Last month we talked about perennials and biennials for your kitchen garden. Now let’s address some of the tender perennials and annuals.
The annual culinary herbs should be in stock now at your local Quality Co-op or nursery. Since I forgot to include oregano in last month’s article, we’ll include Cuban oregano in this one as it is usually grown as an annual.
Cuban oregano, aka Spanish thyme (Plectranthus amboinicus), is a tasty herb used in meat dishes, as well as in stuffing, rice or potato dishes. Cuban oregano, like other Plectranthus species, makes good accent plantings in your landscape. Swedish ivy (Plectranthus verticillatus), a cousin of the P. amboinicus, makes an interesting groundcover or can be interplanted with taller herbs in a container.
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana), pictured here, is another tender perennial that should be included in your kitchen garden. The sweetness of the leaves is incredible. Stevia can be used as a sweet addition in salads, coleslaws and collards, as well as other dishes. Its leaves can be steeped in coffee and tea to sweeten them without sugar or genetically-altered sweeteners.
Salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor) makes a good mounding evergreen border plant. It grows to a height of about 12 inches. Salad burnet tastes great on a lettuce and tomato salad. It has a flavor similar to a cucumber. Keep this herb deadheaded and older leaves trimmed off in order to keep it producing young and most flavorful leaves. If you allow the flower heads to mature in late summer, salad burnet may reseed itself.
Borage (Borago officinalis) is another good salad herb whose leaves have a cucumber-like flavor. Borage produces star-shaped flowers that begin as pink then turn blue. These flowers are sweet as honeysuckle and make a good looking garnish.
These herbs, when properly placed, will add color and imagination to your kitchen garden.
E-mail me if you have any questions.
Thanks for reading!