There was once a time in which convenience ruled over all else. Carpeted floors, frozen dinners, and dried herbs were a necessity of life, as they were quick, easy, and comfortable. But as the years pass, we have begun to learn that quick is not always best, and comfortable has many different definitions. Wood floors offer a timeless beauty and are easier to keep clean, fresh meals made with all natural ingredients are healthy and delicious, and the taste of herbs clipped from your own personal garden add an intensity of flavors that the dried stuff you have laying around in your cupboards just can’t provide! This guide to the best plants for your Arizona herb garden will be your first step in ensuring that every meal you prepare is just bursting with flavor and taste.
Every Italian meal is made even tastier when you add your own homegrown basil, and this herb does surprisingly well in desert weather conditions. They thrive when planted in the months between late February to May but can survive no matter what the season if you bring them to the porch in a pot. Interestingly, basil becomes even more flavorful and grows better when planted near tomatoes.
Bee balm is not on any list of commonly planted herbs, but its health benefits make it popular for those looking for natural solutions for indigestion, bloating, or nausea. Best planted in February or March in spots that offer afternoon shade, the leaves can be harvested any time. It’s also great for the environment as it attracts bees and butterflies. This is another herb that does best when planted near tomatoes.
Whether you are native to our state or have only recently moved here, you probably already have strong feelings about this spicy herb. Most people either love it unconditionally or hate it with a passion, and if you fall in the latter category, you might want to scroll on by! This easy plant grows best from seed or by transplanting and is best planted in October through January. You’ll want to cut clippings from it on a regular basis, which helps keep the cilantro from flowering, as the flowers cause the leaves to lose its delicious taste.
Lavender is more than just a pretty purple flower; it can be used in beverages and sweet snacks that include cakes and ice cream, and it also keeps mosquitos away. The lavender plant survives planting by seed, transplant, or by cutting and is best planted October through November and the end of February through April. Lavender loves the sun and thrives in soil that drains well.
A glass of Arizona sun tea garnished with a freshly picked mint leaf is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and this hardy plant grows profusely in spots that offer afternoon shade. Mint also has a split planting season, doing best when planted between February through April or October through November, and the leaves and stems taste best when plucked in their youth.
We’re heading back to the old Italian kitchen with another popular spice that flavors old country dishes so very nicely! Oregano has a split planting season—February through April or October through November—and needs to be kept trimmed and flower-free. If you’re choosing to grow some oregano by transplanting existing herbs, you’ll want to rub the leaves between your fingers and plant the one that has the strongest scent.
This savory plant does exceedingly well in times of drought, making it the perfect Arizona herb for your garden! Surviving best when planted between October and January, the most flavorful stems will be the ones you pick right before the bush flowers. Plant in full sun with a soil that drains well. Rosemary isn’t just good for flavoring foods; it is known to keep away pesky insects that may spoil your garden.
Sage thrives in the desert and can be planted from February through April and October through November, allowing the cook to pick from its bush whenever needed. The soil sage is planted in needs to drain easily to avoid developing rot and this beautiful bush is also great for scaring away unwanted insects intent on devouring your garden! If cucumbers are a staple in your Arizona garden, you might want to plant the sage as far away as possible from the cucumbers, as the herb could interfere with their growth.
We can all use a little more time on our hands, and when the thyme is a tasty herb, every meal shines! Plant this spidery plant from November through April and clip as needed. If your garden also contains a lemon tree, creating a creamy lemon thyme chicken dish will make your family love your cooking even more!
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