Fresh Herbs for Summer Barbecues

The sun is out! And while it’s not quite summer, we imagine many of you will take advantage of the warm weather for a little impromptu grilling.

For those of you with charcoal on the brain, here are a few suggestions for herbs that you can grow to enhance your sun-kissed feast whether it be seafood, meat or vegetable-based.


Rosemary is a versatile herb. Its distinctive flavor lends itself to dishes made with potatoes, pork, chicken….the list goes on. Try a light summer recipe like this or this. If you enjoy making kabobs, look for Rosemary “Barbecue”. The long, straight stems make great skewers.

Rosemary is fairly easy to grow as long as you’ve got about 6-8 hours of sun and good drainage. There are upright and trailing varieties. Its spiky evergreen leaves will enhance your garden or patio containers year-round.


Fresh sage is a fantastic herb for homemade burgers, whether you’re using ground beef or turkey. It imparts an earthy flavor with just a hint of lemon.

Try it with chicken or pork, or on vegetables such as fresh grilled corn on the cob. Just mince some sage, lemon zest and garlic and mix with butter. Finally, spread over hot grilled corn. Delicious!

Sage has similar growing requirements to rosemary, and is a terrific choice for companion planting. Its pebbled grey-green leaves are a striking addition to any garden. There are also beautiful variegated and purple forms of sage.


Dill is not just for pickling anymore. It’s a delicious accompaniment to fish especially our local treasure: salmon. (See a mouth-watering recipe we found on Epicurious here) It’s also extremely tasty on grilled root vegetables. Just chop up the dill with some garlic and olive oil for a phenomenal flavor on carrots, parsnips etc.

Like many herbs, dill prefers well-drained soil and lots of sun. The feathery green leaves are a beautiful backdrop in a vegetable patch or even in a flower container.

To keep your dill from growing too leggy, continually pinch off the top buds throughout the growing season.


We’ve just received some beautiful containers of lemongrass. What an exciting ingredient! You can insert whole (pounded) stalks of lemongrass into chicken or fish to impart a bright flavor. You can also mince the stalks to make a marinade for shrimp or vegetables going on the grill. Ginger and Lemongrass Grilled Shrimp anyone?

Keep in mind that although lemongrass likes full sun and good drainage, it’s also a heavy feeder. Amend your soil with compost when planting and feed it with a high nitrogen fertilizer. This will assure that you have plenty of tasty lemongrass for your barbecues this summer.


We hope you enjoy yourself this weekend whatever your plans. Stop by our nursery anytime for more suggestions or advice on fresh cooking herbs.


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