By Jannie Vaught
Its spring and that’s what it does.
We adapt to this by keeping our weather eye open and watching. Some plants we will lose and some will survive, we are early enough that we can replant and resow seeds. There has never been a hard and fast way to garden, we just go with the flow. One of my all-time favorite garden herbs is basil. This tasty plant come in so many varieties that it is a difficult decision as to what to choose from year to year. Let’s look at Basil. Ocimum basilicum, also called great basil, Stain- Joseph’s Wort is a culinary herb of the plant family Lamiaceae (mints). Native to tropical regions from central Africa to Southeast Asia. This is a tender plant used in cuisines around the world. There are many varieties as well as well as several related species also known as basil.The one known and used more here is Sweet Basil or Genovese basil, as opposed to Thai basil, a bit spicier and lemon basil as well as holy basil also known as Tulsi or African blue basil.
There are so many new cultivars to try to use, go with your favorite and then try a new one. I bought a variegated leaf one and it is has a smaller leaf but is just as tasty. Watch them they will bolt and make flowers and you will have fewer leaves. so if you see this snip the main shoot back just past the flowers and then you will get more leaves. Use the flowers they are edible and great used in a sauce or salad. Now let’s look at another favorite Thyme. Thymus Vulgaris also in the mint family. Ancient Egyptians used it for embalming. The Ancient Greeks used it in their bathe and burned it as incense believing it to bring courage. That’s nice to know. This little plant loves sunny hot weather and survives without much attention, weed, and water. It is tough and resilient and will last in my garden for many seasons. Can be used as a ground cover between stepping stones.
I prefer it in amongst my tomatoes or lettuce. Another to add is Dill. Anethum graveolens, an annual herb in the celery family Apiaceae. The seeds and frilly tender leaves are used fresh and dried. Dill seed and Dill weed. And what would a Dill pickle be without that spark of dill? It would be a vinegar pickle. So plant some dill next to these cucumbers. As the garden begins to come together this spring make sure there is some space reserved for herbs and the list is long for all the great tastes we can have. Also, plant a few extra dills for the Angel Wing Butterfly who are lovers of dill and benefit your garden with pollination and the beauty of the butterfly. You can watch them lay an egg on the dill transition into the caterpillar then cocoon and they emerge a new Angel Wing all on that dill. Plant abundantly of dill so you will have some for pickles and some to share with the butterflies.
Out growing green with Jannie