[Herbalist] Beginning an herb garden

tonia burk toniaburk at hotmail.com
Mon Feb 23 05:37:17 PST 2004

I also had very good luck with marjoram, rosemary, tarragon, dill and borage 
in the mid-Alabama and mid-Georgia areas.  Some lemon thyme came out 
wonderfully.  I have ruthlessly murdered quite a few marigolds somehow.  
Thanks for the Roman chamomile tip!

Happy gardening,  Randalin of Carrollton Georgia

>From: Heather Lea Merenda <fiamettatt at earthlink.net>
>Reply-To: "Ansteorran herbalist list." <herbalist at ansteorra.org>
>To: "Ansteorran herbalist list." <herbalist at ansteorra.org>
>Subject: Re: [Herbalist] Beginning an herb garden
>Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 10:31:02 -0800
>Sunset has a great starter book on herbs, even garden plans, but it depends
>on if you want culinary herbs, tea herbs, dyeing herbs, etc., and if you
>want more formal gardens, or kitchen garden or cottage style garden.   The
>Sunset Herbs has descriptions of the standard herbs and what they need to
>grow (temp, soil, etc.) and a little history and use.  If you are looking
>for medieval references, I don't know of any that are good beginner books,
>but I am no expert on these references and others on this list I'm sure 
>have recommendations.  I find the Brother Cadfael book a good reference for
>knowing what was in period, but is a secondary source.
>Be careful of the mints (catnip included) as they will completely take over
>an herb garden.  Best to keep mints in pots intermingled thorughout the
>garden so they don't crowd out everything else.  I really like sages, they
>are pretty, have a lot of variety and are very useful.  Thymes have a lot 
>variety as well, but need pretty well drained conditions to thrive, so you
>might have to amend small areas to improve the drainage.  Basil is good and
>comes in a lot of green and purple varieties, and are good for cooking, but
>is annual so you have to constantly sow to have enough to cook with.
>Parsely is easy to grow and useful in cooking.  I've not had  a lot of 
>but bergamot is a beautiful herb, mostly for tea, that might grow well
>there.  Lemon balm is good for tea as well (it's a mint variety, so keep in
>a pot). Roman chamomile can grow as a lawn that smells like apples when you
>walk on it (German chamomile is most often sold, so get the roman variety
>from Richters or Nichols, don't even bother with a local nursery) and makes
>a great tea.   French marigolds and calendula make nice additions to herb
>We also have been given the gardener challenge of heavy clay soil.  Clay
>will kill any plant through drowning from too wet roots or too hard during
>dry times. Unless there is a good selection of native herbs (which there
>might be, check with a native plant society, or field guide to medicinal
>plants in your area) that has evolved in the local condition and soil, you
>will probably have to amend your planting beds for the herbs to survive.
>I've risen to the occaision three ways.  Firstly, my husbands made raised
>beds for me, and we purchased good planting soil to fill them (6 cubic 
>worth). Second, I started a lot of herb in containers.  Containers are 
>because you can move them if there isn't enough light  certain times of
>year, move them indoors during cold weather, etc.  Drawback in hot dry
>climates is that they need daily (sometimes twice a day) watering during
>warm weather.  We don't hardly any rain in the summer here.  The third 
>that I'm trying now is digging out about a foot of clay in small planting
>areas (husband put flagstone walkways throughout the back yard, the 
>areas between), then getting Claybuster and some sand and amending the 
>areas.  It takes five years of active management to convert clay into loam,
>but we're giving it a try.
>I love herbs - they are beautiful and useful!  I've had good luck and bad
>luck with growing conditions.    A local nursery (not the Home Depot kind)
>will have good advice on your climate zone and what will grow, and what 
>grow with extra care.
>Good luck!
>on 2/16/04 6:44 AM, Diane at scadians3 at yahoo.com wrote:
>Hello All,
>Thanks for the web Richters web site, I have spent the last 2 hours reading
>Can someone please recommend a book on how to start and maintain an herb
>garden?  Is there such a one?  I have wanted to grow herbs for years and 
>have the space.  I live in the foothills of Tenneesse where the soil is
>rather heavy and clay like.  Mints grow real well here.  I am ready to do
>more! Any comments will be most appreciated, thank you.
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