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Old 03-30-2003, 12:25 AM   #1
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Keeping Fresh Herbs

Here's something that helps me out in the kitchen. To keep leafy herbs fresh as long as possible, trim the stem ends with kitchen shears and place in a vase of water. Change the water every few days as you use the herbs! They will keep much longer this way, and they brighten up your kitchen as well! I do this with flat-leaf parsley, basil, and mint. It also works really well for green onions, but don't trim them. Wash them well and place the root end in a vase of water.

Treat them the same way you treat cut flowers and you will always have fresh herbs in your kitchen!

Coco

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Old 03-30-2003, 10:06 AM   #2
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coco - I have a bunch of cillantro in water as we speak!! LOL I keep mine in the fridge though or my cats would probably eat them!!!! Normally, with trimming every couple of days, I can keep my herbs 7-10 days.

Good tip coco!!!!!
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Old 03-30-2003, 10:07 PM   #3
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We use a somewhat different approach: an 8 foot square spot in the back yard contains sage, oregano, rosemary, lavender, marjoram, thyme, cilantro, parsley (curled - I don't like flat leaf!), tarragon, mint, dill, and basil. (with ample room for radishes and even green onions, if I get ambitious enough. Or even a plant or two or romaine.)

They keep really well that way! Nice thing about growing herbs: nearly all of them are relatives of mint, grow in really lousy soil, require llittle attention, a little water occasionally, and all the sun they can get. Easy in pots, too. You might want to consider that method.

Almost forgot: the Bay Laurel tree has been doing fine in a five gallon pot for about nine years now. Those fresh Bay leaves beat the heck out of the dried ones.!)

If you don't want to devote a space just to cooking herbs, any of them will do well mixed in with your flowers - or weeds. :)
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Old 03-30-2003, 10:16 PM   #4
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oldcoot - I don't think the weather will cooperate with me to rely on the in-ground method all year (but I wish!!!). In our last house I had garlic, mint, rosemary, oregano, curly parsley, flat-leaf parsley, thyme, lemon thyme, basil, chives, salad burnette, spring onions, pineapple sage, and everything was gorgeous - a lot of those would keep over the winter BUT in this house we don't get enough sun to grow stuff outside. The only thing I have is a big rosemary bush and a little bit of thyme by the front walk. I might try a few things this year in one spot in the courtyard that gets some sun - mmmmm..... I'll have to make a note and try that.

But I will NEVER grow cilantro again - it goes to seed too fast and drives me nuts! :roll:
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Old 03-30-2003, 10:27 PM   #5
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Unless you use cilantro frequentlly ( as in Mexican or Oriental dishes) it probably is not worthwhile to grow it. But if you do, use the coriander seeeds from your spice shelf, and plant no more than half a dozen about every week or so. Yes, it does go to seed quicklly -= but then you have a whole bunch more coriander seed! :)
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Old 03-30-2003, 10:49 PM   #6
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OK, you solved my cilantro problem and yes, I love cilantro - and I really love it in Vietnamese dishes with soy sauce, etc. YUM - I even have cilantro/lime candles though I'm not sure why them named them this

Thanks for that tip - I'll try it in my little square around the tree this summer. I WANT SUNLIGHT though so I can grow my herbs again - I'm really lost without them. I'd go out there and clip a little bit of everything (except the mint) and make salad dressings for people, they'd bring the bottle back and I'd make more - it was so good.
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Old 03-31-2003, 11:30 AM   #7
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If you have a flat roofed house or garage, might it be practical to grow herbs in containers on the roof?

A recent Food TV show featured a New York restaurant owner whho grew ALL of the vegetables used in the restaurant on the roof of the building. He had a very elaborate set up, but there is no reason that approach cannot be scaled down to suit one's needs.

Speaking of mint, BW has recently included a little chopped frsh mint in fruit compotes and salads. Adds a marveloously fresh touch. And then there's a tiny sprinnkling of grooound caramom that adds a novel flavor, too.

I thhink mint is an "underused" herb - but one must be sure to use it rather sparingly. (As an added note, that famoous Southern beverage, the Mint Julep, is, in my opinion, highly overrated!)
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Old 03-31-2003, 12:18 PM   #8
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No flat roof and there still would be too much shade - we are surrounded by 100 - 150-foot Oak trees, while we are the last ones to turn on our air conditioning we are also the ones that cannot have tulips, daffodils, lilly of the valley, etc. as the squirrels eat the blooms before we ever see them - My husband planted approximately 300 crocus bulbs and the little rodents had them out of the ground and eaten in 3 days! Two doors down from us they have a beautiful yard full of flowers! LOL In the summer we have to keep hosing the mossy gunk off the front steps and courtyard - When the courtyard was cement I could turn the water pressure up and write stuff in the green gunk.

BUT, I will try my little square!!
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Old 03-07-2007, 02:14 PM   #9
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Red face Indoor Window Sill Herb Garden

I've started growing a few herbs on my window sill (Italian parsley, thyme, basil & rosemary). My first time doing it & was so excited when the first sprouts came through. They're just babies right now, but I could sure use some tips to keep them going. Also, when will they be big enough to start using?

I have them in separate little starter pots right now, but was going to transfer them to a larger pot. Is it okay to plant different herbs in the same pot?
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:39 PM   #10
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You can plant different herbs together, but try to keep ones that have the same requirements.

For instance, parsley & basil like moister soil than thyme & rosemary, which prefer dryer conditions & will rot if given too much water.
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Old 03-07-2007, 04:32 PM   #11
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
You can plant different herbs together, but try to keep ones that have the same requirements.

For instance, parsley & basil like moister soil than thyme & rosemary, which prefer dryer conditions & will rot if given too much water.
Thanks for the tip. I didn't realize that different herbs had different requirements. So, perfect! I'll plant them as you suggested. Thanks!
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Old 03-07-2007, 04:41 PM   #12
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You're welcome!!

One easy way to try grouping herbs is (besides reading up on them) to examine mature versions.

Herbs with relatively "woody" stems when mature, like most thymes, rosemary, certain sages, etc., tend to prefer dryer conditions. Herbs with softer, greener-stemmed growth when mature (basil, parsley, cilantro, etc.) tend to prefer moister soil.
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Old 03-22-2007, 10:29 AM   #13
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If you pinch your basil it will get really big and bushy.The bigger it gets the more water it needs.
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Old 03-23-2007, 08:01 AM   #14
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Breezy has it right on the needs. But you would enjoy having a BIG pot of each eventually, with the summer months coming.
You will trim parsley more often and in greater amounts. Basil will want to be picked off to encourage branching. Thyme will be a low crawling style plant.
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:37 AM   #15
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I'm in somewhat of the same situation as elf. I have a huge spruce in my yard that blocks most of the sun. I wound up buying a few of those planters that hang off the railing on your deck from Lowes and use those for my herbs and chili peppers. Down below in the yard I have a small space about 5' x 7' that I planted veggies. This year the tree is coming down.

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Old 03-24-2007, 08:37 AM   #16
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MY GOSH what a beautiful yard! Unfortunately (or really not), I have 3 dogs (2 huskies & 1 spaniel). The back yard is THEIRS!

I do have a couple of areas in the front that I could possibly start a nice herb garden. It gets direct sunlight though & I'm not really an avid gardner, but would like to have a nice garden. Can I say garden a few more times?

So any advice about starting a front yard herb garden with a few flowers thrown in, I would gladly take it! That will be my project this year!
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:48 AM   #17
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My herbs are pretty much all in one location (with the mint isolated). They don't require a lot of love & attention, and I sure miss them in the winter. The chives are always the first to come back in the spring (already have a plentiful supply). I do bring in my rosemary bush every fall (it can go back out soon). I, too, once had a potted bay tree, but it died a couple of years ago and I have not found a plant to replace it. At one time I also had a kaffir lime tree. I'm about to use the last of the bay leaves I dried from that old tree! Some day I'd love to find replacement trees for those two. Mint, sage, and lemon balm are starting to come back as well. I bought one of those little peat-pot greenhouses and have started most herbs plus a kind of pepper I cannot get around here (poblanos).
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Here's something that helps me out in the kitchen. To keep leafy herbs fresh as long as possible, trim the stem ends with kitchen shears and place in a vase of water.
I hear this is the best way to keep asparagus fresh as well.
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Old 04-19-2007, 05:36 PM   #19
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My herbs are outside in my herb garden also. I've never been able to grow them inside. They just don't get enough sun. I get a rosemary tree at Christmas and I always believe it will live until Spring, but it never happens.
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Old 04-19-2007, 05:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolelaine
I get a rosemary tree at Christmas and I always believe it will live until Spring, but it never happens.
I keep my potted rosemary plant alive by taking it inside every fall and watering it at least twice a week until it's warm enough to put it back out in the spring. I've had the same plant for 4 years now.

After years of keeping my parsley in a glass of water in the fridge, and knocking it over constantly, I took Coco's advice and have been keeping it in a glass on the window sill over my sink. Keeps nicely for a week!

Also, when I do that with my garden-grown basil, it actually grows water roots and keeps for weeks and weeks, until I've used it all!

Lee
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