fresh herbs used to grill grilling time

Elevate Your BBQ Game with Fresh Herbs From Your Garden

Summer is upon us, and it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill and enjoy the delightful aroma and taste of barbecued dishes. At SummerWinds Nursery, we believe that the secret to the most flavorful grilled foods lies in using fresh, homegrown herbs. Here, we introduce you to the best herbs for grilling and how to use them to elevate your BBQ game.

rosemary planted in pot in window


Rosemary's robust, piney flavor is perfect for grilling. Its sturdy stems can be used as skewers for meats and vegetables, infusing them with a delightful aroma. Simply strip the leaves off the bottom part of the stem and use the stalk to skewer chicken, lamb, or vegetables.

How to Grow: Rosemary thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. It’s a drought-tolerant herb, making it perfect for Bay Area gardens.

thyme herb growing


Thyme is a versatile herb that pairs well with almost any grilled dish. Its earthy, slightly minty flavor enhances the taste of meats, fish, and even grilled vegetables. For best results, create an herb bundle and place it directly on the grill grates. The heat will release its essential oils, imparting a wonderful flavor to your food.

How to Grow: Thyme prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It’s a low-maintenance herb that’s ideal for container gardening.

growing fresh sweet basil


While basil is typically used fresh, it can also add a sweet, peppery flavor to grilled foods. Add whole leaves to grilled pizzas or use a basil marinade for chicken and seafood to enjoy its refreshing taste.

How to Grow: Basil needs plenty of sunlight and regular watering. Pinch off the flower buds to encourage bushy growth and more leaves.

oregano herb growing in garden


Oregano’s bold, peppery flavor is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine, making it a great addition to grilled meats and vegetables. It works especially well in marinades and as a finishing herb sprinkled over grilled dishes.

How to Grow: Oregano prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It’s a hardy perennial that can thrive in Bay Area gardens with minimal care.

mint growing in terra cotta pot


Mint adds a refreshing contrast to the smoky flavors of grilled foods. It pairs beautifully with lamb, pork, and even grilled fruits. Try making a mint sauce to drizzle over your grilled creations.

How to Grow: Mint can be invasive, so it’s best grown in containers. It prefers partial shade to full sun and moist soil.

sage herb


Sage’s strong, slightly peppery flavor is fantastic with poultry and pork. You can also toss a few sage leaves directly onto the grill to infuse your food with its aromatic scent.

How to Grow: Sage enjoys full sun and well-drained soil. It’s a hardy plant that can withstand drought once established.

Tips for Using Fresh Herbs on the Grill:Grilled zucchini rolls with cheese, basil and sun dried tomatoes.

Herb Marinades: Create marinades using a mix of chopped fresh herbs, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Marinate your meats or vegetables for at least an hour before grilling.

Herb Bundles: Tie together a bunch of herbs and place it directly on the grill. This will impart a subtle, smoky flavor to your food.

Herb-Infused Oils: Make herb-infused oils by heating olive oil with fresh herbs and allowing it to cool. Brush this oil onto your food before grilling for an extra burst of flavor.

At SummerWinds Nursery, we offer a wide selection of herb plants perfect for your grilling needs. Visit us in the Bay Area to find the freshest herbs and get expert advice on growing and using them. Happy grilling!