Green Gift For Father’s Day, Grads and Housewarming

Vivi Gorman
Posted on Sunday 31st May 2009

Graduation, summertime and Father’s Day are arriving. While you’re brainstorming for gift ideas, consider giving green in the form of herbs. With a few supplies and a short amount of time, you can show up with an exquisite herb pot and a clean conscience.

If your father or friend enjoys cooking or grilling, an herb pot with basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary or other herbs can provide fresh flavor for summer pasta, meat and vegetable dishes. Other herbs can be added, such as parsley and dill for seafood and fish dishes, chives for potato salad, cilantro for fish tacos and burritos, and tarragon for chicken.

Determine how many you would like to include in your gift and the size of the container you will need. Small containers can sit on a window sill with sufficient sunlight and be within reach while cooking. A bigger container can be placed outside near a grill or patio.

A taller container, such as a strawberry pot with its numerous openings, makes a great herb pot and allows roots to grow throughout the pot rather than clumping multiple herbs into the top of a container to compete for soil space and sunlight. A terra cotta pot will breathe; however, if you use a plastic pot, make sure holes in the bottom will allow for necessary drainage and aeration.

To prepare your special gift:

  1. Fill the bottom of the pot with a small amount of gravel to allow water to drain through the bottom.
  2. Fill the pot with soil, leaving room for store-bought plants.
  3. Fill in with soil.
  4. If you have time to plan, you can grow from seeds in a seed tray or small containers and then transfer into a bigger pot.
  5. Cut off tops of tall plants to stimulate bushy growth.

Plants such as basil will flower. Be sure to cut off flowers to preserve the flavor of the leaves and initiate more leaf growth.

Herbs prefer well drained soil. Let the soil dry out between watering and don't let the pot sit in standing water.

When harvesting, it is best to pick a few leaves off of several stems rather than pluck all of the leaves off a single stem. Once harvested, herbs can be dried or frozen for later use.

Your dad or friend will love having fresh pungent flavor to add to every bite … and that it supplied by you!

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