We all know and love herbs. Chances are that you’ve already used a product today that has an herbal ingredient. The soap you showered with this morning used lavender for its scent. The organic wool sweater that you’re wearing may have been dyed using herbs. The aspirin you took after lunch is derived from a plant and some experts say that more than 25 percent of drugs currently on the market contain plant extracts. Tonight, when you sit down to your roast beef dinner, your carrots will be graced by tarragon and your potatoes adorned with rosemary. Herbs make everything smell, taste and feel better.
The information on this site includes everything you need to know to begin herb gardening. Can’t wait to get started? Choose from a large selection of heirloom herb seeds available at Planet Natural. Best of all, they’re shipped FREE.
Curious how herbs heal and make us feel better? Plants, in general, produce chemical compounds as part of their normal metabolic activities. These compounds can be divided into primary metabolites — such as sugars and fats — and secondary metabolites, which are mainly found in herbs. These secondary metabolites protect herbs from insects and disease and tend to have medicinal properties for humans.
So what is an herb, anyway? It’s a plant that doesn’t have a woody stem and it dies back to the ground each winter, leaving only its root system alive.
For the record, there is a difference between herbs and spices. Herbs are usually fresh or dried leaves while spices are the seeds, roots, fruits, flowers or bark. Herbs tend to have a milder flavor, while spices tend to be stronger and more pungent.
Since you are reading this, you’re probably ready to take the next step and start growing your own herbs. You’ll have fresher, more flavorful herbs, and it’s a lot of fun. Enjoy!
TOP EIGHT REASONS FOR GROWING HERBS
- Herbs are “designed” to repel pests making them “low-maintenance.”
- Fresh herbs that you’ve grown are more flavorful than the dried herbs you can buy at the supermarket.
- Most are easy to grow and require organic fertilizers in relatively small amounts.
- Herbs add color and fragrance to your garden. Click here to take a virtual tour of the U.S. National Arboretum’s Herb Garden located in Washington, D.C.
- They require little space and can be grown indoors, in fact, some herbs prefer the indoors.
- They can improve your health.
- They taste good and jazz up your meals.
- Their fragrance can make you smell good.