Growin’ My Own

… herbs, that is.

I’m always a little stunned that basil costs so much at the grocery store. It’s about $3 or more for this tiny plastic tub-thing that gives you only about six leaves. Not that I need more than six leaves, but still … $3???? That’s kind of crazy. And we use basil a lot. We do a mixture of basil, olive oil, roma tomatoes and cheese (parm or mozzerella) that we spoon over cheese ravioli and then hum and close our eyes because it’s so delicious. And I do a bruchetta that’s almost the same (only feta cheese, and the addition of olives). I always love basil in spaghetti sauce, too.

So, at the grocery store a few weeks ago, I saw this basil plant for only $1.99! Thought I’d try to grow my own. Look how cute he looks. My brother-in-law called him Senior Basil:

Unfortunately, while we were gone on our week-long road trip, Senior Basil bit the dust.

Hoping it was only due to the fact that we were gone for a week, I decided to try again and bought another one. I’m giving it another whirl. …

I’ve never been good at growing anything on that window sill before. It doesn’t get any direct sun, and I’m not sure how much sun basil needs. (I think a lot?)

Now, one herb I DO have good luck with is rosemary, but absolutely anyone can grow rosemary in So. Cal because it grows like wild here. (It actually thrives when it’s hardly watered and left to die.) Here’s my crazy rosemary. (I zoomed in really close and took this at a reeeeeeally creative angle so you couldn’t see the rest of my yard, which looks horrible right now!):

I’ve got this rosemary growing for about five feet along the side of my house. I send the kids outside for some when we roast red potatoes or chicken.

And that’s lavender in the background, too (the bluish green plant) — I suppose I can cook with that, too, right? I’ll have to look into that one. I have recipes for both a lavender lemon cake and a lavender limeade, but I’m never sure if all lavender is the same and you can cook with any? Or are there only certain varieties that can be used for cooking?

So what’s next up? Maybe dill! (I’m gettin’ wild, people!)

Do you have luck with any herbs? Do you have tips for growing the basil? Do you think Senior Basil II will survive? Any favorite dishes for using rosemary or basil?

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6 thoughts on “Growin’ My Own

  1. I’m trying to grow basil right now too, but in a pot outside in part sun/shade. It’s not doing too well. But my Rosemary plant looks exactly like yours! Another on that’s easy to grow is mint.

  2. Okay, Carrie and Lauran — you both say “easy to grow” like it applies to any-ol’ one. But I definitely do not grow all things well! Only plants that thrive when left to die do well in my yard. So …

    Thyme — Does it need to be outside, Carrie? Direct sun? What dishes do you use it in?

    Mint — Hmm. That sounds yummy. I can see using that in water, even, and I have made dishes that called for mint. So Lauran, does it grow best outside? Direct sun?

    Maybe I need to get my sprinklers fixed and my outdoor garden going again. …

  3. Laurie – I have no idea what the answers to your questions are, that’s why I think thyme is so easy to grow! I have it in a pot outside on my patio that sometimes gets shade and sometimes gets direct sun and it’s doing really well. Thyme is good to use in chicken dishes, especially, but I’m using it in a tuna dish tonight.

    Oh, and mint will grow like rosemary – all over – anywhere! And, it spreads!

  4. Carrie — Okay, I have a spot on my patio that gets some direct sun and some shade, so I’ll start there. Do you have your thyme growing with anything else in the pot? Now I’m excited to try some new herbs!

    The “spreading mint” I might have to think about. … Hmmm. … Not sure where to put that.

    Okay, I’ll try a few of these this summer and will take pics!

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