Herb Garden Basics
Herb gardens can be very rewarding and offer money saving potential. Herbs can be used for creating healthy alternatives and medicinal values. Herbs have been used for centuries to treat various ailments and cure diseases. It is believed that healthy lifestyles and diets are the forefront for preventing illness and promote well-being. Planting an herb garden is a productive form of tuning-in with nature and providing safe alternatives to diet and medicinal health.
Choose Your Location
A few factors need to be considered before planting any type of garden. It is best to implement the local region for gardening and native plant species that thrive in your area. An herb garden can be grown in a small space in a traditional garden or have a spot designated specifically for your herbs. Some herbs do well in pots and small planters that can be placed on a patio or porch. Defining the space you will like to designate to your herbs will be the first step in planning your herb garden. This can change according to the types of herbs you plant; some will need variable space while others will be minimal. When choosing your location you will want to have a basic idea of the types and amount of herbs you wish to plant.
Understand Herb Types
Many herbs are perennials and produce herb for several years. Other herbs can be annuals or bi-annuals and will need to be seeded again once harvested. Some annuals will seed themselves but caution with these types of herbs should be considered as they can become invasive. Invasive types of herbs are often considered to be weeds but do offer a wealthy amount of medicinal value. A few examples would be dandelion, clover and nettle. These herbs are quite invasive and can be bothersome in several areas. They also possess a huge amount of phyto-nutrients and chemical compounds that can cure several ailments and resolve various health issues. Their true vitality comes form their overwhelming capability to survive in any environment. These types of herbs can be easily wild crafted or harvested from nature but a valuable controlled growing space can enhance the nutrient value and help avoid contaminants.
Choosing herb types will depend upon your soil ph, climate conditions and growing seasons. Some herbs do better during the cooler spring and fall months while others thrive in the heat of summer and require little water. Research the available herbs you wish to grow; you can find information online and even on the seed packets in stores. Determining you soil ph can be done easily with a soil testing kit found in most garden sections of retail stores. Climate conditions are divided by growing regions and numerically rated. If you live in region 5, you can safely plant items that are rated for areas 3 to 7 on average. This information should also be listed on seed packets or found in buying guides online.
Determine Herb Uses
Another factor for determining the basic herb garden will be the uses of the herbs implemented. You can use herbs for several variations including; eating fresh in salads or soups, seasoning additions in cooking, teas, infusions, ointments, aromatics, medicinal oils and decorative. All of these uses will determine the amount needed to process applications, growing space and storage. Storage will vary greatly and is determined by the herb, and the uses specific to that herb. Drying herbs for teas and infusions is very common as well as preserving herbs in oils.
With herb gardens, minimal is often better in planning and harvesting. Herbs are sensitive once harvested. It is best to plan for minimal plants to harvest and then seed alternatively to keep a fresh supply available for the duration of the year. In light, this will help you to avoid large harvest crops and losses due to over-production. Several herbs do “winter” well but can be moved inside during colder months to maintain fresh herbal supplies.
Herbal enthusiasts should research the various herbs, which can help identify the uses and best storage practices. It is important to identify your personal needs. Not all herbs will work the same for everyone and small amounts should be tried or tested before full applications or uses. Novice herb gardeners should take caution and only plant a few varieties in minimal amounts until they can ensure the uses that will be best for their personal interests.