kitchen

Poor old man winter. He’s the most neglected and hated of the seasons. His uber-iciness causes our fallible human bodies to crumble when colds and the flu try to bust through and break our immune balance. But, it’s actually pretty easy to keep winter ailments at bay when you’ve a kitchen pantry full of various immune strengthening teas and herbal supplements, but that constant onslaught of buying can get expensive (winter always seems to dig its death grips into April).

Cut your cost and consider growing an immune garden this spring.

Start planning and preparing now so your garden has time to flourish in time for next year’s first freeze, when you can move your potted herbs indoors and form an immune kitchen garden!

How To (Outside)

Herb Companion has one of the most comprehensive immune garden plans. Kathleen Halloran details how to create a raised garden center for sun seeking herbs, and a low bed for herbs that favor shade. The garden is said to bring a great harvest that will last you well into winter. Preserve herbs by drying and storing for cold months.

Herbs that belong in the top bed: oregano, thyme and sage. Raise the bed from one to three feet.

Herbs that can go into pots: rosemary, horseradish and ginger. Bring in rosemary and ginger when temperatures drop. The herbs will fair well on a sunny windowsill.

Other immune boosting herbs to plant:

Echinacea: an immune booster. Echinacea also is a perennial known as purple coneflower.

Garlic: another immune-supporter that enjoys the sun.

Ginseng: detox aid and immunity-booster.

Lavender: calms nerves, boosts immunity.

Lemon Balm: antiviral.

Oregano: sinus-clearer.

Parsley: this herb has cleansing properties. Grow in a pot on a windowsill in cold months.

Peppermint: immune-booster.

Rosehip: antibacterial, immune-booster.

Next Fall

Get ready to haul the herbs indoors. For the smaller potted herbs, the windowsill (as mentioned above) is a great option. Make certain you place the other herbs near sunlight and “water when soil is dry a half-inch under the surface.” – CSMonitor.com

Other items for your indoor herb garden:

– fluorescent fixture to supplement dimmer windows.

– use lightweight potting mix.

– feed every two weeks “with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer at the recommended rate listed on the package label.”

Another note: “indoor herbs grow slowly in winter months, so reduce fertilizer amounts to a quarter of normal from Oct. 15 until March 15.” — CSMonitor.com

image: lizard10979

Source: Garden Wise