Tulsa Herb Society's 10 Favorite Herbs - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Tulsa Herb Society's 10 Favorite Herbs

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Basil

  • Tender annual – should be planted in garden when evening temperatures remain above 55 degrees.
  • Dozens of varieties including Genovese, lemon, lime, purple and spicy globe.
  • Pinch off blooms to keep it producing leaves
  • Plant in full sun in loose, well drained fertile soil
  • Height varies with variety; can be 12 inches up to 2 feet tall
  • Compliments tomatoes, tomato sauces, pesto, herbal vinegars, marinades, fish and poultry.

Rosemary

  • Tender perennial – plant in early spring in full sun to partial shade in well drained, light, sandy even rocky soil; rosemary will not winter over when temperatures fall below freezing for long periods of time, bring inside and place in a sunny window.
  • Several varieties, some sprawling prostrate forms, upright forms and trailing vine-like.
  • Height varies with variety; can be 18 inches up to 3-4 feet.
  • Upright varieties of Rosemary will grow bushy when snipped often.
  • Compliments beef, pork, poultry, lamb and potatoes.

Oregano

  • Perennial -Plant in well drained soil in full sun.
  • Several varieties including Greek, Cuban and spicy.
  • Depending on variety height may be 12 inches up to 2 feet.
  • Several varieties including, columnar and vining.
  • Oregano is excellent in Italian food, pizza, tomato, meat marinades, soups and stews.

Thyme

  • Perennial – Plant in full sun to partial shade, in well drained, poor alkaline soil.
  • Many varieties of flavors, colors and plant forms include; winter, summer, English, French, German, lemon, red creeping thyme and spicy thyme. Common garden thyme (thymus vulgaris) is recommended as the best culinary thyme.
  • Thyme may grow upright or maybe a creeping thyme used as a ground cover.
  • Height may be soil level (creeping) or grow up to 1 foot clumps.
  • Culinary use of Thyme is recommended in meat marinades, fish, poultry, soups, stews, sauces and herbal butters.

Chives

  • Perennial – Plant in well drained, rich soil in full to partial sun.
  • Varieties include regular chives and garlic chives. Garlic chives can be invasive if blooms are allowed to go to seed. (Deadhead seed heads before they are dry enough to spread with the wind).
  • Height of chives can be 12 inches up to 1 ½ feet and grow into small, upright bushes.
  • Blossom heads of regular and garlic chives are edible and add color and flavor when added to salads. Regular chives blossoms are a lovely lavender-pink color and have a delicate onion flavor. Garlic chives have a white cluster blossom and will add a garlic flavor to a salad or soup.
  • Chives are delicious in salads, herbal vinegars, deviled eggs and are beautiful used as a garnish to many dishes.

Dill

  • Hardy, self-seeding annual – Plant in full sun to light shade in moist, well drained, moderately rich soil. Dill should not be planted near Fennel as the two will cross-pollinate and their flavors will ‘muddle'.
  • Dill is an easy herb to grow from seeds. Plant dill seeds in successive plantings in early spring and again in the fall.
  • Many varieties of dill include mammoth to dwarf and height varies from 12 inches up to 5-6 feet. Dill has feathery plumes of dark green, wispy heads that turn to seed and spread widely.
  • Leaves and seed heads may be used in culinary dishes and as a garnish.
  • Seeds of dill are used to flavor pickles (dill pickles). Dill weed is delicious with broiled fish, green beans, new potatoes, potato salad and creamy salad dressings.

Parsley

  • Biennial – It takes 2 years to complete its life cycle and will self-seed.
  • Plant is full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soil.
  • Two varieties of parsley – curly and flat leaf (Italian). Curly parsley has curly slotted leaves and is used primarily as a garnish; Flat leaf parsley has flat slotted leaves and is used in culinary dishes.
  • Height of parsley can be up to 1 ½ feet tall and grow in 8 inch wide clumps.
  • Parsley has a celery-like flavor, and is used in many dishes. Use in soups, stews, sauces, herbal butters, salads, potatoes and egg dishes.
  • Black Swallowtail Butterfly's lay their eggs on parsley and the caterpillars love to eat the leaves. Plant extra plants to have Black Swallowtail butterfly's in your gardens.

Lemon Verbena

  • Annual/ Tender Perennial – Plant in full sun to part shade in dry well draining soil. Do not overwater. Grow along a southern wall for winter protection, can withstand temperatures to 20 degrees, keep well mulched.
  • Height – 3-6 feet tall, it can attain 20 feet in climates with mild winters.
  • Semi-evergreen shrub-like herb with woody stems and intense lemon scent.
  • Lemon-verbena may be used alone or in combination with lemon balm in fruit bowls and punches.
  • The flavorful leaves may be stuffed under the skin of chicken breasts or wrapped around fish fillets before baking or grilling. Stuff a handful of branches in the cavity of a roasting chicken or turkey along with onion slices, dried fruit and orange and lemon slices. Pork and veal are enhanced by its lemony aroma.

Mint

  • Perennial – plant in full or partial sun in well-drained rich, moist soil.
  • Mint is very invasive and best planted in a pot or a bottomless container buried in the soil to keep from ‘traveling' to other areas of the garden. Leave a 1 inch border of pot above the soil.
  • Many varieties often named after its scent; apple, pineapple, spearmint, peppermint, chocolate, grapefruit and many more varieties – stems of mint are always square.
  • Three species best used for culinary purposes are; Mentha spicata (spearmint), Mentah piperita (peppermint) and Mentha suaveolens (apple and pineapple) mints.
  • Height: varies from 1-3 feet tall, cut stems often and keep height at 8-10 inches as it can become straggly.
  • Mint may be used to flavor punches and citrus beverages, use with lamb, in desserts and salads, condiments and sauces. Try it wherever you want a wonderful mint flavor.

Sage

  • Perennial – Plant in full sun, well drained semi-rich soil.
  • Very aromatic shrub-like plant with woody, square stems.
  • Sage may grow 2-3 feet tall however usually maintains a height of 18 – 24 inches.
  • Many varieties including garden sage; salvia (Mexico), pineapple, purple, tri-color and pineapple sage.
  • Sage is the traditional seasoning for poultry dressings and homemade sausage. Wonderful in muffins, breads and used with pork dishes.
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