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Herb Garden

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posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 10:35 AM
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Hi There ATS,

So this is a thread about my summer project this year. First though I'd like to give a little bit of background:

Having finally moved to a house with a yard last June, my husband and I immediately set to work setting up a vegetable garden. He went to work on our peas, beans, tomatoes, squash, salad greens, and cucumbers - and I went to work on our culinary herbs. Nothing beats being able to run out the back door to grab something to throw into the pot.

The garden's output was prolific: I was getting upwards of two pints of cherry tomatoes daily as the plants STARTED going. It was brilliant. We had to remove the squash and cucumbers because they were being ravaged by powdery mildew and they were too close to the tomatoes to take the risk of treating it and having our powerhouse be knocked out of the running. Our neighbourhood has a good growing culture, and we swap our excess produce for their's. When we started we made sure we knew what our neighbours were growing so we could fit in and help extend our community's selection.

My herbs did extremely well, and my husband "allowed" me to take half of the yard this summer to do with as I pleased. Last year, our herbs included Parsley, Basil, Cilantro, Chives, Rosemary, and Lavender. So this year I decided to go above and beyond. I've chosen to grow both culinary and medicinal herbs. I've researched like a madwoman, and will continue to do so to avoid making myself or anyone else ill. Here are my final choices:

Culinary:
i. Rosemary
ii. Lemon & Italian Basil
iii. Wild Marjoram
iv. Chives
v. Cilantro
vi. Dill
vii. Parsley
viii. Sage
ix. Thyme
x. Bay Laurel

Medicinal:
i. Lemon Balm
ii. Chamomile
iii. Yarrow
iv. Echinacea
v. Feverfew
vi. Hyssop
vii. Calendula
viii. Beebalm
ix. St. John's Wort
x. Lavender
xi. Comfrey**

**As a quick sidenote, I do know that there is legislation in Canada against using Comfrey medicinally, but it is one helpful plant when it comes to feeding a garden so I decided to keep it and use it for it's organic gardening help rather than for people.

Now onto the crux of the issue:
I have three beds, three window boxes, & countless pots and I've been having trouble deciding who goes where. The sunlight situation is excellent in our yard with only a few shady spots closer to the house. I know a number of my medicinal herbs attract bees and I was thinking that with a few strategic pots of Feverfew my husband and I could enjoy our patio and buzzing garden without too many bees buzzing up and around us.

I was hoping that some people here with experience with any combination of these herbs could give me some pointers. Which should we keep closer to the house? Which should we keep at bay? Anything here that is exceptionally invasive that should be "quarantined"? Is lining a bed with landscaper's carpet an option as opposed to keeping it in a pot? I'd love to hear about any experience with these (especially the medicinal as its my first year with these ones).

I'm practically chomping at the bit to begin my plugs, but I've satisfied myself with starting a few pots of chamomile to see how long it'll take for these gals to get going. Please let me know anything, even if its something you know from your grandmother's friend's goddaughter - I'm trying to consider everything.

Wish me luck




posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 10:59 AM
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awesome!!!! I LOVE gardening, especially culinary herbs, not into the medicinal that much.
What approx latitude are you at?
Kinds of soil are you using?
Do you monitor nutrients at all?

Keep going, but those are the first three questions that popped into my head. Good growing!! Post some pics.



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 10:59 AM
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Sounds like you have green fingers. I'm jealous.

I have mediocre luck with tomatoes. Usually the mildew gets to them before they fruit. My bell peppers never seem to swell, just end up looking kind of healthy but very small and warped looking. One thing I'm good at growing is courgettes but I think they take care of themselves

You haven't got mint? That spreads, so stick it in a pot in the ground or it'll take over. You're more expert than me, I think, and by the sounds of it you're managing fine.

One thing I know from experience is make sure you buy any fruit trees from a reputable dealer, it's usually a few years before you find out that the tasty fruit you thought you'd bought was wrongly labelled and tastes crap.

oh, but that's fruit and not herbs, duh, me

edit on 2-2-2012 by wigit because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 11:24 AM
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reply to post by crazyray
 


I LOVE it too, its so beautiful to look at a lush garden and know you set it in motion. Just a little hard work and diligence and you can turn $30.00 of seeds into what would be 1000s of dollars worth of produce. It brings you back down to earth and makes you feel simultaneously small and important.

We are in hardiness zone 6b, in Southern Ontario. When it comes to soil we mix our own compost in with whatever is on sale or not too overpriced. I generally monitor the ph at the beginning of the planting season, and then a few times over the growing season (try to make sure everyone is behaving themselves and no one is slowly killing its neighbours
) How do you monitor nutrients? I do spread our compost now and again, and mulch if its looking like we are in for a dry spell.

Some Pictures


That's what we found when we first got to our house...



That was the first week after planting in one of our beds




This was my first home grown pea ever!

I will update throughout the summer with the progress in my herb garden. We're going to be changing things around this summer a bit. We made a bed just for the salad greens (lettuce, arugula, mixed greens, lamb's lettuce...), peas and beans are going to be on the fence, and we're adding a few more veggies too.


(Note: I really hope those pics work because it was my first time attempting)



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by wigit
 


Thank you, I hope it wasn't just luck though because it would break my heart to watch them all wither


That's too bad about your plants, it can be tough to make sure everyone is doing well (a lot of multitasking!)

I shy away from mint because my neighbour has a whole bed of it thats taken over, so its readily available for swapping. I'm really lucky to have the neighbours I do.

Being from Canada, I've shied away from the fruit trees as well. You can never tell how winter will be so its an overwhelming responsibility. I'm more of a veggie person anyway (or I'll keep telling myself that) but I would love to have a lemon tree in the future!



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 05:04 PM
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reply to post by JewelFlip
 


Here's a couple sites that may have information your looking for

Herb Research Foundation

5 Best Herbs For a Medicinal Herb Garden

Herbal Remedies Info

Or just type " growing medicinal herbs " into google ; )

Have fun with your extra space!



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 05:15 PM
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reply to post by FORMe2p00p0n
 


Thanks for replying, that remedies site will definitely come in handy throughout the summer but trust me when I say, I have googled the subject to death! I was more hoping for any kind of personal experience, like would valerian really attract rats in the suburbs? If you have grown any of these is there any information you'd want someone to consider before planting?



posted on Jul, 2 2012 @ 12:04 PM
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Hello! great post! I also grow food and herbs organically. I am a permaculture designer as well. I would like to say the soil is the most important factor in growing plants. I just started composting. So to start i got my compost from the landfill. it was $20 a ton. Can't beat that. I mixed the compost in equally with my soil which is mostly clay and broke up the clumps. Things are literally growing like weeds. The compost mixed with the soil gives the benefits of the clay for retaining nutrient without the lack of drainage. Drainage is important for root structure, air, and water not to log.

Also it might be interesting to note that i have an experimental hugelkulture garden bed which is also raised. Hugelkulture is basically digging a deep trench and filling it with rotting logs. The logs with soak up moisture and return it to the garden bed. As well it will create a place for beneficial microbes and fungi to break down and release nutrients. Make sure that the logs are buried at least a foot or more down. It is a long term investment in the garden but the results speak for themselves.



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