Gardening is an essential part of herbalism. It has healing aspects as well as a great source for any kitchen. Healing may range from a neeed to tend earth and move hands or pick and pluck for the perfect salve and oil. Yet how does one start a garden?
Before planting one must look to the soil. There are a list of questions I usually like to ask myself before I begin planting. The main question begin.
What type of garden am I going grow and How am I going to grow it?
Be it raised bed, potted plants or a full walk through garden. Here are three things I always consider before planting and placing.
Think about the type of plant you wish to grow. What type of spil is best for the plant you've decided upon. Does it need moss mixed in or would it do better with a touch of sand?
Do all the plants in your future garden want lots of sun or just a bit of shade? Each plant has a certain amount of sun it needs to be healthy and thrive. Check the seed packet or the plant stick for sunlight instructions.
It's a good idea to check how large or small your plants grow. Putting plants that are taller in the back of the garden might be better, as to reach the smaller plants better. Also the roots need to be taken into consideration. Some plants have a tendency to choke out other plants if planted to close. Some plants survive better in the winter if they have a plant next to it's base.
Don't forget the water. While rain helps some plants grow big and lush, it can drown out other plants. If you live in an area where there is little rain, you will have to water the plants yourself more than likely, so know the optimal water consumption rate of your plants is very beneficial.
If you have space, some money, and are wanting to grow a lot of plants, you might want to consider a greenhouse. You don't have to have a big greenhouse, just big enough for the plants you want in there and enough room for you to go in an take care of them. If you live in a state that is prone to long winters, a greenhouse can help you keep your plants alive when snow and ice threaten.
Pay special attention to the types of plants you are getting! Find out their native country and research the climate there. If it is drastically different from your climate, it may not be a good idea to plant those plants. If however, you do chose to plant non-native plants adjusted to a very different climate, I would suggest doing so in a greenhouse. A green house allows you to better control the environment. Greenhouses stay warm inside and still allow sunlight to come through but no rain. You will have to water plants on a regular basis, which is good because you can control what gets watered and what doesn't. Succulents will rot if they get too much water, and mold tends to grow in them. So keeping them in a greenhouse is ideal, unless you already live in a desert. It also keeps them warm and protects them from frost. Succulents will die if they freeze.
As a whole, herbs that typically grow in colder countries (lavender from France, for example) will do well in slightly warmer climates. Lavender drinks up the warm sunlight of the southern United States! Be sure to keep it watered enough, though. France is rainy. Also, plants as a whole tend to like well-drained soil. Having gravel in the bottom of a flower pot helps it drain better :) Check the specific conditions recommended for your plant. Be careful of shade plants. Some will burn in the sun or actually wilt (aloe and hostas, I'm looking at you.) Just check what conditions your plant calls for, and don't cut any corners. A plant will look happy and green when all it's needs are met.
Re: Gardening for Beginners By: Eldergleam / Beginner
Post # 4 Sep 20, 2015
Something else that's good to look at is companion planting! Different plants take and leave different nutrients in the soil, which is the reason farmers don't grow the same thing in the same field year after year. In the wild, mixes of plants grow in the same place indefinitely because they form symbiotic relationships. Well worth looking up, plus you end up with a beautiful, varied garden that regenerates itself :)