As humans, we have a long history with medicinal herbs and plants. In fact, discoveries made in archeological excavations suggest that we’ve used plants as medicine for our entire history. Archeologists have found remains of medicinal plants dating back 60,000 years ago!
Though medicine has evolved over the centuries, many of the medicines we use today are still derived from flowering plants. Medicinal herbs can help with everything from anxiety to migraines to regulating blood pressure.
If you want to take advantage of these benefits, there’s no better way to do so than by planting your own medicinal herb garden. That said, a lot of planning and preparation goes into any garden, and an herb garden is no different.
If you’re looking for a way to grow the best garden you can, you’ve come to the right place. Outlined below are a few things you need to consider during the planning stage to ensure that you don’t make any missteps along the way. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
Which Plants Are You Interested in Growing?
The first step is to do your research into the various types of herbs and their benefits to decide which ones you’re interested in growing. If you’re limited in space or your herb garden budget is on the smaller side, it’s a good idea to stick to the basics.
These are herbs that help with stomachaches, headaches, sleeplessness, sore throats, burns, cuts, bruises, and bug bites.
A few good beginner herbs include:
- Black Elder
Each of these can be used to create salves, teas, or cough drops that help with common household ailments. Dandelion, for example, can be used in tonics to cleanse your liver as well as cough drops to soothe sore throats.
You can also make your own botanical extracts using dried herbs, 100 proof vodka, and a mason jar. Calendula extract is an excellent antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. This makes it useful in treating burns, cuts, rashes, and bug bites.
Which Plants Will Thrive in Your Yard?
The next step is to study your yard. Like any living thing, each plant has its own set of needs to thrive. Certain plants need as much sunlight as you can give them, while others can only grow in the shade. Some plants do well in a tropical environment, others prefer the desert.
If you’re planning to grow all of your herbs together in a single bed or a few beds grouped together, decide where they will go first. Then watch this area of your yard, taking note of how much sun it gets and what times of day it’s in the sun.
If you have more space for gardens, you can grow a wider variety of plants if certain areas of your yard get more shade than others. The best route to take to ensure healthy plants is to either print off a blueprint of your yard or draw it yourself.
Take this blueprint and make notes on the different areas of your yard and which plants you could grow in each.
Will You Grow Your Plants From Seed?
You started with a list of plants you’d like to grow, then you narrowed it down to the plants that can actually grow in your yard. You’re now ready to browse herb catalogs.
You can walk into any store with a gardening section and find herbs, but it’s better to find a quality seed vendor that you trust and want to work with. Find a seed house that fits the criteria you’re looking for. The best options will have a helpful, educational website, an easy ordering process, and good customer service.
Are you concerned with ethics? Look into that with each company as well. Do they use hybrid seed or GMO?
If you get into this process and begin to feel overwhelmed, there’s nothing wrong with starting with a few potted plants on your deck. This is especially helpful for beginner gardeners, as it allows you to get your feet wet in plant care before diving into raising them from seed.
Don’t Take On Too Much at Once
If you’re a seasoned gardener and simply want to expand your garden to include medicinal herbs, by all means, plant as many as you want! Don’t be afraid to grow an herb you’re unfamiliar with to test your skill and get more out of the experience.
On the flip side, beginner gardeners would do better to start small and develop their gardens over time. You can start with one or two beginner plants, such as basil and calendula. These are not only easy to grow and maintain but look beautiful when they leaf and bloom.
If you can keep these plants healthy in a pot or grow them yourself from seed in the first year, you’ll be ready to move on to more difficult plants the next year.
Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, you shouldn’t plant more than two plants that are new to you a single season. The last thing you want to do is get in over your head and lose all of your precious plants along the way.
Use These Tips for a Flourishing Medicinal Herb Garden
Growing your own medicinal herb garden is a fantastic way to build multiple skills at once. You’ll improve your gardening prowess while learning about medicinal herbs and their capabilities.
And by using this guide, you’ll find that planning and planting a thriving garden isn’t as difficult as you might have thought.
Looking for more gardening tips and tricks? Be sure to check out our blog!