A rise in both gardening and self-sufficiency has led to the increased desire to grow personal medicinal herb gardens. Herbs are incredibly useful plants; they can be used for a variety of projects, they look beautiful, and they can aid in healing practices. Most herbs are not difficult to grow, and many have beautiful flowers and foliage. Herbs grow well in pots, but they can also be planted among your perennial beds or in a traditionally landscaped area.
So, which herbs should you use to start? The basics include: basil, mint, and garlic. These are classified as both culinary and medicinal herbs—they are highly nutritive and flavorful, but they can be potent when treating health issues. However, there are literally thousands of herbs you could grow. To choose which will work best for your life, research local growing conditions to see what is successfully supported in your area. Then, sit down and go through the herbs you use regularly. Do you take Echinacea gummies? Do you keep ginger on-hand for that pre-cold tea? Are you always running out of mint? Asking yourself these questions will allow you to determine which will work best for your lifestyle.
Once you have chosen your herbs, understand the conditions they need to grow and thrive. You may need to reseed, prune, layer, or cut. Pay attention to how many hours of sun your herb garden needs every day, and research the water requirements each plant has. Most importantly, look up what kind of soil it needs and what type of temperatures it can withstand.
Once you have your list and caring instructions, you’re ready to plant. Use an herb catalogue or visit a nursey to purchase seeds or young plants. Choose seed packets based on how much information is included, and as your local nursery to see their catalogue. These plant professionals will always have advice when it comes to gardening, so don’t be afraid to ask!
Now, be realistic about the space you have available to you when planning and planting. If you live in an apartment, see what you can squeeze onto a sunny windowsill or a south-facing deck. If you live close to a community or farm garden plot, see if any friends have extra space. Find a decent amount of space to grow so you can prepare for when the herbs are fully realized!