Cooler weather starts arriving in Florida during mid-November. This is a perfect time to be growing your favorite herbs. Whether in containers, raised beds, or planted in a border ground, herbs are the ideal multipurpose annual and perennial for your garden.
Locate your herb garden in a sunny location that is convenient to being passed by daily. You will enjoy the aromas and can harvest them on a regular basis. Plucking your herbs and using them in your meals, beverages, and desserts is the best way to enjoy herb gardening. Most herbs can grow easily with other herbs, vegetables, or flowers, needing consistent (this doesn't mean overwater) rain or supplemental irrigation once a week. Start with herbs that you use often, maybe rosemary, basil, thyme, and try new gourmet herbs like bay, eucalyptus, and santolina. Cut your herbs early morning before the heat of the day. This keeps the oils in the leaves and the flavor strong.
I love to use a combination of herbs with meats, and in sauces and soups. I chop up chives, garlic, rosemary, parsley, peppers, sage, and thyme in whatever partnership I'm in the mood for and mix 1 tablespoon of herbs with 1/4 cup softened butter. I freeze the blended butter for 30 minutes, then turn it out into plastic wrap and roll into a log to freeze for future use. You can then slice off as much as you want to place on a steak or add to a pan when sauteing eggs, onions, or vegetables. Another easy way to store them is to place one tablespoon of herbs (mixed or unmixed) into an ice tray and pour broth, melted butter, or olive oil to just below the top of the tray. Freeze and store for up to 6 months to add to soups, gravies, vegetable dishes. That's enough to spice up those winter meals!