Herb plants just like flowers are divided into three types annuals, perennials, and biennials, there are many different species of herb plants each one may have different needs for optimal growth. If a specific type of herb as your interest you may have to research the specific needs to care for that herb plant properly. This article is an introduction to get you started in understanding different herb types and their uses.
Annuals generally last only one season they do not survive the Frost these include basil, cilantro, and summer savory. All annuals will need to be started new from seed every growing season. Perennials will generally survive the winter and return over and over for many years some perennial herbs are Sage and winter savory. Biennial herb plants, generally form leaves their first growing season and flowers the second and then go to seed and die. Biennial herbs like parsley, angelica and caraway, seeds are planted in late spring directly into the garden. Soil should be worked into a non-compacted fluffy consistency and wet slightly. Seeds should be planted into shallow rows with a fine amount of soil put on top of the seeds and firmed. Finer seeds can be planted in a mixture of sand which in turn allows them to spread more evenly. You can cover your bed with wet burlap or wet paper bags in order to control moisture during the germination process.
There are several herbs categories including probably the most well-known, culinary herbs which have a wide range of uses in the kitchen. Some herbs with the strongest flavors are chives, thyme, basil, sage, savory, and marjoram usually these herbs are used in small quantities because of their abundant flavor. Fresh parsley is generally used as a garnish, but in dry form it is used in soups and with potatoes. Aromatic herbs have very fragrant flowers and foliage. Oils from these herbs like loyage, mint, and rosemary in are all used to make different types of perfumes and toilet water and other various fragrances. Whole parts of aromatic herbs can be used to sent linens and cloths. Aromatic herbs can be dried and made into potpourri which has a long-lasting and fragrant scent. Lavender and lemon verbena are great for use in potpourri.
There are some herbs that are used for medicinal purposes. For hundreds of years medicinal herbs have been thought to alleviate some medical problems. Modern day medical professionals acknowledge there may be some health benefits to some herbs while others are overrated and don’t help at all. Before using any herb for medicinal purposes seek professional advice. Some are harmless but some are downright dangerous if ingested. There are herbs used just for their beauty they are called ornamental herbs they usually have brightly colored flowers and or foliage. They may have whitish or various light-colored flowers like valerian which has reddish blossoms and borage and chicory which have gorgeous blue flowers. While herbs are categorized into different uses many have multiple purposes. One example is, mint used in cooking for tea and as a pest control. Whatever your interest is in a particular herb by understanding herb garden plants you’ll be able to grow and use herbs that will be most useful to you. Happy herb gardening!