the refrigerator. For hearty herbs - store in unsealed zip lock bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Most herbs are perennials, and some are either annuals, a few annuals reseed each year. We will cover more of this in detail for each herb in this series.

Growth patterns in herbs: Some herbs are herbaceous, meaning they die down to the stem in the winter. Evergreen herbs, such as rosemary, may require pruning in fall or early spring to remove dead stalks.

Herbs grow best in healthy, loose soil, with good drainage. And remember, full sun doesn't mean hours of direct hot afternoon summer sun. In most cases, several hours of morning and early afternoon sun provides optimum sunlight.

Note about mint: Mint should be planted in its own separate container, as it grows very aggressively and can choke out other plants.

More details offered on each herb page, all to be added to this website and on YouTube soon! 😍

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