Herb Garden Growing Appeal
Growing an herb garden can be as rewarding as it can be fun and inspirational. Unlike regular flowers and plants, herbs are generally grown for specific uses. You can use them in cooking, as natural remedies or in homeopathic medicine. All of these reasons combine with the pleasant appearance and fragrances that are associated with an herb garden to make one a great project for your home.
The vast majority of herb plants are small, meaning you won’t require a gigantic area that would be more suitable for a typical vegetable garden. Tiny gardens work well if you are only planning to include a limited selection of herbs. You can even grow an herb garden on an apartment balcony using box or stand-up planters, making it effective and efficient even in minimal space situations.
The Planning Phase
This is the most important part of any gardening project. This is where you assess the space, time and resources available to you. Fortunately with an herb garden, you don’t usually require a large amount of either to succeed. It is still a good idea to write down a list of herbs you wish to grow, including a small sketch of the area you intend to develop for this purpose.
Having well-made plans handy allows you to prepare for planting with greater ease, and can help you establish back up plans if specific species of herbs are locally unavailable or unsuitable for your specific needs.
Useful Supplies for Your Herb Garden
There are a few useful supplies to keep handy when preparing an herb garden:
· Hand Shovel – This will be the primary tool you’ll be using when preparing your herb garden. This is the small variety, often made out of sturdy plastic instead of metal. You’ll be using the hand shovel to dig holes, move plants around and to hill soil at the base of certain species for drainage purposes. This is an invaluable tool, and one you should definitely invest in.
· Watering Can – You can go with either a household or garden watering can depending on the size of your garden. This is more effective than a hose because you can control the exact amount of water that will be given to your herb garden. In addition, a watering can allows you to mix in fertilizer and growth formulas, which can come in handy.
Species to Consider for your Herb Garden
The following plants are all suitable for growth in a home herb garden:
· Ginger – Ginger, also a common spice for cooking is one of the most versatile of the common herbs. It has great value medicinally, and is used in a wide variety of ways around the world. Some effective uses are to help settle upset or nauseated stomachs, or as a preventative measure for dealing with the common cold. It can also help to neutralize the pain of a sore throat if boiled and drank as a strong tea.
· Oregano – This species is native to Europe, and extremely popular in Mediterranean cooking. Many Greek and Italian dishes depend upon oregano, making it one of the most valued spices in European cooking. Oregano has been found to have a high level of antioxidants, making it a healthy choice. In the Philippines, oregano is used medicinally to relieve symptoms of coughs in children.
· St. John’s Wort – This variety of plant is extremely easy to grow in an herb garden, and can be used to great effect as an antidepressant in humans. It was also traditionally used as a salve to treat minor cuts and abrasions. You may wish to keep it handy for this purpose, although any serious injuries should always be seen to by trained medical professionals.
· Sweet Basil – Both green and ‘Dark Opal’ basil are attractive plants for the garden. Germination usually occurs in 7 to 10 days. Basil is not difficult to transplant and tends to grow to 18 inches. Dark Opal has beautiful deep red foliage and attractive pink flowers that make it excellent to use along a walk or as a solid bed for decoration in the garden. Basil is a great herb to use with tomato-based dishes as a flavoring agent.
Additional Information about Your Herb Garden Project
You’ll find that growing an herb garden is both fun and rewarding, especially once the plants mature and their pleasant fragrances begin to permeate your yard. Leaving a nearby window open can, with the help of a mild breeze, flood your kitchen or living room with delicious smells.
You can enlist the aid of your family to help you plant an herb garden, due to the small scale of the labor that is generally required. The planting and maintenance of an herb garden can be a great introduction to gardening for your children.
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