Most Zone 8 herbs prefer full sun, but a few will tolerate some shade. It’s best to grow lemon balm in a confined bed area or in containers. About 1 to 2 inches in diameter is right, with the smaller size best for pickling. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a great herb for any cat lover, since its value as a cooking herb seems to have disappeared. Carrots can be left in the ground for several weeks after they mature. Our work makes a difference, in the lives of Texans and on the economy. Most herbs are full-sun perennials requiring at least six hours of direct sunlight and steady watering, especially once the summer sun shows itself. For tomatoes, this will usually be about the time the plant has marble-sized fruit. Herbs for south Texas are great for filling out the gaps in your garden and are a nice bonus for your kitchen. Water as necessary during dry periods. In fact, the best place in Texas to store carrots is in cool garden soil. After harvest, hang the herbs in loosely tied bundles in a well-ventilated room. The seeds germinate slowly, but parsley is worth the wait. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, Mountain Valley Growers: The Fragrant Herb Garden Zone 8, Utah State University: Herb Container Gardens. Perennial herbs can be propagated by cuttings or by division. Spread the leaves on flat trays. Catnip: Many cats like to roll all over catnip and any surrounding plants, so it may be best to grow this herb in a hanging basket. Annual herbs can be colorful and low maintenance. It has grayish-green foliage and will produce purple or pink flowers during its second year. Add fresh chopped leaves to vinegar, crushed garlic, and olive oil to make an excellent dressing for sliced tomatoes. It can be used in black-eyed peas, chicken, egg and cheese dishes, pork, and poultry stuffing. Amend the soil so it matches the herb's specific water needs. Many gardeners avoid planting marigolds because they attract spider mites to the garden. You may wonder if plants will set fruit when covered with plastic or spunweb, since no bees or other insects are able to enter. These beds should be 30 to 36 inches apart so you can move easily through the garden area when the plants grow larger. Plants can be harvested at almost any time if used immediately. Some herbs are annuals while others are perennial or come up year after year. Ventilate the cages by opening the top and raising the plastic 4 to 6 inches off the ground at the bottom. Thyme is a good ornamental in beds and rock gardens. Herbs are plants that are used as flavoring agents. Then water the entire garden with a sprinkler for at least 2 hours. Choose a sunny spot in your garden. The leaves have a strong, “clean” flavor. However, the spider mites will be virtually eliminated when the garden is tilled in August for planting with marigolds. The large green caterpillars that eat dill will turn into swallowtail butterflies, so plant enough for you and them. For a fruity twist, you might consider apple mint (Mentha rotundifolia) or banana mint (Metha "Banana"). Wash and refrigerate them immediately. Next, observe sun and shade patterns in those areas and make a note of it. After harvesting, hang the herbs in loosely tied bundles in a well-ventilated room. Think about whether or not your plants will receive enough sun or shade and water. These great little starter plants are widely available for the same price as a packet of fresh herbs from the produce section.”    ~Skinnygourmet.blopspot.com, By Sam Blankenship, Smith County Master Gardener. They can severely damage all crops except corn, garlic, onions, and nematode-resistant tomatoes. Remove all lower sprouts, even those that do not make solid little heads.

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