About the Moon, Gardening and Herbs

It’s half term and we’ve been blessed with a (considerably) good weather so it means one thing… gardening!

Along with DS1 and DS2 we’ve cleaned the greenhouses inside and out and set them up and ready for planting!

But what shall we plant first? Having had a look through the lunar calendar, today was showing up as the most beneficial time to plant seeds which will yield a crop of flowers. Did you ever use a lunar calendar? I remember my grandmother used to have one on her kitchen wall. She’d look through it whilst planning all of her gardening activities. It was natural for me to carry it on!

Not going to lie, I tried rebelling for a year or two, thinking that I can sow seeds whenever it took my fancy, but having radishes developing beautiful leaves instead of a root certainly isn’t something I would want to risk happening again, so off I went to the old and tried ways.

So… what’s the trick about the lunar calendar?

moon-1859616_1920Well, it uses the Moon phases to determine whether it is a good time to replant any seedlings or plant any seeds and, if it is, whether the planted seeds will develop an abundance of leaves (like my radishes.. ahem), flowers or roots! In addition, it gives hints when it’s the best time to use fertilizers, water plants, collect crops or prepare preserves.

You might have heard about how the Moon affects the rhythms of the Nature, influencing tides as well as our biological clocks and behavior. Why would it be any different for plants?

So… back to the subject. What did we plant?

DS2 got some coneflower seeds from school and was ever so eager to plant them ever since he brought them home so that’s what we had to start with.

That left me and DS1 with some herbal seeds. His first choice was to plant Borage. Did you know that Borage is herbal medicine?

Let’s have a closer look:borage.jpg

Borage, (Borago officinalis) is a much undervalued herb. Known mostly for its culinary uses since its cucumber-tasting leaves were often added to salads and drinks, its medicinal properties are very often overlooked… and they shouldn’t! As well as using Borage leaves in our summer salads, we will be making some tinctures which can be used as adrenal tonics, indispensible in times of heightened stress, anxiety or depression. Borage tincture works very well in exhaustion experienced by women going through menopause as well as new Mums who want a boost in their energy and milk supply.

The second set of seeds DS1 chose was Feverfew. Now, I’m sure this is an herb everyone is accustomed with!

Feverfew (Tanacetum Parthenium) is well known for its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antihistamine action. feverfew-8173_1920.jpg
It’s most commonly used as a migraine prophylaxis (when taken daily) as well as treatment. Feverfew as the ability to reduce blood flow to the brain and was proven to reduce the occurrence and severity of migraines. It’s also useful in cases of Rheumatoid arthritis where it centres its action on the white blood cells, reducing the inflammatory response of the system. Its action is similar to the pharmaceutical drug Celebrex. I think that, depending on the yield, we will be making some tinctures as well as leaving some of the herb to dry so it can be taken as a decoction or infusion.

We have plenty more herbs to plant but, although I took my time checking the lunar calendar, I forgot to check if we have enough compost!




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