In This Chapter
^ Growing and cultivating herbs ^ Bringing in the harvest f
■ f you suspect that the definition of herb is a bit loose — it includes rosemary but also nasturtiums — you're right. Defining an herb is easier said than done, but the important thing to keep in mind is that herbs are plants that not only have ornamental merits but are also useful in some way. Just to complicate things, some plants called herbs are fast-growing annuals (see Chapter 6), and others are long-lived perennials (Chapter 7).
Gardeners grow many herbs for their foliage, which is often deliciously scented; people value others for their edible flowers, seeds, or roots. A lot of herbs are a boon in the kitchen, adding exciting new dimensions to all sorts of recipes. Still others are reputed to have healthful or healing properties. The uses of the various herbs are too many and too detailed for the scope of this book, so please pick up Herb Gardening For Dummies and Herbal Remedies For Dummies (Wiley Publishing, Inc.) if you want more information about these fascinating plants.
Even with that broad definition, the majority of herbs have common growing conditions and harvesting techniques. Herbs are usually very easy to find — look for them where you buy your annuals and perennials; or perhaps you have some friends, relatives, or neighbors who won't mind your taking some herbs from their yards and planting them in your own. And here's some good news: Herbs are among the easiest and most rewarding of all plants to raise. This chapter fills you in on how to grow and care for herbs.
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Learn what you can do with herbs! How to Plant, Grow, and Cook with Natural Herbs. Have you always wanted an herb garden but didn't know how to get started? Do you want to know more about growing your own herbs in the privacy of your home and using them in a variety of cooking?