There is a continuous need to increase food production due to the swelling population. To mitigate the effects of food price volatilities and food shocks, people are intensifying the local food production. Home gardens are time-tested schemes that are practiced by local communities widely. They not only banish the boredom but also serve as a remedy for hunger and malnutrition walking on the face of the earth.
People turning their yards into medicinal and kitchen gardens is the best possible use of the place. In another post, we talked about the perennial and how their long-lasting existence saves us the labor of growing it again and again.
Today, we will push annual herbs in the spotlight and talk about their growing conditions with medicinal benefits. Annual herbs, as the name indicates, live only for a year. Their yield can be enjoyed throughout the summer but they have to be re-planted before the first frost as they get killed by the cold.
Without further ado, let’s discuss the 3 easy to grow annuals to give you company this summer.
How to grow:
Ashwagandha seeds can be sown outdoors 3/8’’ below the moist soil, after the departure of the first frost, or it can be started indoors in early spring, probably in March. It requires full sun exposure and an average water supply with moist soil until germination. After the germination, it can grow on its own, rendering itself a low maintenance plant.
After around 10 to 20 days, the seeds sprout and flourish in the fully blowing sun.
Ashwagandha has adaptogenic properties. It balances the disrupted levels of the hormones, immune cells, and blood cells. It helps normalize elevated blood sugar levels, boosts the weakened immune system, and prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Its antioxidative property kills the reactive oxygen species and aids in reducing oxidative stress in the body.
How to grow:
Shiso easily grows in full sun or light shade and compost-rich, well-drained soil with pH 5.5 to 6.5. It is both indoor and outdoor-friendly, revealing that it can be grown indoors upon winter’s arrival. The seeds of shiso can be soaked in water for around 4 to 8 hours to accelerate germination. The broadcasted seeds are covered with a minimal amount of soil or compost so that the light can reach them and encourage germination.
Within 7 to 21 days, shiso seeds sprout and grow into a beautiful plant.
Shiso is an immune-stimulant that boosts the weakened immune system, helps cure cold and flu, indigestion, and flatulence. It also acts as an antibacterial, antiviral, anticancer, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, anti-anorexic agent. It is loaded with iron, calcium, vitamin A, and other nutrients which help treat the disorders driven by nutritional deficiencies.
Holy Basil (Tulsi)
How to grow:
Tulsi seeds are started indoors (for earlier initiation in spring) at least 6 to 12 weeks before the last frost date in the USA. It requires 70 degrees Fahrenheit temperature, a sunny windowsill, and loamy and fertile soil of 6 to 7.5 pH level with good drainage.
For direct outdoor plantation, sow Tulsi seeds in late spring or early summer. The soil and seeds must be kept moist. Compost can also be added to ensure its healthy growth. After the emergence of two or three leaves, the plant is transplanted into separate containers or outdoors, all the while making sure that the roots are not damaged.
Tulsi naturally boosts the immune system due to its Vitamin C and zinc content, and fights both upper and lower respiratory tract infections, and helps in the management of diabetes, arthritis, blood pressure, stress, gastrointestinal disorders, and brain functioning.