Most of my time is not spent in a kitchen or with food, but outdoors in gardens with plants. Today I threw down many yards of compost and ripped the lateral buds off peonies. That's what I really do. I'm no food expert; I just like to complain give my opinion about food in my spare time.
Spring has sprung where I am, so it's time to get my herbs together. If you're some place warmer this happened about a month ago. If you're some place tropical, I have a sweet apartment in DE that I'll trade you.
I've had large gardens and container gardens. I've started everything from seed and I've bought all of my plants. You are no more saintly if you have a large plot and start every plant from seed than if you buy your plants and stick them in a pot .
I'm currently renting on the second floor of a row house, so I'm growing in pots. Time slipped away from me, so I started nothing from seed this year, unless you count the cilantro in my tire planter that made it through the winter.
MY MUST-HAVE HERBS TO GROW FOR COOKING -Yes, there are others.
Basil, Bay Leaf, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Lemon Grass, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme.
EASY FROM SEED - Ready for use this season
Basil - Annual. Very sensitive to cold, so don't put out too early. Will not live through the winter.
Cilantro - Annual. Re-seed every two weeks because it finishes its life cycle quickly. Don't buy because it's life is almost over by the time you're buying it.
Dill - Annual. Will re-seed itself and pop up next year everywhere but where you want it.
JUST BUY THESE
Bay Leaf - Can grow into a shrub. Take indoors or protect if you live in zone 7/8 or colder.
Chives - Perennial. Don't be afraid to chop it to the ground. It will return.
Lemon Grass - Perennial if in zone 8 or warmer. Freeze the bottom fleshy part of the stalk to have for cooking in winter.
Oregano - Perennial. Makes a lovely groundcover. Mine dies sometimes during the winter in a pot in DE.
Rosemary - Perennial. Take inside or protect if colder than zone 7/8.
Sage - Perennial. Doesn't like to live in a swamp. Mine always die over-wintered in a pot. Sometimes they don't make it through the winter in the ground, either. I don't waste my time pampering if it looks like crap. I yank and go shopping for more.
Thyme - Perennial. Makes a great groundcover. Wait until it leaves-out in the spring to trim the dead. Sometimes it pretends to be dead, but is not. Patience. I have none.
A FEW VEGETABLES - I have room on my porch for only a few vegetables.
Thai Dragon Peppers - I grow these because the plant is compact and produces tons of tiny hot peppers. One plant produces enough peppers for an entire year. I pick them and let them sit on my counter to dry at the end of the season and use them year round.
Cherry Tomato - I grow one in a pot and train it to my fire escape railing. An indeterminate tomato plant will keep growing like a vine, so it's ideal for training horizontally.
Larger Tomato - I grow these in a small piece of ground in front of my house because a large fruit just requires so much water that a pot does it no justice. I have to pick the fruit before it's truly ripe or else people walking past steal them. Such is life.
Herbs and Vegetables like all the sun you can give them and will not do well with less than 6 hours of sun. Just remember that pots in the sun may need watering every day if not multiple times a day.
Tip - Clay pots look nice, but are porous and dry out quickly. Plastic pots are better if you have a job and cannot come home to water twice a day.
Now, get to the nursery this weekend and pick up your favorite herbs. I know you forgot to start seeds, too.