planting instructions
Our seeds are listed alphabetically. Below each heading, you'll find planting instructions as well as purported medicinal benefits. Check back for links to recipes and other fun activities!
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DISCLAIMER: The NL Pharmacy Museum is not a licensed medical professional. Please see your health care provider if you intend to use any of these herbs or plants for medicinal purposes. This page is meant to be for educational purposes only. Sources for the following information can be found at the bottom of this page. 
BASIL (SWEET)

Planting Instructions: Direct sow in early summer, once the soil has warmed up. Basil requires warm soil and full sun. Seeds should sprout in 5-10 days. Use any rich, loose, well-drained soil. Once plants are 15cm (6″) tall, pinch out the growing tips to encourage really bushy growth prior to harvest. Watch for signs of flower buds forming in mid-summer, and pinch these off to promote more foliage.

Harvesting: Frequent harvesting will prolong the life of the plant. Basil leaves have the best flavour just before the plant flowers. Tear basil rather than chop with a knife because chopping tends to bruise the leaves. Add basil to food just before serving so as to get the full aroma and effect. Cooking for any length tends to make the minty side of basil come to the forefront.

Medicinal Benefits: Fresh basil contains many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants including lutein, eugenol and beta-carotene which help fight free radicals in the body. Other beneficial nutrients include calcium, vitamins A & K, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, and Potassium. 

Recipes with Basil: 

Fresh Pesto
Blueberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Pie
Bella Basil Raspberry Tea


 
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CABBAGE

Planting Instructions: Sow indoors in late winter and transplant outdoors at least 2 weeks after the last frost date. Optimal soil temperature is 10-30 degrees Celsius. Seeds should sprout in 5-7 days. Space transplants 45-60 cm (18-24") apart. 

Harvesting: Cabbage heads are ready to harvest when they are firm to touch. 

Medicinal Benefits: Cabbage is full of nutrients including Vitamins A, B1, B2, and C as well as various antioxidants. To preserve vitamin and mineral content, do not overcook cabbage. 

Recipes: 

Coleslaw
Roasted Cabbage Wedges
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CALENDULA

Planting Instructions:
Direct sow in early spring (before last frost) until early summer. Sow seeds 5 mm deep. Germination occurs in 6-10 days. 

Harvesting: Avoid overwatering as plants are susceptible to mildew. The petals of the Calendula flower are harvested and used in teas, tinctures, etc. The petals are usually dried and stored in a dark, moisture-free environment. Fresh petals can be used in cooking as a garnish. 

The flowers can also be infused into oils (such as olive oil or coconut oil) which can then be used as an ingredient in ointments, creams or lotions. 


Medicinal Benefits: Calendula has been used medicinally for its purported anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Warning: Avoid ingesting or using Calendula if you have allergies to ragweed, daisies, marigolds, or any plant in the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Also avoid using Calendula if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as it can affect your hormone levels. 


Recipes: 
Healing Balm
Calendula Oil
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CARROTS (RAINBOW BLEND)

Planting Instructions: Direct sow from just after the last frost date to late summer for harvests from summer through early winter. Sow at 3 week intervals for a continuous harvest. Seeds can take 14-21 days to germinate. Water soil deeply prior to planting and place seeds just below dirt's surface (5 mm). Sow closely together and thin as needed. 


Harvesting: Carrots can be harvested at any size, but flavour is best when the carrot has turned bright orange - or its other mature colour. After harvest, store at cold temperatures just above 0ºC. Store in sand or sawdust, or simply leave carrots under heaped soil in the garden during the winter, and pull as needed.

Medicinal Benefits: Carrots are full of Vitamins A, C, B6, and Niacin. 

Recipes:
Parmesan Roasted Carrots
Carrot Cake Cheesecake
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CORNFLOWER

This easy annual plant also answers to Bachelor’s Button, Bluebottle, Hurtsickle, Hardheads, Knapweed, and Star Thistle.

Planting Instructions: Direct sow starting just before last frost, and again every two weeks until end of spring. Sow just below soil surface and thin to 6 inches apart after germination. 


Harvesting: Carrots can be harvested at any size, but flavour is best when the carrot has turned bright orange - or its other mature colour. After harvest, store at cold temperatures just above 0ºC. Store in sand or sawdust, or simply leave carrots under heaped soil in the garden during the winter, and pull as needed.

Medicinal Benefits: Cornflower has been used medicinally to help treat skin irritation (such as sunburn), eye irritation (including conjunctivitis), and pain from rheumatism. 

Cornflower petals can be added to water and boiled for 15-20 minutes to make a tea. They can also be added to room temp or cool water and used in a mister or as a toner for external use. 


Recipes:
Blue Moon Herbal Tea
Cornflower Benefits for Skin
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ECHINACEA

Planting Instructions: 


Harvesting:  

Medicinal Benefits: 

Recipes:
 
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FOXGLOVE

Planting Instructions: Foxgloves are biennials which means they flower the second year from being planted. Direct sow seeds after the last frost. Seeds take 14-21 days to germinate. 


Harvesting:  

Medicinal Benefits: 

Recipes/Resources:
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LAVENDER (MUNSTEAD)

Planting Instructions: Sow indoors 6-8 weeks before transplanting or in early spring just before the last frost. Can also be direct sown in autumn. 

If starting indoors: barely cover seeds in growing medium and place in a plastic bag. Refrigerate for 4-6 weeks, then store in a cool, dry place at 12-18 degrees Celsius. Germination may take 15-90 days. 


Harvesting: Gather the flowers just as they open. Dry on open trays, or by hanging in small bunches. Pick the leaves anytime to use fresh, or if dehydrating lavender leaves, gather before flowering starts.

Medicinal Benefits: Lavender is often used in aromatherapy to help reduce stress. It has been used as an anti-fungal to help treat eczema and acne and has also been used as an anti-inflammatory to help treat joint and muscle pain. 

Recipes:
10 Health & Beauty Products to Make with Lavender
Sweet Lavender Scones
Concord Grape and Lavender Sorbet
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LETTUCE (LITTLE GEM)

Planting Instructions: 

Harvesting:  

Medicinal Benefits: 

Recipes/Resources:
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MARIGOLD

Planting Instructions: 

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Recipes/Resources:
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PEPPERMINT

Planting Instructions: 

Harvesting:  

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Recipes/Resources:
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