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Give Your Cooking Zest With an Italian Herb Garden 

For More Tips How To Double Your Tomato Harvest Visit Our Link:
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Tags:  food  Tomatoes  Grow Tomatoes  Double Your Crops 
Views:  51
Published:  January 10, 2012
 
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Slide 1: ==== ==== For More Tips How To Double Your Tomato Harvest Visit Our Link http://tinyurl.com/7zxcqhk ==== ==== Some of the most familiar culinary herbs in your spice cabinet come from Italy, and they are probably some that you find yourself using over and over. Instead of buying these commercially dried and packaged, why not grow your own useful and tasty herbs? Plant an Italian herb garden for fresh herbs to enjoy all summer, and for years to come. Probably the most familiar Italian herb is basil, used an a lot of recipes, not just Italian. It adds a spicy, distinctive taste to your entrees, and is frequently paired with tomatoes and garlic. Think spaghetti sauce and pesto. Basil has other interesting qualities. Plant it beside peppers and tomatoes, and they will grow more lushly and have more flavor. It also repels some insects. Another flavorful plant used in Italian and all Mediterranean cooking, is oregano. This perennial herb will grow and spread, so give it room in the garden. It has spikes of purple or white flowers that bees just love. Great for all your plants! Harvest oregano just before it flowers so you get the most intense flavor, and dry it for winter use. After you harvest it, it will bounce back with a second growth spurt that will keep you in fresh oregano until the first hard frost. It is easily dried, and keeps its full flavor. Parsley is not just an Italian herb, although its flat-leafed variety is referred to as Italian parsley. It is used in many ethnic cuisines, and is probably one of the most commonly used herbs in the world. Italian parsley is more pungent than the familiar curly-leafed one. Both are used in the last moments of cooking, or raw in salads. Many chefs garnish their plates with parsley, but be sure to eat it. It is a great breath freshener, as well as being full of vitamins and minerals. Fennel is a tall licorice-scented herb, with both leaves and seeds used in cooking. The seeds are often used in Italian sausages, adding a licorice flavor. This perennial will grow up to four feet, so give it some room. It does not transplant well, and is only semi-hardy, so you may want to re-seed it every few years. As the plants age, they also lose flavor. Rosemary is a highly scented herb used in seasoning meats, poultry and bread. Both the aromatic needle-like leaves and the pretty little blue flowers can be used in cooking. It will grow into a large shrub in temperate areas, but is quite frost intolerant. If you live in a less temperate area, plant it in a container and bring it indoors to a cool area for the winter. Every herb garden, and especially an Italian one, should contain garlic. It is one of the most familiar herbs, used to flavor dishes from all countries. Plant healthy full cloves in the fall for a crop the following year. Next spring, you will see green shoots, and by summer the scapes or flower stalks, which should be removed. They can be used in cooking also. Once the tops have died down, dig the bulbs, clean them and allow them to dry, and keep them in
Slide 2: a cool dark place. Properly dried, your garlic bulbs can be kept for months. Include sage in your Italian herb garden. A wide variety of Italian dishes from meats to breads to salads use sage. It is an easy-to-grow shrubby perennial that should be pruned back hard each spring. Use the new shoots as they are the most flavorful. Dry the leaves for winter use. A tea of sage is said to settle the stomach. You will want to include the herbs that you use the most in your Italian herb garden, but be open to experiencing all of them. Some, like sage, rosemary and fennel also make good landscaping plants, giving you a double 'bang for your buck'. Become familiar with the growing requirements of each plant, and if your garden will not provide them, plant them in containers, where you have the ability to control location, light, moisture and soil conditions. Learn how to preserve them for winter use. You will love these aromatic and useful plants that bring you the scents and colors of Italy. Gardening expert Nicki Goff offers a free e-mail starter course all about her main passion... herb gardening. For access, visit her website, http://www.HomeHerbGardener.com. Visit her website to find more great tips, and her new comprehensive e-book, on creating, maintaining and enjoying your own home herb garden, along with bonus e-books on specific aspects of herb lore. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nicki_Goff ==== ==== For More Tips How To Double Your Tomato Harvest Visit Our Link http://tinyurl.com/7zxcqhk ==== ====

   
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