Thursday, December 29, 2005

Benefits to Herb Gardening

Herb gardening can provide a number of benefits for you to enjoy. If you have been hem-hawing on starting an herb garden, then think about why you want to do it. Then read these reasons, because there may be some that you had not even considered.

The best reason, for cooks anyway, is that you will have fresh herbs available. People who do not cook with fresh herbs do not understand the benefit of them, but once you have lasagna with fresh basil and cilantro, you will never want to go back to dried herbs again!

You will always have herbs available. If you are in a rush and just want to pop some pork chops or chicken breasts in the oven, you can do it with a fresh herb garden in your windowsill. You will have a delicious meal without much effort, and you will be amazed at the variety you can find with your fresh herbs.

Herb gardens tend to be more aromatic than other gardens, even flower gardens. Many of these aromas, such as lavender and peppermint, have healing properties. They will soothe you after a stressful day. Working in your herb garden or taking a little whiff will help you to feel much better after a long, hard day.

You will be able to save money if you have a fresh herb garden. Have you ever seen the prices on fresh herbs? Even at less expensive stores, you will find that you will spend a small fortune gathering all of the fresh herbs you need. Try planting your own, and you will quickly recoup any costs of starting the garden.

Plant exchanges are one of the most exciting parts of gardening. Most gardeners love to share their goods with others from neighborhoods to church friends. You can cut some sprigs of sage or a couple of geraniums to take with you to your mother-in-law's house, or you can let your friends nibble from your garden. You will find great joy from sharing your gardening fruits with others.

There is also the point that herb gardening is just plain fun. Instead of working in your garden, you will begin to think of it as spending time in your garden. That means that you will look forward to it and want to make time for your hobby.

One of the fun parts of any type of gardening, but especially herb gardening, is that you will be able to learn. You can learn about new recipes and then start growing the herbs for them. You can read about the historical value of the herbs you are planting. You can learn all about the soil and other needs for the herbs you have selected. Overall, gardening is an educational and experimental hobby.

Herb gardens can provide two physical benefits. First, if you have a larger herb garden, you will get a benefit from the work that you put into the garden. Also, if you add fresh herbs, it can help bring out the vitamins in some foods, meaning that you get better nutrition from foods you already eat.

Herb gardens are pretty to see. They are not like vegetable gardens, which may not be the most elegant looking of gardens. Herb gardens blend well and can be put on your curb or porch without others balking. They will look great alongside your potted plants.

The variety you can get with herb gardens is astounding. You will find that you can get sweet basil, globe basil, cinnamon basil, Italian basil, and other varieties. You would never find those choices in grocery store, regardless of how upscale or health-conscious the store. They simply cannot stock that many kinds of basil. That means that you can grow basil until your heart is content and always have something new.

That said, herb gardens are inexpensive. It is not just about saving money by not growing herbs, it is also about not spending much on the garden itself. You can get containers for pretty cheap, and the herbs themselves are not pricey. You can experiment with your herb garden without breaking the bank.

So, there you have - a plethora of reasons to start an herb garden. Now, get planting!

By Julia Mercer

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