Friday, May 15, 2015

Growing Calendula from Seed to Harvest

Have you ever considered the "medicine" available to you, grown in your own backyard (or farm).  From Basil to Coneflower and even Thyme, there are so many reported health benefits of many common (and not so common) herbs and flowers.We started with Basil as it is probably the most common herb and arguably the easiest to grow.

Calendula
Calendula can be direct-seeded outdoors in spring, or started indoors 4-6 weeks before warm spring weather. The small seeds should be planted ¼" deep, and kept well watered while awaiting germination. 

If starting indoors, allow plants to grow to a height of 3-4" and show first leaves. When transplanting, space plants 6" apart from each other in rows 18" apart. 

Calendula likes water, so be sure that the soil doesn’t dry out.  Grows well in partial shade and full sun.


**Great for natural pest control.  Keeps soil free of bad nematodes**


Germination: 7-14 days
Days to Harvest: 55-60 days

Early in the summer, your plants will begin to produce large flowers on long stems. They will continually produce flowers even after the first light frost. As you pick the flowers for indoor arrangements (or medicinal recipes), look carefully on the stem and the undersides of the leaves for aphids. 

Pick dead blooms to keep the plants neat looking and to encourage new blooms. 
 
Calendula is a somewhat hardy annual. It will not be harmed by a light frost either in the spring or fall. It will succumb to heavy frosts or freezes.

Health benefits of Calendula

Calendula flowers have been used on injuries to reduce inflammation and as an antiseptic against infection. It has also been used as a remedy for a variety of skin problems ranging from skin ulcerations to eczema. As a tea, it has been used for relieving conjunctivitis. The salve or dilute tincture of calendula has and continues to be used in connection with bruises, sprains, pulled muscles, sores, and more.


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2 comments:

daisy g said...

I just planted some of these seeds for the first time and look forward to seeing them thrive. Thanks for the great description!

HEATHER GRAHAM said...

I love this! I've been trying to research more natural ways of medicating/using plants for health benefits. Thanks so much for sharing at Tips & Tricks linky party. Would love for you to join in this week's party (it just went live) http://www.stringtownhome.net