Soft Versus Hard Kitchen Garden Herbs


kitchen garden herbs, herbs, herb varities

Are you interested in growing kitchen garden herbs?  Before you plant or purchase, know the difference between soft and hard herbs and their uses. Here’s the difference:

Soft herbs are leafy, tender and best used fresh.  Fresh herbs enhance the flavor and appearance of dishes. They can be used in sauces, salads, potatoes, and greatly enhance the taste, appearance and nutritional value of the food. Here’s a list of herbs that are considered to be soft.  I do freeze and dry my basil and parsley:

  • Basil (Sweet, Spicy, Genovese, Lemon, Lime, Cinnamon, Dark Opal and Thai to name a few).
  • Parsley – (Curly or Flat)
  • Cilantro
  • Tarragon
  • Fennel
  • Chives
  • Mint

Hard herbs are considered more flavorful, and have a woody stem. These herbs are added to dishes that require long, slow cooking, such as soups, stews, casseroles and roasts, and are removed before serving the dish.  Here are a few herbs that fall into this category: 

  • Rosemary 
  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • Dill
  • Bay Leaves
  • Sage
  • Mint (Chocolate, Orange, Strawberry,  Julep)

If you are planting mint remember that it can become invasive. I suggest that you plant this herb in a container. Dill is know to reseed year after year, so be selective on where you plant it as well. I love planting various herbs in mason jars or small containers for use during the winter. I love using fresh basil, oregano, sage and rosemary in the winter. I cook a lot of soups, stews, casseroles and roasts, so these herbs are perfect in these dishes. 

If you have limited space, decide which herbs you will most likely use.  Plant plenty and preserve them for later use. Many can be dried or grown inside. What herbs do you use most?









Speak Your Mind



  1. Growing and using fresh herbs is something I need a lot of lessons on!

    • Rhonda Gales says:

      I use them in tomato sauces, pasta dishes, salads, my turkey dressing, even on my turkey and chicken when I’m baking them. So many ways to use them and they are so easy to grow. If you make your own pasta sauce, basil and oregano are a must.