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Home > Herb Gardening > Cultivation of Herbs & Spices
Cultivation of Herbs & Spices
Plant transplants in the spring after all danger of frost is past. To get an early start on the season, plant seeds in doors 8 to 12 weeks before the last frost date for your region.

The Herb Garden
An inside look into creating a perfect herb garden
Unlike many other types of gardening, herbs are very inexpensive and easy to maintain. The beginner can be an instant success, and as time goes by, develop into a master gardener, growing more difficult and esoteric plants. There is room for all skill levels, and many different garden situations. In terms of modern usage, herbs can be broken down into three different groupings.
1. Culinary herbs
2. Medicinal herbs
3. Ornamental herbs

Culinary herbs

Culinary herbs rosemaryFirst in most peoples minds are the culinary herbs. These are the herbs we are all most familiar with basil, rosemary, parsley and oregano, etc. In growing these plants, we not only provide ourselves the joy of gardening, but the satisfaction of eating the fruits of our labor. The flavorings that herb gardens provide to our daily bread can truly enhance our lives. Ask anyone who has used fresh herbs in their cooking and they`ll tell you that dried herbs can`t compare. Some are perennial, some are annual and with few exceptions, all are easily grown. Everyone can grow these plants, from the window boxes and container gardens of apartment dwellers, to the borders and raised beds of country folk. It is one of those simple pleasures that is an inexpensive luxury.

Medicinal herbs

Medicinal herbs ypericumThe next group of herb plants are medicinals. While this type of herb had lost most of its value to the 20th century world, one has only to walk down the aisle of your local drugstore to see its resurgence. Echinacea, valerian, hypericum, gingko, and garlic are all back on the shelves as medicine. Lavender, roses, mint, and basil are being used for aromatherapies to ease the stresses of modern life. We are once again finding healing from nature. Less than ten percent of new drugs coming onto the market are entirely man made and nearly eighty percent are derived from plant material. For the home gardener however, it is difficult to extract the medicinal parts of the plant. Echinacea, for instance, must be extracted by boiling only the roots, reducing it over a period of hours while skimming off the impurities. It seems unlikely that most gardeners would be willing to devote the time (and destroy their coneflower) to make their own echinacea extract. Realistically, most medicinals now fall into our final category.

Ornament herbs

Ornamental herbs are almost a contradiction in terms. Herbs have traditionally been plants that have had values other than the aesthetic. As time has passed, we have found many medicinals to be unhealthy and old spiritual associations have gone the way of the dinosaur. The plants however, remain in the lexicon of herb gardeners and in their gardens. Dioscorides recommended abisinthe, or wormwood, as a cure for drunkenness. We now know it to be destructive to both the heart and the nervous system, but it still remains in the herb garden in its many forms, providing a wonderfully soft, silvery foliage. Many of the plants thought of as mainstays of the herb garden are holdovers from superstition and magic. Perhaps that is part of the mystique of herb gardening.
More...
Features of Herb Gar.. Harvesting and Pest .. History of Herbs
Herbs for Beginning .. Cultivation of Herbs.. Preservation of Herb..
Herb Garden Design Spices Herbal Plants
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