NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — When I’m trying to talk anyone into becoming first time gardeners, I usually suggest growing some kitchen herbs.
Most basic herbs are easy to grow and great to use in your cooking. It’s one of those “fruits of your effort” thing; a great way to get started with some basic gardening that provides a quick and steady reward for your work and investment.
Some of these herbs do rather well in the Texas heat. In the Garden 101 story, I grow all three of the featured: oregano, rosemary and basil. I also grow Mexican mint marigold (a tarragon substitute) and summer thyme. In this horrible bone-dry and scorching hot summer heat, all but the rosemary have to be watered several times each week.
I grow in raised beds and recommend you do the same. For just about any edible plant you grow in North Texas, it’s okay if you let some afternoon shade fall on the plants. Make sure to have good, well-drained soil.
If buying transplants, I highly recommend buying herbs that were started by seed and grown here in Texas. Ask at your local garden store where the plants are from. Any plant that is already somewhat acclimated to our area is a better choice.
There are about a dozen varieties of basil to grow, each kind has its’ own flavor. Bees love basil if you allow it to flower. Pinch them back if you want to get more leaf production.
Rosemary plants can get big, up to the size of a medium sized shrub. However, a harsh winter can kill it however; many people found that out the hard way in the great freeze of February 2021 when temperatures hit -2º.
I have found that you can shape oregano rather easily. I use an electric shrub trimmer to keep mine flat and ringed around a featured kaleidoscope abelia I’m growing.
I cut mine back significantly at least once a year, usually in the dormant months, to keep it from getting too leggy. It will stay green all winter if its mild.
Let me know what cultivars you plant in these herbs. I’m always looking at another version to add to the garden.