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Spring Gleaning: The Best Herbs to Grow at Home

Grow your own, either indoors or out

Avital Andrews

Sierra Club

 

 

MINT

Many experts recommend growing mint but warn against letting it run amok—best to keep it in pots. Elise Bauer, who runs Simply Recipes, says she prefers spearmint because it’s so easy to grow and maintain. “Once it’s established,” Bauer says of the hardy herb, “you never have to plant it again. It keeps coming back every year.” Mint is happy in shade, so she plants it along the side of her house, which also prevents bugs from coming in—they hate the stuff. And its culinary uses abound: Slice mint leaves into a chiffonade, mix sprigs with spring peas, or steep them in tea or lemonade. Also: Juleps! Mojitos!

ROSEMARY

Isaac Eliaz, an integrative doctor and herbalist at Northern California’s Amitabha Clinic, appreciates rosemary for its rich folkloric history. “Its elegant, needle-like leaves impart a delightful piney flavor to complement meats and savory, garlicky dishes,” he says. Eliaz adds that you can steep it in hot water for 10 minutes to make a soothing tea. Rosemary is an easy but slow grower and thrives year-round. Mature plants like full sun and well-drained soil.

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