Gardening is an age-old exercise that involves the body, stimulates the mind, and uplifts the spirit, similar to meditation or yoga. According to a recent scientific study, gardening decreases stress and anxiety, helps to prevent diseases linked to inactivity, keeps your mind sharp and joyful, and helps you sleep better at night.
Not only that, there are additional advantages of developing a medical herb garden while you’re cultivating your own herbs for herbal treatments. You can also make use of the cultivated herbs in your own cooking, such as herbs like oregano and fenugreek, which highly enhance the taste of the food. There are actually no limits to the goodness of gardening!
Up to 4 billion people (approximately 80% of the world’s population) in the developing world rely on herbal medical goods as their primary source of healthcare, according to estimates.
If you are a beginner, here are a few ways by which you can start your medicinal herb gardening journey.
- Plan Your Garden
Gardening requires extreme preparation and planning. In fact, some people take up gardening university courses and pursue them as a profession.
Before you start bringing in the plants and saplings of the herbs, it is very essential for you to plan your garden first. This will result in a much more organized and clean garden and will facilitate better care of the plants. Therefore, before sowing in the saplings, consider the factors listed down below:
- Decide whether you want to directly plant the herb saplings in the soil or keep them in containers before they are bit matured
- Examine and verify the quality of your soil and check if the plants would receive proper drainage.
- Keep a recording of the time when the sun comes out and check whether your herb seedlings are getting enough sunlight or not. This is very important as sunlight is the main component plants need to survive and reproduce.
- Check whether the plants you are bringing in will actually be able to thrive in the prevalent climate. Only invest in saplings that will be able to survive in the weather conditions at your place
- Research about the plants and herbs you brought in and study how often you need to water them because if the roots start to dry up, the plants will turn out unhealthy and eventually die.
- Before sowing the saplings, keep in mind the height and the space each plant will occupy when matured and make sure, there’s room enough for the plant to fully grow without any obstacle. For instance, plants belonging to the mint family generally are spread out and they need space to grow. Therefore, plant your garden accordingly!
Planting the Herbs
Medicinal herb plants are usually ready to be planted once the winter season has passed away. When you are ready to plant the seeds. Even out and level the soil bed and make sure there are no big rocks or stones embedded in it.
Remove unwanted stones with a rake and indent the soil with little holes. This increases the air circulation in the soil, and hence, increases its fertility. It is advisable to keep a distance of at least 2 inches between the plants while planting them, but plants like mint require more space to grow. Make sure to always be in touch with a professional gardener to ensure that the plants are healthy and fine.
Maximum herbs require almost six to eight hours of sunlight in a day and well-drained and tilled soil. Sunlight also helps in the accumulation of more quantities of essential oils in the plants, which makes them more useful.
Whereas most herbs thrive in a dry Mediterranean climate, some medicinal herbs survive in rather cool conditions. Therefore, make sure to study and get the utmost knowledge about every plant you are bringing in.
Also, make sure to choose the plants that are most compatible with the weather conditions in your place. For example, if your residential region has a prevailing hot and humid climate, then sow the seeds of herbs like marjoram and oregano.
Over to you…
Gardening is not at all a competitive activity and therefore, it is essential for you to have fun and take your own sweet time setting up your herb garden. Learn about your plants and try listening to them to figure out what they require.
Gardening will not only provide you with the mind-body advantages that any land steward deserves, but it will also provide you with a wealth of practical knowledge.