Get ready for Herb Day in Houston

Get ready for Herb Day in Houston

One of the very best things about spring is the wealth of herbs available for us to plant in our own gardens at home. And what a joy it is to be in the middle of cooking an Italian dinner and be able to go out to your own “crop” and pick oregano or basil, clip, rinse and chop for the recipe.

You can sure grow herbs in a veritable garden but it is super simple to grown them in containers too. It is easy to maintain an herb garden if you remember a few simple things: The more you pick herbs, the more quickly they grow. Keep them watered when the soil is dry to the touch. Herbs don’t love to be over watered. Add some weak fish emulsion or organic fertilizer if the herbs look sad.

Lemongrass and lemon balm are great and easy herbs to grow. They will fend off mosquitos, look great while growing and add a little kick to Asian dishes or lots of vegetables. Rosemary is easy to grow into a bush or groundcover or in a container. It is delish in bread, chicken and rosemary tea. Clip the thicker stems and use for skewers in cooking. Thyme needs lots of sun and is super hardy and useful in cooking and tea. Mint and basil are great herbs for beginners, too. Picture that fresh sliced tomato, sliced mozzarella salad gently showered with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and topped off with fresh sprigs of basil!

If you want a really great primer on growing herbs, just jump into your car Saturday, April 22, and head off to the museum district of Houston. It is the South Texas Unit’s 34th annual Herb Day. Lots of gals and guys from Beaumont attend, so plan on running into your friends over there. Susan Wood and local plant guru Dianne Duperior remind us that the signup day is fast approaching.

Earth Day is an annual springtime invitation to reflect upon the genius and beauty of nature, and to consider how our own choices and habits impact our planet. This year, Earth Day coincides with The Herb Society of America’s Herb Day Symposium.

Attendees will learn how to raise earthworms on their patios or under their kitchen sinks, and how to incorporate edible plants into beautiful landscapes that their neighbors will love. Guests will be introduced to the fascinating concept of “biomimicry.” Linda Paisley is the guest speaker for this fascinating discipline. Another symposium topic is “vermiculture.” Make your reservations now for Herb Day and invite your friends to join you April 22 from 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. at the Education building of St Paul’s United Methodist Church in the Museum District. Guests must be pre-registered. Space is limited to the first 150 registrants. Deadline for registration is April 18. To register for Herb Day, go to www.herbsociety-stu.org. I hope to see you there.

Joette Reger is an avid gardener and prides herself on staying up-to-date on the latest gardening activities and tips. She can be reached by e-mail at joreger [at] msn [dot] com and on Facebook at “Gardengate with Joette Reger.”

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