10 Easy to Grow Herbs

10 Easy to Grow Herbs. If you are a beginner gardener and would like to start growing herbs, this list of easy to grow herbs will help you decide what to cultivate.


If you are a beginner gardener and would like to start growing herbs, this list of easy to grow herbs will help you decide what to cultivate.

If you like to cook even a little bit, at some point you start thinking about growing your own fresh herbs. The cooks on TV always use them and rave about the difference in flavor over those jars of dried ones. It is much easier than you thought to grow your own herbs! Here is a collection of some of the easiest to grow in your garden.

10 Easy to Grow Herbs

First a word about growing herbs – for the most part, they do not require much care. If you grow them in a sunny spot, water when dry, and harvest no more than one-third of the plant at any one time, your herbs should reward you with abundance.

basil growing in the ground


Basil
• This is very easy to grow. If you like pesto, grow this one! Start from seeds several times during the spring/summer season to keep your supply coming in as long as possible.
• Keep flower heads pinched off to promote leaf growth, and remove top buds to make plants bushier (do not allow the plant to bolt).
Annual – you will need to replant every year.
Hardiness zones 1-10
Here are some simple instructions on How to Harvest and Grow Basil.

Chamomile growing in the ground


Chamomile, Roman
• Deliciously fragrant flowers and leaves have a sweet apple flavor.
• Dried flowers are great in potpourri and make a flavorful and relaxing tea.
• Ideal for a fragrant herb lawn which can tolerate foot traffic. I plant this and it just BLOOMS!! Just walking by my chamomile plants make me smile – they are so fragrant!
• Maintenance: trim every 6 weeks.ack every other month.
Perennial – sun, water weekly during dry spells, feed in spring.
Hardiness zones 3-9

Chamomile growing in the ground


Chives
• Easy to grow from seed. Plant in an area where you want to enjoy their purple flowers, even in a flower bed. They will re-seed themselves if you leave a few of the faded blooms.
• Chives may grow up to a foot tall and have long tubular leaves.
• Clip them as needed to use wherever you might want a very mild onion flavor.
• These are another very simple herb to grow – I just allow them to regrow year after year with little maintenance (divide every 3-5 years).
Perennial – full to partial sun, water weekly during dry spells, feed in spring.
Hardiness zones 3-9

Cilantro
• If you like Mexican food, this is a must-have. You can sow seeds directly in the garden as this one does not transplant very well. Plant at the beginning of the spring and again in summer to ensure your cilantro supply will remain as long as possible. There is nothing better than salsa made with fresh tomatoes and garden grown cilantro.
• Cilantro is known as coriander in some areas, although technically, coriander is the seeds of the plant.
• I have grown this simply for the seeds! A few plants produce a ton, I dried them in paper bags in the garage, and when I was done shook the seeds off.
Annual – full sun, water 2-3 times per week, feed using all purpose plant food. Maintenance: mulch to keep down weeds.
Hardiness zones 3 to 8 when planted in spring
Hardiness zones to 11 when planted in fall or winter

fennel growing in the ground


Fennel
• Aromatic, feathery foliage is an attractive filler in the herb or flower garden.
• Leaves, seeds, and the stem are all edible. Hubby likes fennel so I grow several plants every year.
• Keep surrounding area weed-free.
Short lived Perennial normally grown as an Annual – sun, well-drained soil, fertilize sparingly.
Hardiness zones 2-10

Mint
• Mints are the easiest of any herb to grow. In fact, if you do not contain it in a pot, mints WILL overtake your garden.
• If you have a friend that grows mints, ask them for some cuttings or a rooted plant. Root cuttings in water. My best advice for this one is to keep it in a plastic pot (bury the pot underground) to keep it contained, and when it starts to get too big, cut it bag ruthlessly, and throw away the clippings. You can also grow mints in a large container on a patio.
Perennial will come back every year.
This is my most popular mint post: Why you NEED Lemon Balm in Your Garden.

parsley growing in the ground


Parsley
• Easy to grow, but start from plants at your local garden supply store. If you sow from seeds, start indoors early.
• Whether you like the flat leaf or curled leaf varieties, both will look great in your garden or a pot.
• Cut whenever you need it, but do not take more than a third of the plant at once.
• Freezes well for winter use.
• Also an excellent indoor plan. I’ve kept a pot of parsley on my sunniest windowsill in winter and it did great.
Biennial – full sun, water daily, feed using all purpose plant food. Maintenance includes weeding and pinching back for a fuller appearance.
Hardiness zones 3-9
Here are some simple instructions on How to Harvest and Grow Parsley.

Rosemary
• If you live where there isn’t an extended hard frost, you should be able to grow this one in your landscape. Rosemary varieties range from low creeping groundcovers to shrubs and can be trained into small trees and topiaries. All of them smell great.
• If you are not lucky enough to live where this can be part of your year-round garden, move your plant indoors. As long as rosemary gets watered on a regular basis, it will survive with low light.
• I like to use rosemary stalks as skewers for cooking chicken on the grill.
Perennial – full sun, will live for many years if wintered properly.
Hardiness zones 8 to 10

Sage
• Sage is another herb that can over-winter in almost every climate.
• Grows about two feet tall, and comes in many varieties. The sage varieties with variegated leaves are less hardy.
• Sage likes full sun with well-drained soil.
• Sage makes your Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing taste out of this world.
Perennial – full sun, start from plants or cuttings.
Hardiness zones 5-9

Thyme
• This one makes a great groundcover. Use thyme between rocks or brick to fill in space with a fragrant green carpet. It also makes a great addition to a raised bed where it can trail over the edge.
• Thyme comes in many varieties and colors. I grow English thyme and it comes back year after year with literally no maintenance on my part (it is off by itself among some bushes, and I forget about a lot… simple to care for!)
• Keep surrounding area weed-free.
Perennial – sun, water weekly during dry spells, feed regularly.
Hardiness zones 4-9

This is just a short list of some of the easiest to grow herbs. Most herbs are almost weed-like plants in their native areas, do not fuss over them too much. As your confidence grows, you can add to your collection, and have one of the most enviable herb gardens around.

Please remember that none of this is meant as medical advice. I am not a doctor and do not play one on the internet. Please consult a physician if you have any questions about using herbs so your doctor can better explain to you the benefits, possible side effects, and any warnings about herbs.

More articles on Herbs:

US Heartiness Zones Map

Herbs 101 – a great overview of herbs, uses, and book recommendations.

Herb Planting and Care

Tips for Growing an Herb garden Year-round – indoor herb garden advice.

10 Herbs Your Need to Grow – herb advice, culinary and medical uses for listed herbs.


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Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe

Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe. Easy to make, totally delicious, this instant pot cream of mushroom soup so good. The creamy goodness of this mushroom soup will have your family asking for seconds!


Easy to make, totally delicious, this instant pot cream of mushroom soup so good. The creamy goodness of this mushroom soup will have your family asking for seconds!

Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe

Do you have an instant pot? Hubby likes ours. A fast pressure cooker that has versatile settings. You can cook a lot of different things in an Instant Pot – soup is probably the easiest. A fast prep time like this cream of mushroom soup, slap the lid on, thicken at the end, and done. Really easy!

Notes

• Read the directions on your instant pot to check if the slow cooker is preset to high (the default was used for this recipe).

Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup Ingredients:

• 2 TBSP Butter
• 1 tsp Garlic, minced
• 1 Shallot, diced
• 6 cups Fresh Mushrooms, diced
• pinch Thyme, dried
• Salt, to taste
• Pepper, to taste
• 4 cups Chicken Broth
• 2 TBSP Cornstarch
• 2 TBSP Cold Water
• 1 cups Sour Cream
• 1 cups Half and Half

Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup Mise en Place:

Instant Pot
• Cutting Board
• Knife
Measuring Cup
Measuring Spoons
• Spatula or Spoon

Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe. Easy to make, totally delicious, this instant pot cream of mushroom soup so good. The creamy goodness of this mushroom soup will have your family asking for seconds!


Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup Directions:

• Using the sauté function, add the butter, garlic, shallot and mushrooms in the instant pot bowl.
• Sauté for approximately 4 – 5 minutes until the mushrooms have wilted and the shallots are translucent.
• Add the seasonings – thyme, salt, and pepper.

Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe. Easy to make, totally delicious, this instant pot cream of mushroom soup so good. The creamy goodness of this mushroom soup will have your family asking for seconds!


• Add the chicken broth, and press the slow cooker button for 3 hours. Place the lid on the top and leave it to cook.

Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe. Easy to make, totally delicious, this instant pot cream of mushroom soup so good. The creamy goodness of this mushroom soup will have your family asking for seconds!


• Near the end of the cooking time, mix together the cornstarch and water.

Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe. Easy to make, totally delicious, this instant pot cream of mushroom soup so good. The creamy goodness of this mushroom soup will have your family asking for seconds!


• Add the sour cream, half and half, and cornstarch slurry (the cornstarch and water mixture).
• Allow to cook for a further 15 minutes to allow the cream of mushroom soup to thicken slightly.
• Taste again for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper if you wish.


Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe

Easy to make, totally delicious, this instant pot cream of mushroom soup so good. The creamy goodness of this mushroom soup will have your family asking for seconds!

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes
Total Time: 3 Hours 45 Minutes

Ingredients:

2 TBSP Butter
1 tsp Garlic, minced
1 Shallot, diced
6 cups Fresh Mushrooms, diced
pinch Thyme, dried
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
4 cups Chicken Broth
2 TBSP Cornstarch
2 TBSP Cold Water
1 cups Sour Cream
1 cups Half and Half

Directions:

• Using the sauté function, add the butter, garlic, shallot and mushrooms in the instant pot bowl.
• Sauté for approximately 4 – 5 minutes until the mushrooms have wilted and the shallots are translucent.
• Add the seasonings – thyme, salt, and pepper.
• Add the chicken broth, and press the slow cooker button for 3 hours. Place the lid on the top and leave it to cook.
• Near the end of the cooking time, mix together the cornstarch and water.
• Add the sour cream, half and half, and cornstarch slurry (the cornstarch and water mixture).
• Allow to cook for a further 15 minutes to allow the cream of mushroom soup to thicken slightly.
• Taste again for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper if you wish.

Makes 4 servings Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup

Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe. Easy to make, totally delicious, this instant pot cream of mushroom soup so good. The creamy goodness of this mushroom soup will have your family asking for seconds!


• To print the Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup recipe click here.


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Max is Back to Chemo for His GME

Max is Back to Chemo for His GME. Max's GME Update. This is an update of the chemotherapy protocol of our dog, Max who is battling Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME). This is a canine disease where the white blood cells attack the central nervous system.


This is an update of the chemotherapy protocol of our dog, Max, who is battling Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME). This is a canine disease where the white blood cells attack the central nervous system

Max is Back to Chemo for His GME

In July of 2014 Max, our (now) nine year old Coton de Tulear was diagnosed with GME. I’ve written about his progress extensively, here and here and here and here and here. This is the original post where I detailed the trail to diagnoses and remission.

I have not had a blog post update on Max’s GME since October, 2016. As they say, “no news is good news” and he had been doing quite well until October, 2017. If you subscribe to the Ann’s Entitled Life newsletter, you have read a few updates about little Max.

In October 2017 he again suffered what was thought to be a GME relapse. We made a trip to Cornell, his Prednisone was increased, his CycloSporine was raised a touch, and we hoped all would be well.

A few days into January 2018 we began to notice increased circling from Max. He would still stop if I commanded him to, but the circling did not abate. We took him to Cornell on January 11, 2018, and his resident neurologist – Dr. Sarah Stephan – as well as her neurology supervisor (a chief of neurology), indicated a relapse.

Max was sent home with a huge increase in Pred (10mg), Pregabalin (for the pain), and instructions for us to watch him, and lower his Prednisone dose to 7.5mg in 5 days. The hope was we would reduce that 7.5mg dose to 5mg, and we would reduce the Pregabalin to one per day when he dropped to the 7.5mg, and less than that at 5mg.

Well, the best-laid plans…

The positive to the Prednisone – which is a synthetic corticosteroid drug – is that it is particularly effective as an immunosuppressant drug. And Max’s immune system needs to be suppressed at all times. He does not get any shots, and he does not receive kennel cough. Nothing to ramp up his system in any way.

Since Prednisone is a steroid it can have longterm side effects including bacterial infections (he had a nasty skin infection last year which he needed to have a pet dermatologist treat), and weight gain. As anyone who has ever taken a steroid knows, you want to eat and eat and eat and eat. Max is here.

Now along with a voracious appetite, Max also gains weight while on the Pred. It takes a while to get that excess weight off him once the Pred decreases, and he is an unhappy doggie at 17 pounds or more. This time, with the pred increase we had him weighed at physical therapy (where he is weighed weekly) as well as his regular vet (where he went for a blood test). They both showed him losing weight with the steroid increase.

On the higher doses of Pred Max was not responding as he has in the past. The circling increased and got tighter. There were neck stretches (a sign that he was trying to relieve the pain), and when we tried to reduce the Pregabalin there were obvious (and loud) signs of pain from him when we tried to give him oral medication (he flails his head to get away from me every time (3.5+ years now)) and was now causing himself pain in doing so.

Max is Back to Chemo for His GME. Max's GME Update. This is an update of the chemotherapy protocol of our dog, Max who is battling Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME). This is a canine disease where the white blood cells attack the central nervous system.


Mr. Max surveying his domain before we left Sunday morning.


We called Dr. Stephan and last Friday she suggested that we come in and start Max up on chemo again. We drove down to Cornell, and he received a treatment on Monday through to Tuesday. Cornell administers the Cytosar as a drip which is less “harsh” to his system. (Max had injection chemo in Jacksonville a few years ago… let’s just say that was a crappy experience.)

Some of the protocols have changed. In the past, we would have a blood test for Max one week after chemo treatment to check his white blood cells. That is no longer necessary. He goes back for another chemo treatment in a month, and they suggested we do the full panel ahead of time again so he can get right to the treatment. (We did it prior to this treatment not knowing he was going to have chemo… the tests were to check the immune system with the pred ramp-up.)

As to the non-weight-gain with the Pred? We were told it wasn’t as unusual as we assumed.

I am keeping Max home from physical therapy this month. We had planned a long road trip for the end of January and February, so I had nothing scheduled for him anyway. (That trip was canceled when the chemo became necessary.) His next PT isn’t until March, and by then he will have several chemo treatments behind him and should be feeling more like himself (I hope).

One of the things I keep telling Hubby – and that was reinforced (kindly) by the two neurologists we saw at Cornell this month – is that Max is well past historic longterm prognosis for this terrible disease. When he was diagnosed it was “not leaving the hospital” – to – “up to three years”. Max is now at 3.5 years. Both neurologists also made mention of how remarkable this is.

Max is Back to Chemo for His GME. Max's GME Update. This is an update of the chemotherapy protocol of our dog, Max who is battling Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME). This is a canine disease where the white blood cells attack the central nervous system.


Mr. Max resting comfortably inches away from one of his (many) beds, Wednesday morning.


I have no idea how much longer we will have the little guy with us. To date, he has been extremely tough in battling this truly terrible disease. He’s set for several more chemo treatments, and we are hopeful this will zap that crushing inflammation and Max will truly be a medical marvel. We do know that, since Cornell is a teaching veterinary hospital, his treatment therapy could be of help to future dogs that come down with Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME).

We are just thankful for every day we have with him.


Previous Max posts (read in order from the bottom up to follow his whole story):

Max Had a Relapse
Mr. Max April 2016 Update
Max March 2016 Update
Mr. Max Post Cornell Visit Information
Max’s Latest GME Update
Max’s GME Update, One Year Later
Max’s GME Update, Month 11
Max’s GME Update
An Update on Mr Max, March 2015
Updating Max’s GME
An Update On Mr. Max
Last 2014 Trip To Cornell For Max
Back To Cornell
Max’s First Cornell Follow-up Visit
Max Exercises More Than I Do!
Updating the Mr. Max Situation
A Mr. Max Update
Mr. Max, Mr. Max, Mr. Max
It’s A Mr. Max Post!


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