With its Mediterranean-like climate, Southern California is ideal for growing many herbs that thrive in seaside countries like Italy, Greece, and France–herbs that are popularly used in many popular recipes. You can enhance your summertime feasts with fresh summer herbs from your summer garden. The following are some of the top summer herbs that are likely to thrive in our setting. In fact, with their relatively sparse watering needs, these herbs are ideal for Southwestern inland and coastal gardens.
A popular herb used in many culinary traditions ranging from Italy and Greece to Mexico and Turkey, oregano is a versatile plant that is easy to grow and may even offer medicinal properties, including improved digestion and blood sugar regulation. Many Southern California gardeners grow oregano to flavor sauces, soups, and stews. You can grow this plant directly in your summer herb garden, grow it in raised beds, or install it in a pot on your patio or terrace. To care for your oregano plants, avoid overwatering them and either water in the early morning or evening. If your garden soil is compacted, amend it with sand to ensure optimum growing conditions for oregano.
With its slightly pungent flavor, rosemary is a great addition to stews, meat dishes, and oily fish dishes. It pairs particularly well with vegetables like potatoes as well as meats and poultry. Rosemary thrives in sunshine and prefers a slightly loamy soil. Well-draining soil is a must, and you should also avoid overwatering these summer herbs. You can also grow rosemary in a pot placed in a sunny window of your home. Rosemary seldom needs to be fertilized.
Add minty flavor to your maridades, pestos, or even your cocktails right from your summer herb garden. Mint thrives in sunshine but will also grow in partial shade. Be sure your plants have plenty of space for good air circulation in order to avoid mildew. These herbs prefer a light, well-draining soil that’s slightly loamy. Unlike the previous two herbs mentioned above with their drought-tolerant properties, mint is less forgiving if kept dry. Be sure to water your mint plants early in the morning or evening.
Not only is sage a lovely summer herb for any garden, it is extremely useful as a kitchen herb. Especially popular in holiday recipes, sage is easy to dry for use in the winter. To grow sage, choose a sunny site with well-draining soil. After these summer herbs flower in the summer, you should cut them back so they don’t become woody and to encourage new plant growth. Mexican sage is popularly grown in Southern Californian herb gardens. Not only is it great for cooking, but can also be burned in your fire pit to keep mosquitos away.
Lavender may not be as useful in the kitchen as the above herbs, but it is a lovely addition to pasties and teas. Plus, it boasts beautiful small blooms that will add fragrance to your garden and floral displays. Lavender prefers a sunny, dry location and requires minimum care. It also repels pests like flies and mosquitoes. In addition, Lavender is drought-tolerant, so don’t overwater this lovely herb.
These summer garden herbs are perfect to grow year after year. You can use them fresh from your garden or dry them for use all year long.