Herb Gardening From the Ground Up: Everything You Need to Know About Growing Your Favorite Herbs

Sal Gilbertie and Larry Sheehan
Herb Gardening From the Ground Up: Everything You Need to Know About Growing Your Favorite Herbs
Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA. 2012

Long before turning into the popular garden addition they are today, Sal Gilbertie was growing herbs. In Herb Gardening From the Ground Up he recounts launching his herb business in 1969 when "parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme" became a hit for Simon and Garfunkel. He grew 70,000 plants to sell at the Great Danbury Fair thinking "Scarborough Fair" would help make herbs big business. It didn't. He only sold 400 plants. (Obviously undaunted, Gilbertie's is now the largest herb grower and supplier in the U.S.) His vast experience and extremely detailed, uncomplicated instructions help beginning herb gardeners confidently design, start and maintain a first garden, growing fifteen popular basic culinary herbs including chives, tarragon and dill. Words of advice such as cultivate ten minutes a week, don't mulch in season, and irrigate sparingly are helpful tips for all of gardeners. A wonderfully straightforward culture guide describes variations among herbs, including 16 different kinds of basil!

[Reviewer's note on the above two books, both authored by legends in the herb world: Herbalist Linda Russell of Scentsibilities in Boylston, MA, trained with Rosemary Gladstar and sells Sal Gilbertie's herbs. Linda will be the herbalist-in-residence at the 2012 Natural Living Expo September 29-30, in Sturbridge, MA.]