HERBS

ARUGULA (annual)
This is a green whose spicy, nutty flavor will liven up any salad or sandwich, sometimes arugula can be too much for the uninitiated.  Individual plants can be spaced 8-10 inches apart and can grow to be 12 inches wide and be18 inches tall when blooming.  Arugula will last longer and taste sweeter if grown in a shady location during the summer months; in  the winter months give it full sun.

254679_233717923334281_1121695_nBASIL, CINNAMON (annual)
This basil variety grows to be 24 inches tall, and is an interesting addition to your herb garden.  The light-green foliage is tinged with purple and has a distinctive cinnamon flavor.  Cinnamon basil  flowers quickly, so  for maximum production, you will have to harvest continually.  The flowers are pink and white and make nice garnishes.

BASIL, GREEK (annual)
A small, decorative basil that grows to be the size and shape of a volleyball.  The tiny bright green leaves are packed with an intense basil flavor that are a favorite for making pesto. These plants grow quickly  and can be harvested everyother week during the warm summer months.  Plant in a full sun location,  and give plenty of moisture.  Give each plant a handful of Landscape Mix when planting.

BASIL, ITALIAN SWEET (annual)
One of the tallest growing basils, Italian Large Leaf can grow up to 30 inches tall, and be 24 inches wide.  The leaves are wider and flatter than those of sweet genovese and have a spicier flavor.  These plants tend to the hardiest of the basils.   Plant in the full sun and water deeply.

BASIL, RED OPAL (annual)
This is the purple basil that seems best suited for our coastal climates.  The plants are strong, reach 18 inches tall and have a rich purple color that makes them attractive in both a vegetable garden and a flowering bed.   Can be used to make a purple pesto.  This variety does not have a great ìbasilî flavor and is primarily used as a decorative plant, flowers are purple and white in color.

BASIL, GENOVESE (annual)
This is the classic Italian basil that has been making womenís knees wobbly for centuries.  Plants can grow to be 24 inches tall and can produce mass quantities of dark-green, spicy leaves that are used in pesto, pasta sauces, and other knee melting concoctions.  This basil does best when planted into a rich, well composted soil in a full sun location and given plenty of water. These plants will be encouraged to keep producing fresh basil, as long as you continue  to harvest  the  tops, as the flowers are beginning to open up and turn white.

CATNIP (perennial)
Here is one plant that is guaranteed to deliver my cat to his blissful state.  I have had to cover new plantings with wire cages to keep him from smothering them before they have had time to become established.  Plant catnip in the full sun, in well-draining soil. Once established, catnip can thrive for years.  The flower heads are a major attractor of golden finches to our backyard and have provided hours of watching pleasure for us and our cat.

CHAMOMILE (re-seeding annual)
This valuable medicinal herb grows 18-30 inches high and will produce masses of fragrant daisy-like flowers that can be harvested, dried and steeped into a relaxing tea that calms the nerves, upset stomachs and aids with digestion. I planted some chamomile 4 years ago in my garden, and every year since then I have had a thick carpet of chamomile re-appear, each year better than the one before.

CHIVES, FINE LEAF (perennial)
This can be a temperamental plant to get started, yet once started, will carry on for years in the same spot.   I have had the best results when I have grown chives in a clump or at least in a defined little zone.  The plants grow up to 14î tall and are a great attracter of bees when they are in bloom.  When harvesting, it is important to cut the chive stems down low, about 1.5 inches from ground level. They will not grow taller once cut, and they reproduce by bulb division, which could be hampered if the chives were to be cut down low, close to their growing crowns.

CHIVES, GARLIC (perennial)
This is a hardier, more vigorous, variety of chive that germinates easier from seed and does better when transplanted too.  The difference is that the leaves are wider and flatter than fine leaf chives, and they have a stronger, more oniony flaver to them.  While the flavor of these chives is not as subtle or  refined as Fine Leaf chives, Garlic chives do make a zingy addition to eggs, salad dressings and potatoes.

CILANTRO (an annual that can grow to be 8-10 inches tall)
Also called Chinese Parsley. If growing in the fall and winter, put in a full sun location.  When growing in the warmer months, plant in partial shade.  As you continue to  pick the leaves, you will increase the length of the harvest.

DILL, BOUQUET (annual)
This is a short variety of dill,18inches tall, that is grown for its foliage, as opposed to a taller dill such as Mammoth, which is grown for itís seed.  This is a delicate plant that does best in a cool location with a rich soil and plenty of water.  Dill grows best if planted between September and April.

FENNEL (hardy biennial)
Fennel is a vigorous growing plant that forms flavorful bulbs which are packed with a sweet anise-like flavor.  Harvest the bulbs in their first year before the plants go to seed.  Once in your kitchen, fennel can be baked, cut in half and grilled as well as sliced and eaten raw in salads.  In its second year, the plant will bloom and you can harvest seeds at this time.

LEMON BALM (hardy perennial)
Lemon Balm is a strong growing plant that will be 18-24 inches tall at the height of its growth.  The pleasant lemon-scented leaves make a delicious tea that can be helpful to those with an upset stomach.  Plant in a well-draining soil and give as much sun and heat as you got.  If this plant was G.W. Bush it would say, ìbring it onî!  Fortunately it’s not.

MARJORAM (hardy annual, 8-18 inches tall)
This is an overlooked, yet important part of every herb garden.  Marjoram is an undersung herb that can be used as a rub with thyme and garlic onto beef, lamb and chicken, as an addition to potatoes, or as a subtle taste addition to salad dressings.  Plant in a bright sunny location and feed with a handful  of compost and Landscape Mix two times a year.

MINT, SPEAR (hardy perennial)
This variety is what is most often thought of as mint here in the U.S., and as yerba buena in Mexico.  A rich, succulent, round  leaf grows out of a vigorous network of stems and roots and has the classic mint flavor.  An important addition to teas and Mediterranean dishes.   Be careful where you put this plant in your garden as it has the tendency to take over a location, and then become nearly impossible to eradicate once introduced.

OREGANO (hardy perennial)
We grow and sell a Greek variety with a strong, almost biting taste, that holds up excellently to being dried and stored.  Plant your oregano in a good draining soil with plenty of compost.  Fertilizer and water should be administered judiciously if you are looking to get the most intense flavor from your plants.  This oregano does make a fine border plant for a garden and will spread out to one foot in diameter and produce white flowers on 12 inch stems in the early spring.

PARSELY, CURLY (hardy perennial)
A short growing variety, only up to 12 inches tall, that grows best in a partially shaded location, in a soil that is richly composted and fertilized, and kept tantalizingly moist.  As a rule, parsely does not transplant very well  , and will most likely lose at least half of its current stems(sprigs) when you place it out into your garden.  Curly parsely is very high in minerals and can be a great addition to your diet.

PARSELY, ITALIAN (hardy perennial)
This is a broad-leaf variety that is widely used in Mediterranean, specifically Italian cuisine, and adds a unique sharp/salty flavor to dishes.  Plant in a sunny location that has a rich soil and receives plenty of moisture.  Does not transplant easily, but will be hardy once established in a spot.  Sends up an 18 inches flower spike in the spring of its second year.  If left to their own devices, the seeds that are produced will mature, fall to the ground, and then germinate to produce a patch of parsely that will keep itself going for years to come.

ROSEMARY, UPRIGHT (perennial)
This is one herb that is perfectly suited to our climate here in Santa Barbara.  Happy, contented and still green when placed into a dry area of your yard or garden, this plant tends to take off and grow mightily when put into a cultivated garden with a rich, fertilized soil.

SAGE, CLARY (biennial)
Clary sage is a neat addition to your herb garden.  The first year the plant is low-growing with large somewhat fuzzy, gray-green leaves.  Then in the second year, large flower spikes rise 2-3î from the base and offer a profusion of pale purple flowers.  Plant in a bright sunny location and allow the soil surface to dry out between waterings.  As a medicinal herb, the leaves are used as a fixative in potpourris and the seeds are soaked in water to make an eye bath.

SAGE, COMMON (perennial)
This is an often overlooked herb that nicely lends its subtle flavor to poultry, pork, sauces and stuffings.  The plant is at home in both moist, cultivated garden beds, as well as, in dry rocky areas that receive a minimum of water during the dry months.  Sage makes an interesting border plant in your garden, and will send up bright blue flowers on 18 inches tall spikes early in the spring.  It is possible to harvest sage twice a year, once in the spring after flowering and again in mid-October after the plant has done the majority of its growing for the year.

STEVIA (tender perennial)
This has been called ëNatureís sweet secretí.  Stevia extract is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar and has been used by the Japanese since the 1970s, when artificial sweeteners came into question.  Just a leaf or two in your morning tea will render sugar unnecessary.  Plants would prefer to be in a cultivated garden bed, with a compost rich soil, and minimal watering, they will need to be protected when the night  temps get below 40F.  A frost is usually too much for stevia to cope with.

THYME, COMMON (perennial)
Of the varieties that we sell, this thyme has the strongest flavor and has been our favorite for seasoning meats, sauces and dressings.  Plant your thyme into a rich garden soil that has had plenty of compost added to it.  Once your thyme begins to flower, stop watering it.   When the flowers are just barely beginning to turn brown it is time to harvest.  Grab the plant into bunches in your hand and cut it down to 1î above the crown.  Tie these bunches up with string and hang them to dry in a cool, airy location.