Gardening is a pastime that many New Englander’s look forward to each year. Getting out into the fresh air after a long winter, playing in the dirt, and receiving a gratifying result all season long; what else is better than that? Even if you consider yourself one without a “green thumb,” growing herbs is easy!
In fact, many of the best restaurants in Manchester, NH, rely on local growers for their herbs and spices throughout the summer months. There’s nothing quite like the addition of an organically grown, fresh herb or spice added to your kitchen. In this article, we’re taking a look at some of the most commonly used and easily grown Italian herbs that you can grow right from your deck!
A staple in sauces, fresh bruschetta, and garnishes, basil is one of the most popular plants to grow. Easily grown in pots, you’ll want to be cautious of extreme cold and frost as this type of weather will kill your plant. However, if you’re starting your garden out now, you’ll likely be good to go! Basil will flourish all season long, but if you notice flowers blooming on your plant, as pretty as they look, pinch them back. By doing so, you’ll encourage your plant branch off and continue producing more leaves.
Another awesome feature about growing basil is you’ll often get more than you need! Cut branches and hang them indoors to dry. The processing time depends on the indoor climate, but generally takes a week or so. Once your leaves are dry, store them in an airtight container to continue enjoying fresh herbs all winter long.
Another Italian staple is oregano. However, if you have the yard room, oregano will flourish in the ground as well as a container. One word of caution, this herb will return every year larger than the previous season! Although this is awesome, if you’re looking for a compact solution, you may want to stick with container gardening.
Like basil, when oregano flowers, pinch the plant back to encourage continuous growth.
A little more finicky than the previous two herbs, rosemary requires 6 to 8 hours of sunlight with well-drained soil. If you’re growing this herb in a container, thoroughly soak the soil and allow it to completely dry before watering again.
Easy to grow and an excellent complement to meat and bean dishes, sage is another herb that will come back year after year with the proper care. Sage requires well-drained soil and full sun. Like oregano, sage will come back each year with proper care and pruning.
Grilled meats, veggies, and soup just love the addition of fresh thyme! Like the others, thyme thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. However, when this herb flowers, some prefer to let it go as bees love Thyme too!
Green thumb or not, Italian herbs tend to be hardy plants and require little attention to thrive. As one of the best restaurants in Manchester, NH, our team from Piccola Italia invites you to share your gardening success with us on Facebook!
As always, we thank you for your continued support during this unprecedented time and we look forward to seeing everyone soon!