Garden planning time is here! Even though gardening season is over for most of us, fall and winter are when gardeners plan ahead for next year.
Besides vegetables, I'm also ordering herbs. Each year I add a new herb or two (or three) to my garden, either a plant or seeds. This year I'll be adding borage and trying oregano again. In the past I've bought oregano plants and been unsuccessful; this year I'll be planting them from seed and hope for better results.
My herb garden grows in containers, although I've been dividing and moving some of the perennials to the raised beds in the garden. That will give me two locations which, I hope, will help save plants in case of grasshopper invasion or other garden disaster.
Growing herbs in containers also lets me customize the soil for the plant I'm growing and provide the amount of water that makes each one happy. I can move them around if needed to take advantage of shade or sunlight.
Please note that I am not a medical doctor, herbalist, nor a veterinarian. You are responsible for your own health. Please do your own research before using any products, plants, herbs, and/or essential oils.
Why I grow the herbs I grow
Some of my herbs are grown for their medicinal benefits or for culinary use, others simply for their wonderful fragrances.
Aloe vera - My aloe vera plants are on my kitchen windowsill year round, not outside. Aloe is used to treat burns and bee stings. The plants are perennial but they don't tolerate cold well.
Borage - I'm planting borage in my tomato bed this year because it deters hornworms. Can you imagine such a thing? Medicinally, tea made from borage leaves can bring down a fever, and the flowers can be added to salads, but "deters hornworms" is the reason I'm going to add it to my garden. Annual.
Oregano - Used in Italian cooking. I've never had enough to harvest, but it's still fun to rub a leaf and sniff the fragrant oils that are released. Oregano is a perennial but I've had a lot of trouble keeping it alive even during the summer. I'll buy fresh seed this year and try again.
Thyme - I grow thyme to use in cooking, but thyme tea can also soothe a cough or sore throat. Perennial.
Peppermint tea, anyone? Chewing a peppermint leaf freshens breath. Peppermint is also pleasantly aromatic. A friend told me to plant it next to the water faucet so I could rub the leaves each day when I turn the water on and enjoy the scent. Perennial.
Tarragon - I use this in my broccoli cheese soup. When I ran out I tried making the soup without tarragon but it wasn't nearly as delicious. I had to search hard to find a store that carried the little jars, so I am growing my own now. It has been an easy plant to grow. Perennial.
Catnip - I grow this just for my two housecats; they love catnip. I have to lock up the seed packets so the male cat can't get to them and rip them open! A mild sedative, catnip can help you sleep when your mind won't stop racing, and also improves digestion and calms nerves. Perennial.
Chocolate mint smells so good, and that's why I grow it: I can grow chocolate.
Calendula flowers are used in natural toiletries such as soap, lotion and hair care. The flowers attract pollinators and the plants are easy to grow from seed. Annual.
Chamomile has pretty yellow-centered white flowers. Chamomile tea can sooth an upset stomach, promote sleep, treat colds and muscle spasms, and more. Used in salve, chamomile helps heal cuts, wounds and burns. German chamomile is perennial.
Comfrey - I give comfrey leaves to the goats, use them as a compost activator, and make salve with them. Comfrey is well known for its medicinal properties, which is the main reason I began growing it. It's a must in my garden. Perennial.
Bee balm - Attracts pollinators. This is the first year I've grown bee balm. After my granddaughter and I hiked to look for a wild bee balm plant I'd spotted earlier, she said "why don't you just grow some closer to the house?" Smart girl. I'm doing just that now, although it isn't the same variety as the plant I found growing wild. Bee balm is a perennial.
Feverfew is used in tea to fight migraines. Fortunately I don't suffer from migraines much anymore, but I still keep it around for this reason. Perennial.
Migraine teaA friend gave me both the feverfew plant and the directions for this migraine-fighting tea. She said she fills a small teaball with equal parts of feverfew, lemon balm and peppermint, then steeps it in a cup of hot water for about 15 minutes. She adds honey to the tea because feverfew is very bitter.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, herbalist nor a veterinarian.
You are responsible for your own health and for that of your animals.
Please do your own research before using any products, plants, herbs, and/or essential oils.
How to Dry Homegrown Herbs
My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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