Plantain

(Plantago major) Plantain is an herbaceous perennial that is native to Asia and Europe, but it has extensively traveled across the globe and become naturalized in many regions. Plantain thrives in compacted soil and you will often find it in parking lots, fields and anywhere with lots of human-related disturbance. This seemingly pedestrian and plain-looking weed actually posesses incredible medicinal properties, making it a treasure hiding in plain sight. This leafy, low-growing herb is considered a panacea for mulitiple ailments, an essential herb to keep in your natural healing toolkit. Uses range from topical treatments for bites, stings and rash, to treating inflammation. You can direct sow seeds in early spring or start indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost and transplant out. Cold stratification will greatly improve germination rates. Just place your seed packets in the fridge for a week to achieve adequate cold treatment. Ideal germination temperature is 68F. Seeds germinate in 21-28 days. Keep seeds moist until they germinate. Surface sow seeds as light is required for germination. Space plants 15-18 inches apart.

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