Growing these versatile plants in our Southern climate can be a challenge. The keys to success with herbs are plant selection and site preparation.
Don't expect to harvest armloads of English lavender blooms or great handfuls of French tarragon. Sage and thyme can also be difficult to grow, disappearing mysteriously after a few years. Don't blame yourself. These perennial herbs should be considered as short-lived plants in our hot, humid climate. Count yourself among the lucky ones if you can get 3 or 4 productive years from these herbs before they pass on.
Although our climate makes it difficult to grow some herbs, there are many that we can grow very successfully. We just have to select the right ones! You can harvest armloads of basil, lemon balm, Texas tarragon, (Tagetes lucida), catnip, German chamomile, Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas), chives, mints, and many others. These herbs thrive in our part of the South.
A major cause of failure with herbs in the South (other than climate) is poor drainage of the soil. Planting your herbs in a well-drained bed area, a container or raised bed, will more likely result in success. This is of particular importance for the following herbs that cannot tolerate wet feet: sage, oregano, thyme, lavender, rosemary, French tarragon, and scented geraniums.
Uses of Herbs
CARRIERE, Miss. -- The Small Farm Training Center will host the Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day on Jan. 19 in Hancock County.
Farm operators Terry and Elicia Sheldon, along with student apprentices who live and work at the center, will show attendees their techniques for growing organic produce.
CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- Home gardeners and horticulture professionals can learn about the latest plants, research and gardening techniques during the 39th annual Fall Flower & Garden Fest on Oct. 13 and 14.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service hired three regional registered dietitians to help in the fight against obesity and chronic disease in Mississippi.
Samantha Willcutt, Kaitlin DeWitt and Juaqula Madkin have joined the Extension Office of Nutrition Education. They oversee the Extension Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education, or SNAP-Ed, curriculum and delivery in their regions.
If there is one herb my wife and I love to grow more than the rest, it has to be basil. There is nothing better for the hot months because it is gorgeous in the landscape and delicious in fresh summer meals.
Many of the gardeners I have talked to think we have taken basil growing to the extreme.
Like many home gardeners, I used to put plants in my landscape without worrying about labels because I was sure I’d remember what was planted where. And like most of you, I would end up scratching my head wondering what I had planted where.
One of the best gardening tips I can share, especially in the spring when you’re putting so many new things out, is to label your landscape plants.