Growing Herbs: Kid-Friendly Gardening | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Growing Herbs: Kid-Friendly Gardening

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A handful of culinary herbs are easy to grow and useful in the kitchen—even for new gardeners with little space and for those (including kids) who are too busy to learn about "real" gardening.

• Basil, rosemary, oregano and chives are the easiest and most kitchen-friendly.
• Herbs can be grown alongside regular flowers.
• Recycled buckets and other containers are perfect for planting with herbs.

Growing a few of your own herbs is a delightful experience for new gardeners, and a surprisingly easy way to introduce children to useful skills they can transfer to larger ideas later in life. Plus, it connects us with our food while fostering a nurturing attitude toward life in general.

No need to have an herb "garden" to grow a handful of easy, useful, healthful culinary herbs—especially where space, time and gardening skills are in short supply.

The easiest kitchen-friendly herbs for summer include rosemary, basil (several interesting types and colors), oregano, bay, and chives or garlic chives. All are easy to go directly from the garden into soups, spaghetti sauce or onto cheese pizzas. Throw in bell pepper plants for extra interest and vitamins.

These most commonly used kitchen herbs grow quite well when mixed in with flowers in a sunny bed, or in medium to large containers filled with a mixture of potting soil and bark mulch (for drainage), with a little compost or old leaf mould thrown in to add life to the soil mix.

A slow-release potted plant food such as Osmocote, or regular light feeding with Miracle-Gro will keep the plants growing all season.

Felder Rushing hosts MPB's "Gestalt Gardener" Friday at 9 a.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. Visit his website, http://www.felderrushing.net.

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