CilantroNothing brightens up a Mexican dish like the fresh green leaves of cilantro grown right outside your kitchen door.

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 60-75 days (leaves), 100+ days (seed)
Height: 1 to 3 feet
Spacing: 8 to 18 inches apart, 12 to 18 inches between rows

Native to the Mediterranean and popular in Mexican and Asian cuisine, kitchen gardeners across the country are growing cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) for it’s fresh, bright green and aromatic leaves. The annual’s pungent seeds — known as coriander — are dried and used, whole or ground, as a spice. Temperamental plants grow 1-3 feet tall and self-sow readily. (more…)


ChivesEasy to grow, chives are perfect in pots and make an attractive border around gardens.

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 60-75 days
Height: 6 to 18 inches
Spacing: 4 to 6 inches apart, 6 to 12 inches between rows

Home gardeners are growing chives for their bright green leaves and attractive purple flowers. The cool-season, compact plants produce grass-like, hollow leaves that add a mild onion-flavor to potatoes, salads, soups and egg dishes. In spring, showy flowers are popular in salads or as an edible garnish. Grows well in containers both indoors and out. (more…)


Growing ChervilBest when used fresh, growing chervil is easy in pots, in the garden and indoors.

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium), also known as French parsley, is a well-known culinary herb of the carrot family frequently found in French cooking. It’s a key ingredient in fines herbes, often combined with fresh chives, parsley, tarragon and sometimes dried majoram. By itself, it adds its unique parsley-anise flavor when added to eggs, cheese dishes, cream sauces and meats including veal, chicken and seafood.

Chervil loses much of its distinctive flavor when dried. It’s by far at its best when fresh-picked, whether in sprigs added to a spring salad or as a late addition to beurre blanc and other white sauces. (more…)


BorageAn easy to grow annual, borage leaves and flowers have a mild cucumber-like flavor.

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 55-75 days
Height: 18 to 36 inches
Spacing: 12 to 24 inches apart, 2 to 4 feet between rows

Star-shaped borage (Borago officinalis) flowers hang in clusters and are a beautiful blue color. Bees love the bright blooms and rely on the herb as a nectar source, literally covering the plants some days. Leaves and stems are covered with fine, silver or white hairs and appear to be almost woolly.

Borage flowers can be used to decorate cool, summer-time party drinks and add color to salads and desserts. Both the flowers and leaves are edible and provide a light cucumber flavor. Grows well in containers and may be used as a companion plant with tomatoes and squash. Plants are 2-3 feet tall and self-sow readily. Hardy annual. (more…)


BasilA how-to guide for growing this classic culinary herb.

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 60-90 days from seed
Height: 18 to 24 inches
Spacing: 6 to 12 inches apart, 1 to 2 feet between rows

A member of the mint family, home gardeners are growing basil (Ocimum basilicum) for its luscious flavor and wonderful aroma. This extremely popular herb is available in many beautiful varieties, all of which make uniquely flavorful and aromatic additions to gardens and borders.

Colorful, compact plants grow well in containers — both inside and out — and add interest to herb and ornamental flower beds. Excellent fresh or dried, the classic large-leaved variety is a favorite in Asian and Italian cuisine and is best known for pesto. Fragrant plants grow 18-24 inches tall and are very productive. Tender annual. (more…)


Growing ZinniasGrow these sunny summer-time favorites from seed and starts in the garden or containers.

Sunlight: Full sun
Maturity: 60-75 days from seed to flower
Height: 18 to 24 inches
Spacing: 6 to 12 inches apart in all directions

Available in a wide variety of sizes and colors, growing zinnias will satisfy home gardeners for several months each summer. Larger varieties can be used to brighten up annual or mixed borders and are a favorite in cut flower displays. Smaller varieties are well suited for containers and windowboxes or planted at the front of a garden bed.

Zinnias are amoung the easiest flowers to grow and are extremely rewarding with their beautiful colors and long-lasting blooms. Vibrant blossoms are also highly attractive to songbirds, butterflies and pollinators. Plant an array of colors and watch your flower gardens come to life. (more…)

Sweet Peas

Sweet PeasGrow uniquely shaped, sweetly fragrant sweet pea blossoms for container bouquets and trellised borders.

Sunlight: Full sun
Maturity: 55-75 days from seed to flower
Height: 48 to 72 inches
Spacing: 4 to 6 inches apart in all directions

A great climber that’s perfect for fences and trellises! Home flower gardeners are growing sweet peas for their fragrant scent and interesting blossoms. Easy to plant from seed, they add a splash of color to any garden, especially in cool, damp climates.

These classic, cool-season annuals have been a fixture in American gardens for generations. However, they don’t like heat — hot weather stops their flowering — so plant early and mulch well to keep roots cool. Hardy annual. (more…)


SunflowerA symbol of summer and a favorite of kids, sunflowers can grow to impressive heights or be just knee-high depending on the variety.

Sunlight: Full sun
Maturity: 60-95 days from seed to flower
Height: 2 to 10 feet
Spacing: 4 to 12 inches apart in all directions

Home gardeners are growing sunflowers for their rich colors and large blooms. Easy to plant from seed, they are available in sizes ranging from miniatures at 1 to 2 feet tall — good for edging — to over 10 feet tall with 2 foot diameter blooms. (more…)


SnapdragonThe heady fragrance and uniquely-shaped flowers blooming on a central spike make snapdragons a landscaper’s favorite.

Sunlight: Full sun
Maturity: 80-100 days from seed to flower
Height: 12 to 36 inches
Spacing: 6 to 18 inches apart in all directions

Growing snapdragons (Antirrhinum Majus) provides months of color ranging from pale pastels to vibrant reds and oranges. Native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean, they are a favorite flower for cutting and will blossom all winter in warmer climates.

In ancient times snapdragons were thought to have supernatural powers and offer protection from witchcraft. They were also believed to restore beauty and youthfulness to women. Aromatic plants grow 1-3 feet tall. Self-seeding annual. (more…)

Roses: The Queen of Flowers

Rose GardeningOrganic gardeners have been growing roses for well over 2,000 years!

Loved for their beauty and fragrance, roses are cultivated for a variety of landscape effects or for cutting. The members of the genus Rosa are prickly stemmed shrubs with a wide range of heights and growing habits. There are as many as 150-200 species and thousands of varieties, from miniatures (6 inches to 2 feet tall) to climbers that may grow 20 feet or more. Perennial.

Site Preparation

Roses like a good, well-drained soil and will grow best in protected spots with ample water and full sun. Plants require at least 8-10 hours of sunlight per day for optimum growth. (more…)

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