Growing Herbs and Spices is Easy for Any Garden | Home & Garden

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Many plants serve as both a herb and a spice, which only adds to the intrigue of the subject. Take cilantro, for example. We harvest fresh leaf cilantro to add to our tacos, but we harvest the spicy cilantro after the plant has bloomed and produced seeds.

Many spices come in seed form, including mustard, cilantro, and dill. Once these plants flower, they produce their seeds, which must be harvested for a certain period of time. Greer details specific harvest times for over thirty spices in his book, including growing tips and cleaning and drying methods.

One thing Greer points out in “Grow Your Own Spices” is the secret and mystery that historically revolved around the cultivation of spices.

“For centuries the spice trade was so profitable that growers zealously guarded the secrets of plant propagation and spice care,” Greer said in the book. “In fact, there are many historical accounts of intrigue, espionage, murders and wars for the spice trade.”

Of course, we have access to all “trade” secrets these days and can grow whatever we want. Knowing how to grow and harvest it properly, however, takes a bit of direction.

Greer divides his methods (and his book) into three categories: growing seed spices, growing underground spices, and growing perennial spices. She recommends several seed spices for beginners, including anise, caraway, cilantro, dill, fennel, fenugreek, and black cumin. All of these can be started from seeds and grown to maturity when the plants go to seed.


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