Image by Kevin Doran

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chive

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Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) is an easy-to-grow, grass-like perennial herb in the same family as onion and garlic. It has a mild onion flavor that tastes great in salads or as a soup garnish. Because chives are compact, they are ideal for edging paths and borders, as well as growing in mixed borders, vegetable gardens, herb gardens and in containers.

 

Companion Plants: Parsley, cilantro, tarragon, and basil 

Sun

Lighting

Likes sun to part shade

Fertilizer

It's a good idea to give chives a single top-dressing with a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer 

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Tip

They grow best in a fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Add grit or sharp sand to heavy clay soils to improve drainage if needed.

Rain Cloud

Water

Drought resistant but you should keep moist during growing season.

Container or Ground

Both

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Harvesting

Harvest leaves as needed with scissors, cutting back close to the base of the plant. The more regularly they’re cut, the more new leaves they will produce.

PANADOL PLANT

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The panadol plant or plectranthus caninus roth is a member of the Lamiaceae (mint, labiatae/deadnettle) family. It comes from a family of flowering plants. 

The plant is diuretic. It is used in the treatment of teeth and gum disorders and the extracts of the root are used as a treatment for coughs. The plant has cytotoxic and anti-tumour promoting activity and can be used in the treatment of cancer.

 

Companion Plants: Petunia, Bidens, Gernamiums

Sun

Lighting

Sun to Warm, shaded spot

Fertilizer

Well-drained soil, covering lightly with a thin layer of sand.

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Tip

Best to keep this plant in its container, as this species is mildly invasive.

Rain Cloud

Water

Keep soil evenly moist.

Container or Ground

Container

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Harvesting

Trim back as needed to keep neat and compact.

 Pinching plants back stimulates dense, bushy new growth and encourages more flowers.

BASIL 'SWEET' | 'PURPLE' | 'LEMON' | 'THAI'

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Basil is a mainstay of everyone’s herb and spice rack. Its sweet flavor can be found in just about any type of recipe; from soups, sauces and salads to all types of meat, fish and poultry. It’s recently become a popular addition to herbal teas and infusions due to its many nutritional and health benefits.

 

Companion Plants: Pepper, Thyme, Oregano, Marigold, Salvia

Sun

Lighting

Sunny situation

Fertilizer

Once every month during growing season.

Herbs in containers can be fed lightly with a general purpose fertilizer at half the rate suggested on the package directions.

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Tip

Flower stalks should be removed as early as possible. With the exception of a few varieties that have showy flowers, it’s best not to let your basil plant flower. Flowering takes a lot of energy from the plant and can reduce the flavor of the leaves.

Rain Cloud

Water

Keep well-watered. Do not get the leaves wet.

Container or Ground

Both

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Harvesting

Harvest the leaves as needed. Take care not to remove more than one third of the entire plant at any one time. Best time to harvest - in the morning when the plant’s aromatic oils are at their peak. Snip basil sprigs just above a pair of leaves (this is where new buds will emerge to replace the foliage you are removing)

tatsoi

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Asian greens may look exotic, but most are easy to grow in your own vegetable garden. Tatsoi (pronounced taht-SOY) is a non-heading mustard that is very similar in flavor to bok choi. Tatsoi plants tend to grow in a flatter rosette than bok choi, with long, spoon-shaped leaves. They grow quickly and can be ready for harvest in as few as 20 days.

 

Companion Plants: Mint, oregano, onion, dill, sage, beets

Sun

Lighting

Partial sun to full sun

Fertilizer

If your soil is rich, you should not need to feed the plants. Otherwise, use a fertilizer high in nitrogen.

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Tip

You can succession plant tat soi every two to three weeks for a longer harvest period. 

Rain Cloud

Water

Needs regular watering or it will bolt to seed

Container or Ground

Both

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Harvesting

To harvest the whole head, slice the plants off about 1 inch above the ground, and they should re-sprout for you. The new plants will be smaller but still delicious.

ROSEMARY

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A most popular culinary herb, with an intense pine flavor. Use the needles, but not the woody stems, when cooking with rosemary. Rosemary is also an attractive, drought tolerant addition to perennial plantings with its fine textured, silvery foliage and pale lavender blooms. The scientific name for rosemary plant is Rosmarinus officinalis, which translates to “mist of the sea,” as its gray-green foliage is thought to resemble mist against the sea cliffs of the Mediterranean, where the plant originates.

 

Companion Plants: English Thyme, Catmint, Triple Curled Parsley

Sun

Lighting

At least 6-8 hours of sunlight

Fertilizer

it's a good idea to give chives a single top-dressing with a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer 

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Tip

Rosemary prefers to remain somewhat on the dry side; therefore, terra cotta pots are a good choice when selecting suitable containers. These pots allow the plant to dry out faster.

Rain Cloud

Water

Thoroughly water rosemary plants when the soil is dry to the touch but allow the plants to dry out between watering intervals.

Container or Ground

Both

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Harvesting

Pruning rosemary will help make a bushier plant. Most herbs thrive on being trimmed every now and then, especially those used for flavorings.

PARSLEY

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Parsley, or garden parsley is a species of flowering plant in the family Apiaceae that is native to the central and eastern Mediterranean region, but has been naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and is widely cultivated as a herb, and a vegetable. This popular herb is used in sauces, salads, and especially soups, as it lessens the need for salt. Not only is parsley the perfect garnish, it’s also good for you; it’s rich in iron and vitamins A and C!

 

Companion Plants: Chives, Creeping Thyme, Oregano

Sun

Lighting

Pick a spot that gets full sun (6+ hours of sunlight)

Fertilizer

it's a good idea to give chives a single top-dressing with a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer 

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Tip

They grow best in a fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Add grit or sharp sand to heavy clay soils to improve drainage if needed.

Rain Cloud

Water

Be sure to keep parsley plants sufficiently watered, Lightly mulch around the plants to conserve moisture

Container or Ground

Both

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Harvesting

When the leaf stems have at least three segments, parsley is ready to be harvested.

Cut leaves from the outer stems of the plant whenever you need them. Leave the inner portions of the plant to mature. Ideally, allow 2 to 3 weeks for regrowth between major harvests. 

SPANISH THYME

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Indian borage or Spanish Thyme is an herbaceous perennial in the Lamiaceae (mint) family.  It has a very strong fragrance of oregano when crushed, hence its other common name Cuban oregano.

The majority of the plants growth takes place in the spring and summer  It prefers a hot and dry location for the best performance.  Differing from true oregano, Cuban oregano does best when situated in a location that provides some protection from the hot summer sun.

Companion Plants: Cilantro, garlic, lemongrass

Sun

Lighting

4 to 6 Hours of Sun

Fertilizer

Fertilize with a granular slow-release, 5-5-5 (NPK) fertilizer every three to four weeks

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Tip

They grow best in a fertile, moist but well-drained soil. 

Rain Cloud

Water

Water at the base of plants and keep the water off the leaves as much as possible.

Container or Ground

Both

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Harvesting

Taking cuttings can also help the plant grow fuller instead of taller, and over time can even help it to spread and develop a vine-like trailing habit that would look nice spilling over the side of a hanging basket.

chadon beni OR culantro

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Culantro is popularly known as chadon beni (Its botanical name is Eryngium foetidum) in the English-speaking Caribbean. It's used extensively in the cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago — in fact, it's one of the key herbs in cooking in that twin-island republic. Chadon beni can be made into a paste that's included as in ingredient in green seasoning. Culantro is rich in calcium and it's a good source of riboflavin, iron, carotene, and vitamins A, B-complex and C. 

 

Companion Plants: Parsley, cilantro, tarragon, and basil 

Sun

Lighting

Chadon beni plants like shady conditions best, although they can handle the hot tropical climate.

Fertilizer

The plants can also survive in poor soils with very little fertilizer. However, with well-drained, fertilized soils, the leaves are larger, greener and more abundant.

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Tip

If you have enough seeds, trim the stalks in younger plants. This will cause the plants to grow more leaves – which is what you want!

Rain Cloud

Water

Water them often and they will never stop growing

Container or Ground

Both

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Harvesting

The plant has long, serrated leaves and will burst into a blue flower if allowed to bloom. It begins to lose flavor and texture after it blossoms. 

PORTUGUESE THYME or FALSE OREGANO

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Portuguese thyme has an aroma similar to Greek oregano, it is a very spicy herb, and is best used in dishes that require a highly-seasoned taste such as meat stuffings, beans, lamb roasts and Italian sauces. It's scientific name is Lippia Micromera and is also sometimes called False or Jamaican Oregano. It is a flowering, tropical perennial belonging to the Verbena family. It has clusters of white flowers which accent its tiny green leaves. These leaves branch out from a woody stem and grow up to 6 feet tall. 

 

Companion Plants: Peppers, eggplant, squash, beans, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and turnips

Sun

Lighting

Likes sun to part shade,

Fertilizer

 If you already added compost or aged manure in soil, there's no need to feed your plant during one growing season unless it's showing lack of growth 

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Tip

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds.

Rain Cloud

Water

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Container or Ground

Both

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Harvesting

Harvest leaves as needed with scissors, cutting back close to the base of the plant. The more regularly they’re cut, the more new leaves they will produce.

MINT

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Mint is a perennial herb with very fragrant, toothed leaves and tiny purple, pink, or white flowers. There are many varieties of mint—all fragrant, whether shiny or fuzzy, smooth or crinkled, bright green or variegated. However, you can always tell a member of the mint family by its square stem. Rolling it between your fingers, you’ll notice a pungent scent and think of candy, sweet teas, or maybe even mint juleps.

 

Companion Plants: Cabbage, tomatoes

Sun

Lighting

Most will grow in sun or partial shade; the variegated types may require some protection from direct sun.

Fertilizer

Feed mint plants during the growing season if you have nutrient-poor soil. 

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Tip

Minimal care is needed for mint. For outdoor plants, use a light mulch. This will help keep the soil moist and keep the leaves clean.

Rain Cloud

Water

For indoor plants, be sure to water them regularly to keep the soil evenly moist.

Container or Ground

Both

Mint is a vigorous grower and needs to be contained or it will send out its runners and spread all over your garden.

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Harvesting

You can start harvesting mint leaves once the plant has multiple stems that are six to eight inches long.