Herb Gardening

Herbs are healers that nature has made for us; nature has packed these healing elements and substances in plants which grow quite easily.

If you have pets in your home, you may have noticed that sometimes when your dog or cat feels unwell or sulky they chew some grass or a small green plant. Living beings being a product of nature are equipped to identify healing substances offered by nature whenever the need arises. Hence we can say that we humans have known herbs since not only ancient times but much before we started becoming humans! As human beings we have the gift of the intellect and physical abilities to better nature’s gift through our own efforts. Our ancestors were skillful in using their intellect to gain a lot of wisdom on herbs and they used to grow different herbs around their houses in organized manner, many of our wise ancestors had in-depth and detailed knowledge regarding the properties of each kind of herb and their different benefits and uses, which they carefully recorded and passed down.

Herbs are packed with substances that heal us or help us to maintain our physical and mental wellbeing. As per nutritionists herbs are rich in vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. They help in boosting the immune system, controlling blood sugar and eliminating harmful toxins from our bodies. Human beings have found many different beneficial aspects of herb such as in culinary, medicinal, aroma therapy and spiritual and religious ceremonies. Culinary herbs include basil, dill, mint, thyme, rosemary; they enhance the flavor and nutritional value of the food. Several herbs such as mint, lemon verbena, chamomile, bergamot and hibiscus can mix well with tea. There are several herbs which have very pleasant aroma and can be used for pot pouri and aroma therapy, these include lavender and lemon verbena. Stevia which is an alternative to sugar is also an herb; it does not have calories like the sugar and is free from side effects unlike the artificial sweeteners available in the market. Some herbs can also be used to keep away pest like feverfew and spices like cinnamon and clove. Mehndi is a shrub herb which is used for decoration and dyeing, mehndi gardens are cool and fragrant.

A garden is a personal expression through plants. As gardeners we may seek health, wellness, serenity, beauty, family savings and earnings. Since herbs can grow quite easily in small areas and do not require much tending, many beginners in gardening may prefer to start with herbs, they can grow several herbs in a single container or have a separate container for each herb. Herbs can also be grown as a boundary on the ground. Some gardeners may be total health freaks and may want to use their entire space for herbs; they can use these herbs for domestic purposes or even supply them outside. There are many hundred types of herbs, prior to starting gardening of herbs it is advisable to go through books on them and choose the ones that most fit the personal objectives, resources and limitations. Basil and mint are the most basic type of herbs that can be grown in any garden. Books also provide a lot of information regarding the soil type and their content and the manure that can be used. Differentiating the soil content according to the plant type may often be required to get best results. Soil content is determined by its pH, moisture, nitrogen etc. Organic manures are best suited for gardens as they enrich the soil quality without any harmful effects, using organic pest controllers instead of inorganic ones is also a good idea; as mentioned earlier some herbs themselves have properties that keep away pests, such herbs can be planted along with the other herbs; herbs being so organic do not combine well with inorganic, the entire herbal environment created in the garden due to the typical fragrance can get subdued by the use of inorganic substances, as such use of inorganic substances should be avoided as far as possible. Herbs can be annual, biennial or perineal, several herbs can be planted together in the same type of soil and require the same tending. All such fact finding can be very useful while planning the herbal garden.

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