Just like meditation gardening is an age-old practice that engages the body, stimulates the mind, and uplifts the spirit.
Gardening and just getting my hands in the dirt are relaxing for me.
I feel connected to the earth more, and its as if my soul is just happier, I feel more balanced, its hard to explain but let’s say I really feel great when I am planting and playing in dirt.
I don’t always get to play in the dirt because I’m in an apartment. So I often have a container garden ,small raised garden just to feel and have it look more alive and pretty and I will plant flowers out at my parents grave as well as other family members that have passed on.
My husband helps me a lot at the cemeteries because with my bone issues and knee problems I cannot even kneel on my one knee.
At some point we plan on getting a house again, we’d love 1-3 acres in the country preferably, my husband also loves gardening ,planting, lawn work , being outside.
Gardening has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety,lower blood pressure and that can help ward off diseases associated with inactivity, it can keep also your mind sharp and happy, and can help you sleep better at night. And save you money at the grocery store.
So now imagine the added benefits of planting a small medicinal herb garden as well, when you’re growing your own herbs for your own herbal remedies. The benefits of gardening then become limitless!
We Always Loved Planning Our Garden
When planting outdoors, it’s important to consider a few factors beforehand:
- Will you be planting directly into the ground or will you use raised garden or containers?
- What is your soil like? Does it need to be amended? Will your herbs have good drainage?
- At what angle and at what time of day does the sun hit?
- What is the hardiness zone in your growing area? Will your plants thrive in your climate?
- How often will your herbs need watering? Who can water for you if you’re out of town?
Before getting your hands dirty, consider the size and space you have make a few sketches, keeping in mind how tall or wide a plant will grow once it’s in full bloom. (For example, plants in the mint family love to spread, so make sure they have enough room to grow.)
Make sure you plant for your climate.
If you’re enthusiastic about medicinal herbs, you may be tempted to jump right in and plant a whole garden at once. If so, more power to you! But really start out smaller, if you’re new to herb gardening, it’s always smart to start slowly with just a few plants to get started. That gives you some room for error, so you can study how much light they’re getting, the soil, and how much watering needs done. Be smart an plan.
And having a fruit and veggie garden is also a fantastic way to eat cleaner, healthier and save money while enjoying the benefits of getting your hands dirty.
“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” — Alfred Austin
Planting your herbs
Healthy plants are born from healthy soil and healthy seeds. If you notice that your soil shows no signs of growth, moisture, or earthworms, you may have to amend it with some organic compost and well-composted manure before planting.
Manure is Mother Nature’s ultimate fertilizer, but sometimes it can make the soil dense and clumpy. Don’t be afraid to add a little sand to your mixture to help encourage good drainage. Herbs don’t like wet feet!
Herbs are usually ready to plant once the threat of frost has passed. Once you are ready to plant your seeds, prepare your soil beds with a light raking, making sure to level the soil and remove any rocks or pebbles larger than a gum ball. Then, using your thumb or the handle of a spade or a rake, indent the soil with small holes, spaced to account for their growth. For smaller herbs, 2” spacing between seeds generally works, but for sprawling plants like mints, you’ll likely need more space. Make sure to ask your gardening store specialist or research online ahead of time for optimal results. Then, cover the seeds with a light coating of soil and water them. You can expect sprouts within a couple of weeks.
Most herbs—but certainly not all—prefer 6-8 hours of sunshine per day and well-drained, slightly alkaline soils. Oftentimes, more sunshine results in a higher concentration of essential oils within the herb, making some medicinal herbs more potent. While many herbs prefer the conditions of a dry, Mediterranean climate during the growing season, there are others that thrive in the cool, shady forests, sometimes in acidic soils. Make sure to research which plants are ideal for your garden before you start.
Best plants for your garden
Every garden has its own unique conditions. Below, is a link to a chart with some veggie plants and when to plant.
Also of favorite medicinal plants to get you started on the right foot, but make sure to make your herb garden your own.
But remember herbs can be dangerous, so before you try them medically talk to your Doctor and an Herbalist or Naturopath because interactions can occur.
Planting your herb garden
And Please Do NOT Use pesticides !