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Growing and Using Herbs and Spices

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"Will delight both the gardener and the cook." — Library Journal. Versatile handbook for the wide range of American herbalists — from backyard gardeners to gourmet chefs — provides all the information needed for cultivation and use of all the herbs and spices available in North America. 4 illustrations. Index. Glossary.
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Overview


"Will delight both the gardener and the cook." — Library Journal. Versatile handbook for the wide range of American herbalists — from backyard gardeners to gourmet chefs — provides all the information needed for cultivation and use of all the herbs and spices available in North America. 4 illustrations. Index. Glossary.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486250588
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 11/2/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 510,494
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 8.47 (h) x 0.49 (d)

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Growing and Using Herbs and Spices


By Milo Miloradovich

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1980 The Estate of Milo Miloradovich
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-14445-0



CHAPTER 1

Herbs in a Small Garden

Many of the designs of our modern herb gardens are variations and sometimes copies of the traditional herb gardens of antiquity. However, it isn't necessary to have an elaborate plan or a traditional design in order to enjoy the many pleasures of herb gardening.

A simple row of fragrant herbs along a garden walk or a few varieties planted in between the rows of a vegetable garden can prove to be a really satisfactory beginning. If the herbs are grown in rows in the vegetable garden, very little space is required. Generally speaking, only a few feet of the annuals and but five or six plants of the selected perennials will supply generously the needs of the average family.

The design and plan of your herb garden, like that of any other garden, can be one of personal preference according to the space you may have to devote to the planting. If the garden space is limited, a small plot not more than 4 feet square can be a source of unpretentious enjoyment. An oblong or an irregularly shaped garden space not more than a few feet wide and approximately 6 feet long will be large enough to grow a sufficient supply of savory herbs for the entire family to enjoy.

In other words, an herb garden may be planted in practically any part of the available space where there is well-drained soil. The selected group of herbs may be planted to harmonize with any of the surrounding landscape, and one need not necessarily follow a traditional design. If desired, the herb bed may be raised somewhat above the level of the surroundings by filling in the bed with extra soil. The edges and border of the design may be kept neat and firm very easily by sinking a metal or wooden boundary into the ground about 2 inches deep. It is best to keep the perennials separate from the other herbs so they will not be disturbed by the planting of the annuals.


DIVERSITY OF DESIGN

Designs in triangles, ovals, and circles lend themselves to herb planting if one prefers them to the squares and oblongs. The planning of the design can give as much pleasure as the charting of a flower garden. In many instances the herb garden is infinitely more simple. The various degrees of the colors of the herb foliage can be used to create a design within a design. The gray-greens, the blue-greens, the deep greens, the purple-greens, and the light greens may be planted in such a way as to create exquisite contrasts. For example, the vivid deep green foliage of the humble yet beautiful curly parsley makes a perfect border for a gray-green center of rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.

There are several beautifully designed herb gardens in our parks and botanical gardens. Sketches of two such modern designs are included in this book. As an example of what an herb garden can be without benefit of a design, I have sketched the herb garden which I knew as a child. It had no formal planning, but the herbs which grew in that simple oblong space were a source of constant and fragrant delight. It amply supplied aromatic culinary herbs for our family and for several neighbors. Like the herb gardens in colonial times, it was as near the kitchen door as it was possible to have it. Anyone could run out to pinch off a sprig of thyme or a few leaves of rosemary and chervil to add to the deliciousness of a marvelous roast or a tasty, savory stuffing.

If there is no available separate space in your garden for herbs only, it still will be possible for you to grow a few of them. A small border of the shorter, bushy herbs may be planted along a pathway or against a background of shrubs where there is a sunny exposure. The herbs will add not only fragrance but real beauty to the surroundings. Or a few plants may be tucked into an extra crevice in the rock garden or used as a border for an already thriving flower bed.

Naturally, the herbs chosen for a rock garden will include the shorter spreading herbs such as camomile, winter savory, and a variety or two of the trailing thymes. All these require little care and will thrive in the cracks and crevices and gaily add their charm to the colorful combination of the other plants. As an easy reference to assist you in choosing various herbs adapted for planting in particular places in the garden, the herbs have each been classified and assembled into such lists at the end of this chapter.


ADAPTABILITY OF HERBS

A great variety of the fragrant herbs will grow in practically all garden soils which are suitable for growing vegetables. In fact, many of them will thrive better in a poorer soil which is well drained. When the soil is too rich, the growth is apt to result in a heavy, luxuriant foliage rather than developing foliage filled with volatile oil which gives the richer, more aromatic flavor. Since most of the savory herbs will grow under a wide range of different climates and soil conditions, cultivating suggestions are given in the later chapters of this volume under each specific herb. The spices adaptable to cultivation in our hemisphere are also included.

The seed and young seedlings of the many fragrant herbs may be obtained from a goodly number of established herb gardens, local seedsmen, and nurseries all over the country. See also the listing at the back of this book: Where Fragrant Herb Plants and Seed May Be Purchased. Once your own garden is started, it is quite simple to enlarge it as you wish. Since many of the herbs are perennials, you will have root divisions not only for yourself but for all your friends and neighbors as well.


SUGGESTIONS FOR A FIRST HERB GARDEN

Among the especially delightful and useful herbs which may be selected as starters in a small garden are sweet basil, chervil, chives, dill, fennel, sweet marjoram, one or two of the scented mints, parsley, lemon verbena, rose geranium, sage, summer savory, tarragon, and thyme.

Herb gardens, like other gardens, reflect the taste and personality of the owner and the gardener, and no two gardens can ever be quite alike. Since any or all of the annuals, biennials, and perennials on the following lists are readily and easily grown, one's own choice may be made from among those herbs whose colors and fragrances are personal favorites. It is much more exciting to have complete success with but five or six herbs at first. Then as one learns what satisfactory and fascinating little plants they can be, additional varieties may be added to the garden without difficulty and with genuine enthusiasm.


PLANT DISEASES — NOT FREQUENT

The majority of the popular culinary herbs are free from troublesome plant diseases, especially when they are grown in small quantities, under the right conditions, and are never overcrowded. Should rust occasionally turn the leaves of the mints, tarragon, or thyme, this is readily counteracted by spraying them with sulphur and burning all the old stems and plants. Rust rarely attacks sweet marjoram, summer savory, sage, or rosemary, and never troubles chives, dill, chervil, parsley, water cress, or the sweet basils. In fact, disease is unusual with most of the culinary herbs, and this is another reason they can be so satisfactory for the gardener.

In certain regions and under unusually dry weather conditions, sage may be attacked by a small mite or lace bug. However, the disease seldom causes serious damage and a spray of yellow soap suds will control it. The culinary herbs require a minimum of watching and are usually healthy. Should a serious disease attack any of the plants, it is best to treat them as recommended by the county agent or the state agricultural experiment station, since local climate and soil conditions differ. If you are fortunate enough to be near a local herb gardener, he or she will gladly share and exchange herb-growing experiences with you. In herb gardening in the Pacific Northwest, I remember having no trouble whatsoever with plant diseases.


HERBS EASILY GROWN IN A SMALL GARDEN

Annuals

Basil, Purple Chervil
Lavender,

English
Basil, Sweet Dill
Marjoram, Sweet
Borage
Fennel, Sweet Savory, Summer


Biennials

Angelica Caraway Parsley


Perennials

Bergamot, Wild
Peppermint
Burnet
Rose Geranium
Camomile
Rosemary
Catnip
Rue
Chives
Sage, Garden
Horehound
Savory, Winter
Lovage
Sorrel
Mint, Apple
Spearmint
Mint, Curly
Tarragon, French
Mint, Orange
Thyme, English
Parsley, when kept from seeding Thyme, Lemon

Verbena, Lemon


SELECTING CULINARY HERBS FOR INDIVIDUAL GARDENS

Foliage colors for creating designs — dominant shades

BLUE-GREEN FOLIAGE

Basil, Dwarf
Rue
Dill
Lavender, English

GRAY-GREEN FOLIAGE

Catnip
Mint, Apple
Corn Salad
Orégano
Lavender, French Rosemary
Lavender, Spike Sage
Marjorams
Thyme, English

DEEP GREEN FOLIAGE

Basil, Sweet
Marigold
Burnet
Parsley, Curly
Chervil
Peppermint, Black
Chives
Savory, Summer
Horseradish
Tansy
Hyssop
Tarragon, French
Leek
Water Cress

LIGHT GREEN FOLIAGE

Angelica
Peppermint, White
Balm, Lemon
Nasturtium
Costmary
Parsley, Fern-leaved
Fennel
Poppy
Lovage
Sorrel

PURPLE-GREEN FOLIAGE

Basil, Purple Mint, Orange


Blossom colors for grouping — dominant shades

PALE TO DEEP BLUE

Borage
Hyssop, Blue
Catnip
Lavender, True
Corn Salad Rosemary

CRIMSON

Bergamot, Red
Sage, Pineapple
Ginger
Thyme, Trailing

GREENISH-YELLOW

Lovage

MAUVE TO PURPLE

Bergamot Mint
Mints
Catnip
Sage, Garden
Cumin
Savory, Winter
Lavender, Spike Thyme, Woolly

PALE TO DEEP PINK

Burnet
Coriander
Savory, Summer
Hyssop, Pink Savory, Winter

WHITE

Angelica
Hyssop, White
Burnet
Marjoram, Sweet
Camomile
Poppy, White
Chervil
Sage, White
Cumin
Thyme, White
Horehound
Woodruff, Sweet

YELLOWISH-WHITE

Anise
Caraway
Tarragon,

French

YELLOWS TO ORANGE

Balm, Lemon
Costmary
Mustard
Dill
Saffron, True
Fennel, Sweet
Tansy
Marigold
Turmeric


For planting in shady or partially shady places

ANNUAL

Chervil

BIENNIAL

Angelica

Parsley (Perennial when kept from seeding)

PERENNIALS

Balm, Lemon
Mints
Burnet, Garden
Tarragon, French
Costmary
Thyme, Lemon

Woodruff, Sweet


For planting in sunny places

ANNUALS

Anise
Fennel, Sweet
Borage
Marjoram, Sweet
Camomile, German Orégano
Coriander
Savory, Summer
Dill
Sesame

BIENNIALS

Caraway Parsley

PERENNIALS

Bergamot
Mints
Burnet, Garden Parsley
Camomile, Roman Rosemary
Catnip
Sage, Garden
Chives
Savory, Winter
Horehound
Sorrel, Garden
Lavenders
Tarragon, French
Lovage
Thymes


For attracting honeybees

Balm, Lemon
Lavenders
Basil, Sweet
Marigold
Bergamot, Red Marjoram,

Sweet
Borage
Oregano
Camomile
Rosemary
Catnip
Sage
Fennel, Sweet Savory, Winter
Hyssop
Thymes


As hedges and back borders

Angelica Hyssop Rosemary
Bergamot Lovage Sage, Pineapple
Costmary Oregano Tansy


As edges and low borders

Basil, Dwarf Chives
Savory, Winter
Camomile
Parsley, Curly Thyme,

English


In rock gardens

Balm, Bee Borage
Savory, Winter
Lavender, English Thyme, Wild
Marjoram, Sweet
Woodruff,

Sweet


As ground carpets

Camomile, Roman Thyme, Wild
Thyme, Lemon
Woodruff,

Sweet


SECTION OF HERB GARDEN OF THE NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDENS PLANTED BY THE NEW YORK UNIT OF THE HERB SOCIETY OF AMERICA

1. Rosmarinus officinalis

2. Nepeta Mussinii

3. Teucrium marum

4. Lavandula officinalis "Munstead"

5. Satureia montana

6. Comptonia peregrina

7. Inula Helenium

8. Myrrhis odorata

9. Viola odorata

10. Primula veris

11. Marrubium candidissimum

12. Salvia pratensis

13. Salvia pratensis

14. Cassia marilandica

15. Monarda didyma

16. Digitalis ambigua

17. Monarda didyma

18. Monarda didyma (red)

19. Campanula rapunculoides

20. Sanguisorba minor

21. Thymus vulgaris

22. Stachys officinalis

23. Salvia officinalis

24. Chrysanthemum Parthenium

25. Hyssopus officinalis (pink)

26. Lavandula o. "Munstead"

27. Allium Moly

28. Artemisia albula "Silver King"

29. Artemisia Abrotanum

30. Rosmarinus officinalis

31. Origanum dictamnus

32. Sanguisorba canadensis

33. Dianthus "Old Spice"

34. Dictamnus albus

35. Hyssopus officinalis (pink)

36. Lavendula o. "Munstead"

37. Crocus sativus

38. Thymus vulgaris

39. Hyssopus officinalis (blue)

40. Rosa "Kazanlik" (Rosa damascena trigintipetalia)

41. Rumex scutatus

42. Allium flavum

43. Thymus vulgaris

44. Hyssopus officinalis (white)

45. Angelica Archangelica

46. Salvia officinalis

47. Iris Germanica florentina

48. Artemisia Purshiana

49. Micromeria rupestris

49. Lavandula officinalis

50. Fragaria vesca alba

51. Santolina Chamaecyparissus

52. Thymus vulgaris

CHAPTER 2

Herbs Indoors in a Window Box

Several of the savory herbs may be easily grown indoors, either during the winter months or all year, so that one may have the pleasure of using fresh herbs at all times.

Since the annuals mature their seed and then die at the end of the growing season, it is best to plan to have new seedlings in the fall ready to bring indoors. The seed should be planted outdoors sufficiently early in the autumn so the tiny seedlings will be ready for indoor transplanting just before the frost.

The perennials will give the best results if the window-box plants are started from root cuttings or divisions rather than attempting to bring the old plants indoors. If there is no outdoor garden and you are starting your window box from scratch, the seedlings may be purchased from an herb garden or local nursery.

The herb window box is a lovely thing, and it doesn't necessarily have to stand along the kitchen window sill either. Undoubtedly there will be a rose geranium or two and perhaps some sweet marjoram and thyme with the ever-popular parsley, chives, and mints. These decorative herbs will add attractiveness and fragrant aroma to any room in the house.

Standard window boxes which can be kept well drained are the best. However, if boxes with such drainage structure are not procurable, any window box with a thick layer of rocks and stones placed on the bottom will be all right. Then the surplus moisture will lie below the soil. The box should be placed in a sunny window where the temperature can be kept even and where the box can be turned occasionally so that both sides get plenty of sun.

If one prefers only a pot or two of herbs, the 4-inch pots are the best size. Place them on trays at least 2 or 3 inches deep with a layer of stones or broken pot pieces spread thickly along the bottom of the trays. This allows for good drainage. Water should be kept in the trays at all times, but it should not touch the pots. The plants should be watered frequently from the top and then soaked about every ten days by letting the pots stand in water for an hour or more.

By following the general rules of caring for the average house plant, many varieties of herbs may be successfully grown indoors. Simply give them plenty of light, moisture, and fresh air which is neither too hot nor too dry.

Prepared potting soil may be purchased. If so, have a goodly portion of sand mixed with it, otherwise it will be too rich for most herbs. When regular loam is used, mix three parts of it with one part sand and one part fertilizer.

Several of the tall herbs listed, such as dill, fennel, and rosemary, become dwarfed when planted indoors in window boxes and pots; and they make beautiful house plants.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Growing and Using Herbs and Spices by Milo Miloradovich. Copyright © 1980 The Estate of Milo Miloradovich. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

QUOTATION
MANY THANKS
INTRODUCTORY COMMENT
1. HERBS IN A SMALL GARDEN
    DIVERSITY OF DESIGN
    ADAPTABILITY OF HERBS
    SUGGESTIONS FOR A FIRST HERB GARDEN
    PLANT DISEASES?NOT FREQUENT
    HERBS EASILY GROWN IN A SMALL GARDEN
  SELECTING CULINARY HERBS FOR INDIVIDUALS GARDENS:
    Foliage Colors for Creating Designs
    Blossom Colors for Grouping
    For Planting in Shady or Partially Shady Places
    For Planting in Sunny Places
    For Attracting Honeybees
    As Hedges and Back Borders
    As Edges and Low Borders
    In Rock Gardens
    As Ground Carpets
  ILLUSTRATIONS OF HERB GARDEN DESIGNS
    Traditional Designs
    Herb Garden in The New York Botanical Garden
    The Wade Park Herb Garden in Cleveland
    "Small Culinary Herb Garden in Spokane, Washington"
2. HERBS INDOORS IN A WINDOW BOX
3. DEVELOPING SEEDLINGS FOR EARLY TRANSPLANTING
    Seedlings in Cold Frames
    How to Construct a Cold Frame
    Ventilating the Cold Frame
    Transplanting Seedlings into the Open Garden
    Watering the Young Plants
4. CULINARY HERBS ADAPTED TO GROWING IN VARIOUS GEOGRAPHICAL LOCALITIES
    "Eastern United States, Canada, England, and the Continent"
    Middle Western United States
    Southern United States and Southern Europe
    Southwestern United States and Mexico
    Western and Northwestern United States and Canada
5. DRYING HERBS
    Cutting and Preparing
    Bunches of Herbs
    Flower Heads
    Leaves
    Petals
    Roots
    Seed
6. QUICK-FREEZING AND PRESERVING FRESH HERBS
    Selecting Herbs for Quick-Freezing
    Instructions for Quick-Freezing
    Using Quick-Frozen Herbs
    Herb Blends
    Preserving Fresh Herbs in Salt
    Old-fashioned Recipe for Herb Butter
    Basic Recipe for Salted-down Herbs
7. FRAGRANT CULINARY HERB LEAVES AND SEED
    Botanical Names
    "History, Superstitions, and Legends"
    Characteristics and Descriptions
    Uses in Basic Foods
    How to Cultivate
    How to Harvest
8. SPICES AND CARAVANS
    Elephant Bells and Patimars
    Sources of Spices
    Botanical Names of Each Spice
    "History, Superstitions, and Legends"
    Characteristics and Descriptions
    Uses in Basic Foods
    How Each Spice Is Cultivated and Harvested
9. HERB AND SPICE SWEET SCENTS AND SACHETS
    Culinary Herbs for Fragrant Lotions
    Culinary Herbs for Spices in Fragrant Moth-Preventive Blends
    "Herbs and Spices for Sweet Scents, Sachets, and Potpourri Blends"
10. RECIPES FOR HOUSEHOLD USES OF HERBS AND SPICES
    Sweet Scents and Potpourris
    Rose Jars
    Sachet Powders
    Herb Pillows
    "Bath Blends, Pomanders, and Lotions"
    Moth Preventatives
11. FRAGRANT HERBS AND BLOSSOMS DRIED AND PRESERVED IN THREE DIMENSIONS
    Unique Method of Drying in Three Dimensions
    Bouquets of Dried Herbs in Three Dimensions
    Procedure for Three-Dimensional Drying and Preserving
    Fragrant Herbs Which Retain Their Natural Beauty When Dried in Three Dimensions
GLOSSARY
  Botanical Names of Herbs and Spices
  Botanical Family Names of Herbs and Spices
INDEX
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