Herb Garden: For Immune System Stimulating Herbs
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Jerry Vincer
Posted on: March 04, 2007

I live on a treed property in the district of Thunder Bay (northern Ontario, Canada), which has a temperature range of ±25 degrees Celsius.

Now this year, I am going to have a very small herb garden to grow immune-system building herbs for my own general use, having survived cancer along with its chemo treatments and side-effects!

Please, would you kindly email me a few suggestions for a garden suitable to grow herbs where I live — for example: Garden size?

Since you did not tell me which herbs you plan to grow and what quantities of each herb, I can only be very general. Our packets contain enough seeds for one to two dozen plants and in general for small plants there should be 15 cm between adjacent plants and for larger ones, such as Echinacea, 30 cm. Leave 30 to 90 cm between rows, depending on the size of the plants and the space available. With the 30cm spacing, you will have little space to do your weeding.


This is only needed for plants that are tender in your zone, or need too long a growin season for your zone. You appear to be in zone 4. The hardiness of our plants is shown in the catalogue opposite the Latin name and can also be found on our web-site www.richters.com under "News&Info", "Richters’ InfoCentre", "Richters Herb Growing Infobase", then type in the name of herb you want to research.

Soil (purchase special)?

Most herbs want a well-draining fairly fertile soil. If you do not have that, I think it would be much better to add whatever is missing to your soil and mix it in, rather than replacing the whole thing. EG. if you have clay, add lots of sharp builder’s sand and compost or peat moss. If you have extremely sandy soil, add lots and lots of compost -best if some of it at least is well rotted manure.

Sunny or shady location?

Most herbs like lots of sun, so that would be your best choice.

Herb seed/plant life?

For perennials I would suggest that for the first year you get plants AND seeds of whatever herbs you want. The plants will provide you with a harvest the first year and the seeds will be large enough next year to supply you. Annuals, get seed.

Herb handbook?

B1430 Bartram’s Encyclopaedia of Herbal Medicine

B1445 The Big Book Of Herbs

B1906 The Complete Guide to Herbal Medicine

B2810 A Native Herbal Cancer Remedy

B3960 The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook

B4330 Growing 101 Herbs that Heal

*B5081 Herbal Medicine, Healing And Cancer

We also offer two CDs that would be very useful to you. (Both are searchable):

T9745 Herbalist - needs Windows

T9750 Herbalpedia

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