Can you imagine Italian food without the herbs? I know I couldn't! Try to imagine pesto without basil or Italian sausage without fennel seeds. And I haven't even mentioned the many roles of garlic. In fact, just the thought of Italian cuisine brings to mind the mouth watering aromas and tastes of fresh Italian herbs such as basil, garlic, rosemary, oregano, and so many others. This is why if you enjoy Italian food, you may want to consider an Italian herb garden.
Not only are Italian herb gardens easy to start, but they are also easy to use as well. You can have your herbs in a container indoors right in your kitchen, allowing you to use fresh herbs straight from the plant while your cooking. Also, once you're herbs have started to grow, the more you harvest them for their herbs, the more they will grow, so you will definitely get your fair share of herbs for the number of plants you have.
One thing you need to be aware of when planting an Italian herb garden is how each type of herb grows. Just as various as the flavors of the herbs are the ways they need to be planted, nurtured, and trimmed. Three popular Italian herbs I'll be describing in a bit more detail in this article are parsley, oregano, and rosemary.
Parsley was originally used as a kind of breath freshener. It was actually a tradition to serve these plants on small dishes after a meal. Today, the tradition continues with parsley being commonly used as a garnish on many different dishes. When growing parsley, you will definitely want to do your homework, because unlike many other herbs, parsley is a relatively hard herb plant to grow.
Oregano is a great herb to grow because not only is it great for cooking, but it grows very beautifully and also serves as a decorative plant. The time to harvest oregano is when it is fully mature. This is the time the oregano will have the most flavor and taste the best. The way to know when the plant is fully mature is to check for the sprouting of the flowers. Beautiful little purple flowers will let you know when to harvest.
Rosemary is another well known Italian herb. Rosemary is great because it serves a secondary purpose in improving your garden. It grows in large shrubs and sprouts blue flowers. These flowers attract bees, which will help your garden. One thing to keep in mind when growing rosemary is that although it is an evergreen perennial, this plant is still sensitive to frost.
These are just a few common plants you may want to grow in your Italian herb garden. Growing Italian herbs is a very rewarding process so why not consider it? Anyone can do it, just remember to research your herbs.