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Culinary Herbs Which Grow Well in Florida
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Culinary Herb Garden Plan

An easy to construct and grow culinary herb garden plan for Florida

by Leigh Fulghum

Of course the word "herb" on this page is used in the gardening sense. For in the botanical sense an herb may be almost any herbaceous, or non-woody plant. But in a garden a botanist's herbaceous plant might be a weed, not an herb. There are many of these confusions in the plant world, a great vein of them.

In gardening an herb is a plant with some special property or compound of flavor, medicine, or in the case of lavender, fragrance. Lavender being a flowering perennial, is more likely to be considered for an herb garden than a flower garden. Lavender does not do well in a South Florida garden, usually.

A growing number of chefs are adding-on a kitchen garden to their digs these days, to keep Floridians well-fed with Arrugula, fresh basil, and fresh rosemary. Some other easy to grow herbs known to do well outdoors in the heat are curly and flat-leafed (Italian) parsley, chives, dill, oregano and various mints.

*It is notable that the word "hardy" has a broader horticultural meaning in Florida. For most of the country, a "hardy" plant is not killed by winter cold down to a certain temperature in its particular USDA Hardiness Zone.

Homeowners in Florida use the word "hardy" to describe plants that will survive hurricanes, heat, insects, microbial pests, and in some instances, the maintenance service.

Anise -- Pimpinella anisum L.
James M. Stephens. "Sweet Alice," of the Umbelliferae, is not to be confused with "Sweet Anise" aka "Florence Fennel."

Cilantro -- Coriandrum sativum L.
James M. Stephens. A "Chinese parsley" description, image.

Comfrey -- Symphytum peregrinum L.
James M. Stephens. A hardy* herbaceous perennial; description, image.

Fresh Herbs:Safe Handling Practices for Consumers
Amy Simonne. Important information on buying, sanitizing and handling fresh herbs for cooking.

Growing, Selecting And Using Basil
By Jeanne Youger-Comaty; Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet.

Herb Society of Central Florida Orlando.
This society has numerous activities year-round, including the not to be missed "Spring Herbal Renaissance."

Nutrition for Health and Fitness: Alternative Seasonings
By B. Ellen Templeton, Linda E. Moody and Linda B. Bobroff, here again is another interpretation of the proverbial herb, which distinguishes the leafy parts of temperate zone plants, from spices which are usually tropical seeds, buds, fruit or flower parts, bark or root.

Start Growing Herbs Today!

Origanum vulgare icon

Oregano is one of the most important herbs of Italian, Greek and Mexican cooking. Mainly used dry, the flavor is strong enough to stand up to bold flavors like tomatoes, onion, garlic and beef. Interestingly, the oil is often a little known ingredient in men's colognes. Oregano is a bushy perennial with deep purple-brown stems and broadly ovate leaves that often have a red flush. Branched clusters of purple-pink flowers appear all summer. Grows to 18 inches tall and wide. Sow seeds in well-drained to dry, neutral to alkaline soil in full sun. Clip leaves throughout the growing season and use fresh or dried. Zones 5-10. Pkt is 100 seeds.

Origanum 'Kent Beauty' Botanical Name: Origanum rotundifolium 'Kent Beauty' from Wayside Gardens

Magnificently Fragrant and Uniquely Changeable! This Ornamental Oregano has bracts which change from lime-green to lavender and finally to pink! A spectacular Ornamental Oregano, 'Kent Beauty' offers a long season of color changes, superb fragrance, and a trailing habit ideal for flowerpots, windowboxes, and the garden. Named a Plant of Merit.



Ocimum basilicum 'Sweet Genovese' icon

Plant basil in neat rows, interesting patterns, or any design with easy-to-sow tapes. Lay tape on the soil, cut to fit the space, then rake or sprinkle about a half inch of soil on top of the tapes and water. 'Sweet Genovese' basil is the classic variety for Neapolitan cuisine, grown in Italy and well-adapted to American gardens. For fresh or dried use, this variety is the best for Mediterranean cooking.