When do you start your garden at home? If you’re like most people, you begin planting in early spring. This is good for many flowers and shrubs but there are some plants, herbs, in particular, that actually need to be planted and grown before spring arrives. These may wilt under the warm summer sun and need the crisp weather of early spring to get strong for harvesting.
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This small bulb is very beneficial for your digestive health and for strengthening your immune system. It helps strengthen your blood circulation and fights infections both internally and externally. Garlic is best planted in late February or early March, and it can then be harvested in August or September.
Motherwort is used mostly for women’s issues; it helps to control and regulate menses and keeps the uterus healthy, and can keep a woman calmer and more relaxed during menopause. It should be planted in dry, well-drained soil and soaked in grain alcohol after harvesting, to create a potent tincture.
3. Stinging nettle
It may not look pretty and the name may sound a bit off-putting, but stinging nettle is very beneficial for your digestive health and your thyroid. You can eat it just like spinach, and it grows best in the shade and in damp ground, where many other plants cannot thrive.
This herb is best used in tea, and it’s been shown to calm the nervous system and bring about a sense of relaxation. It also has anti-inflammatory properties so it can help those with arthritis, and may alleviate headaches and other muscle aches. Plant chamomile in a sunny spot but watch out for aphids, as these love the herb once it starts to grow.
You may not think you need to actually plant dandelion if your lawn seems to breed this yellow menace, but if not, consider setting aside a part of your garden for these colorful “weeds.” Dandelion is what’s called a digestive bitter, meaning it helps to settle the stomach if you suffer from indigestion, constipation, and even flatulence. Grow it in a sunny place of your garden or yard and when the flowers blossom, snip them and steep in hot water for a relaxing tea.
Lavender has a wide range of uses, but it’s the calming effects of this herb that make it most valuable. Oil from lavender can be used in massages, and the flower itself can be added to bathwater for a soothing experience that helps you to sleep. This works with both adults and children, even babies! Plant the herb in a sunny spot and it also prefers a dryer, sandier soil.
7. Coneflower or Echinacea
Many people use Echinacea to help support the immune system, and you can grind it and add it to lotion to help with sores, cuts, and even acne. The seeds are best planted when you know there will still be one or two frosts over the ground.
8. Elder tree
The elder tree is not technically an herb but it’s very good for your health and good to plant before springtime. The tree is so versatile that you can use the leaves, flowers, berries, and even the bark to make a thick syrup. Take a teaspoon of the syrup every day for a stronger immune system. Just make sure you never eat the berries raw as they’re toxic unless cooked!
Ginseng is an herb to use for stress and to help you relax. It regulates blood pressure and lets you feel more alert without the side effects of caffeine and other stimulants. Ginseng grows in mostly shady areas where other plants may wilt.
Licorice supports the endocrine system, which creates and regulates hormones. It grows best in sunny areas and dry soil. Mulch it in winter if you want to grow it early.
All of these herbs are relatively easy to grow and they all offer you many health benefits. Don’t be shy about trying a few in your garden, planting them well before springtime and before you need to concentrate on your other plantings for the season.