Unique Location and Growing Conditions
Healing Spirit Plants is located in the “inner” San Francisco Bay area, where we experience a mild “Mediterranean” climate: nonfreezing rainy winters, with cool and foggy dry summers (2 seasons). From a 4 season perspective, we have 3 springs (“winter”, “spring” and “summer”), and then finally, “summer” comes in August, September and October.
These temperately moderated conditions permit plants from everywhere in the world to find a niche here. We are blessed with the opportunity to be able to propagate and realistically expect to grow (and have survive) medicinal plants from nearly all cultures whose peoples have found a living here. We can create hot sunny conditions on our south facing areas, while maintaining cool shady conditions on our north facing areas. We can maintain dry conditions, or moist ones through prudent use of water.
Our soils, are predominantly clay (heavy, non draining, and difficult to work), but can be amended with plenty of “lava rock” or “scoria” to drain adequately for most plants. Because sand and clay combine to create “cement,” it will be necessary to also add 1/3 compost to help break down the clay. A good ratio would be 1/3 finely chopped clay, 1/3 “Scoria,” and 1/3 compost. Compost should have minimal chicken manure, because chicken manure is too strong for most drought tolerant plants, as well as containing unhealthy steroid hormones.
Growing your plants in pots avoids having to deal with the clay, but requires increased attention to watering and fertilizing. Unless you are growing aquatic species, always be sure that your pots have plenty of drainage holes, and adequate escape for excess water. If you are using a saucer or dish underneath, be sure to put three 1 inch diameter stones under the pot to lift it up out of the water that collects in the saucer. If it is on a patio, use the stones to lift the pot up off the floor; also prevents your deck from rotting.
Please pay close attention to the specific growing requirements for each of your medicinal plants. Being with them helps us to tune in to their needs and general happiness. They also increase ours: They are our teachers.