Ohio has a USDA Hardiness Zone of 5 to 6, which means temperatures can get as low as minus 10 or minus 20 in the winter. Summers can get warm with temperatures hovering in the 80s and 90s along with humid conditions. Soil in Ohio is rich due to the glaciers that traveled through the area on the way to the East Coast. Ohio receives about 40 inches of rain per year, allowing ample moisture for most herbs. Almost all herbs can be easily grown in Ohio. Perennial herbs thrive and annuals last until the cold weather descends.
The Ohio climate is perfect for chives. The cold winters allow the bulbs the opportunity to regenerate and get ready to sprout in the spring. The leaves have an onion flavor and are used to flavor soups, stews and salads. They can also be used in lieu of onions in any dish needing a milder onion flavor.
Mint grows a little too well. There are several varieties of mint, and all do well in Ohio. They include flavors like lemon, chocolate, orange, apple, lavender and more. Each of these mints travel through the garden by underground runners. The soil conditions in Ohio make it easy mint to become invasive. Plant mint within the constraints of a container, so it does not take over the entire yard.
Dill is necessary to home can pickles. Dill is a tall plant and should be grown at the back of a garden, so it does not shade other plants. Both the seed and foliage, often called dill weed, are used for cooking, although the seed has more flavor. It goes well with cheese and is good with Ohio Lake Erie fish. There are no significant diseases or pests that affect dill.
Marjoram is native to the Mediterranean but also grows well in Ohio. This herb is commonly used in Greek and Italian cuisine. It works well in sauces, soups, stews and in bread. The herb is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 through 6 and will return each year. It grows well in rocky Ohio soil but also grow well in rich garden soil.
Oregano is native to the Mediterranean, but the climate of Ohio suites it well. Oregano is commonly used in spaghetti sauce and sprinkled on pizza, but it can add flavor to cheeses and eggs. It is a perennial, will come back the next year and is well suited to growing in containers and in the garden.
Basil can only be planted when there is no danger of frost, because it is susceptible to cold. It is a good Ohio herb because it likes humidity. Watch for holes in the leaves of basil indicating, it is a favorite food of the Japanese beetle. Plant it along side peppers and tomatoes to enhance flavors and keep pests away from those vegetables.
- Photo Credit ohio flagge symbol image by Marty Kropp from Fotolia.com Chives image by Jez Hanton from Fotolia.com mint image by Lytse from Fotolia.com dill image by Tina Stumpp from Fotolia.com tomaten sauce image by Lucky Dragon from Fotolia.com basil_window image by cilin from Fotolia.com
When to Plant a Garden in Ohio
Ohio is in USDA Zones 5 and 6, which means the expected last frost dates are approximately April 27 to May 31...