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Only the legal ones!!!!:D:


So far my only experence has been with things like garlic, onion, and basil.

Just got a rosemary plant, and a friend NEEDS to give me some cuttings of her thyme. (Been after her for a while.)

I know I'm out of luck (zone 6) on some things like Bay and cinnamon , but as I try to research "substitute cooking" (please see my thread in recipes) I'm trying to broaden my net.
(Like FB'S substitution of horseradish for black pepper. Can't say I'm going to do that, but I WILL grow horseradish now!)

Additionally to the "less usual" I'm also interested in hearing how you control classic invasives like mint, and any little tips (like growing chives near carrots to confuse pests.)

I'm getting my herb garden started this year, but I expect it (like the rest) to be an ongoing development.
Thank you.
 

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Because in NorthBest, and also because the ground around here has been historically poisoned by Arsenic and lead from long-operating smelter, we raise Herbs in "Smart Pots" either in table/trays (waist-high tubs on legs) or in a Greenhouse.

Rosemary is as near to unkillable as there is. Don't over water! Once a week! They grow big, so a pot of Five Gallon size is good.

Basil is Easy, but you must keep pinching off, wants to bolt. Because we use so much, we are always replanting. Fun to explore the many different Varieties! We usually plant some in "Earth Pots" and some in individual Smart Pots, of Two-Gallon size, and always some in our AeroGardens.

Thyme, English, is pretty Hardy, but French Thyme is not. One or Two Gallon size is about right, this will overgrow/hang down.

Sage is finicky, but careful tending keeps it going. Have been unable to grow enough yet.

Mint (of six kinds) is a weed! Grows great in the Smart Pots, and needs only dividing/transpotting about every third year. Pick pot size to provide enough - we use Two gallon or Three Gallon size for our Mints. The Smart Pots, off the ground, and not touching or reaching into others, keep things from spreading! Give some away to every visitor!

Parsley is productive, but delicate/finicky, both curly and flat leaf, and not enough in Four One-Gallon SmartPots. Volunteers growing up between the flagstones all over the Greenhouse!

Dill is another weed-like herb, doesn't much care what it is grown in. We use both Hard-side and Smart-Pots, both around Two-Gallon size to make plenty! Transpot every Two Years or so. Wants to bolt.

Marjoram is quite picky, and I can't seem to find right conditions,soil,or pot to be successful as I wish.

Oregano goes great in an "EarthBox" style "pot" (One foot by three feet tub on wheels, with water reservoir beneath), taking over the whole thing, and being a sort of bushy growth. Plenty enough for Two folks who cook and entertain a bit. Repot/Divide every Two or Three Years.

Spanish Lavender grows well in larger Hardside pots outside, pretty Hardy. Pots are Five -Gallon, or slightly larger. Repot every Three or Four Years.

IIRC, those are whatwe have grown here in last few years.

We use Miracle grow potting soil exclusively - other cheaper potting soil have presented problems every brand we have tried.

Oh yeah: we start everything (that likes transplanting) in our AeroGardens, and grow some things inside the house in them all Year. Expensive, but no bugs, no slugs, and handy. Right on the Dining Table, nearby, and in the Kitchen. We have Four.

While not "Herbs", Potatoes, Rhubarb, Kale, and Rainbow Swiss Chard are low maintenance, Hardy and tasty!
 

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gard'ner
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Re: bay.
Consider wax myrtle. In the bay family, I use the leaves in place of bay.
In fact... I use wax myrtle in preference to bay in some things like venison.
Only problem.... Picking out those small leaves after they've been cooked off the branch!

Mint... Plant out of the veggie garden... Consider in the lawn... Where it mixes in with the turf, and smells nice when you mow.
Personally, I don't waste precious resources or space on turf... Makes more room to grow mint... And wildflowers.

I have some naturally occurring Solidago odora (tastes like licorice)....
Also grow Spanish tarragon... (another licorice flavored plant) and pretty yellow flowers....

My rosemary is relatively happy in my high and dry sand.... So is the sage...

Lotta herbs and other plants are pretty specific about their growing requirements.

So.... Rather than trying to grow everything... I'd suggest just growing what you actually use in the kitchen.

I have elephant garlic.... Plant once... Pull as needed.... I actually prefer it while it's in active growth...
I use the leaves off the sassafras trees in my yard....

Oregano, like mint... needs to be planted where it can be turned loose... Again consider the lawn.... Everybody should consider turf alternatives anyway.

Maybe turn the yarrow loose in the lawn too.
And the monarda... (earl gray tea).

Also.... While you are growing pepper substitutes.... Plant hot peppers. They probably should be planted in the veggie garden, rather than left to compete with the rampant herbs....
 

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Canning queen
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In my herb garden I have:
Calendula - invasive, so be careful
Comfrey - get the by rhyzome only kind, or it's invasive too
Oregano
Mint - get it next to something also invasive and they kinda (sorta) cancel themselves out. Or, containerize it.
Spearmint
Asparagus
Heal-all
Bloodroot
Motherwort
Tansy
Boneset
Yarrow
Mullien
Dill
Feverfew
Poppy
Wormwood
Nettle
Pennyroyal
Monarda
Foxglove
Skullcap
Blue cohash
Black Cohash
Wild Ginger
Chives
Yarrow
Goldenseal
Wintergreen
Hyssop
Verbena
Lavendar
Garlic, though I really look at this as a veg
Valerian
Nicotianna
Hops

And probably several more I'm forgetting. I have 4 areas where I plant herbs - full shade, semi, and full sun. Different stuff needs different amounts of sun. You can see by the list that I'm going for both edible and medicinal plants. This year, I'm adding herbs to dye clothing with. These all grow in zone 4. Most are perenials, though some, like the Nicotiana and the lavendar are annuals. You could probably grow them in zone 6. As for catnip? Plant it in full shade. Does well, but doesn't spread.
 

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Re: bay.
Consider wax myrtle. In the bay family, I use the leaves in place of bay.
In fact... I use wax myrtle in preference to bay in some things like venison.
Only problem.... Picking out those small leaves after they've been cooked off the branch!

Mint... Plant out of the veggie garden... Consider in the lawn... Where it mixes in with the turf, and smells nice when you mow.
Personally, I don't waste precious resources or space on turf... Makes more room to grow mint... And wildflowers.

I have some naturally occurring Solidago odora (tastes like licorice)....
Also grow Spanish tarragon... (another licorice flavored plant) and pretty yellow flowers....

My rosemary is relatively happy in my high and dry sand.... So is the sage...

Lotta herbs and other plants are pretty specific about their growing requirements.

So.... Rather than trying to grow everything... I'd suggest just growing what you actually use in the kitchen.

I have elephant garlic.... Plant once... Pull as needed.... I actually prefer it while it's in active growth...
I use the leaves off the sassafras trees in my yard....

Oregano, like mint... needs to be planted where it can be turned loose... Again consider the lawn.... Everybody should consider turf alternatives anyway.

Maybe turn the yarrow loose in the lawn too.
And the monarda... (earl gray tea).

Also.... While you are growing pepper substitutes.... Plant hot peppers. They probably should be planted in the veggie garden, rather than left to compete with the rampant herbs....
Thanks. This is a Great Idea. I have areas around the house that are a pain to mow/weed whip. I see herbs in my future!:thumb::thumb::D:
 

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Only the legal ones!!!!:D:


So far my only experence has been with things like garlic, onion, and basil.

Just got a rosemary plant, and a friend NEEDS to give me some cuttings of her thyme. (Been after her for a while.)

I know I'm out of luck (zone 6) on some things like Bay and cinnamon , but as I try to research "substitute cooking" (please see my thread in recipes) I'm trying to broaden my net.
(Like FB'S substitution of horseradish for black pepper. Can't say I'm going to do that, but I WILL grow horseradish now!)

Additionally to the "less usual" I'm also interested in hearing how you control classic invasives like mint, and any little tips (like growing chives near carrots to confuse pests.)

I'm getting my herb garden started this year, but I expect it (like the rest) to be an ongoing development.
Thank you.
I also live in zone 6, high desert (4200 ft elevation, alkali, clay soil - windy, and can freeze any month of the year) northeastern California. All herbs are annual - if they make it at all. Have had luck with cilantro, dill, fennel, lemon balm, oregano, thyme, caraway, and marjoram (Kitchen herbs) and veronica, horehound, feverfew, tansy, and bee balm (Medicinal herbs) in the ground. In pots, I can grow basil, sage, rosemary, chives, and parsley as weather permits and if it doesn't freeze every month of the year. Have grown onions, but not garlic here. :thumb:
 

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i'm in zone 6 in the northeast, and try for perennial herbs. a nice sub for marjoram is winter savory. it has reseeded once so now i have 2 little bushes. the leaves are not delicate so using whole sprigs makes it easy to remove later. lemon verbena is wonderful. that and rosemary are in big pots that get planted in the garden. in the fall, i spade the roots around the pot and put it all in a kitty litter pan. cover the exposed outer roots with soil and they go in front the sliders in the basement. of course when you trim roots, trim back the tops too. dry the trimmed leaves.
oregano will reseed here. don't plant dill near fennel. they will cross and give you a blah weed. arugula and mustard greens reseed freely. i never had good luck with bulb onions. egyptio walking onions naturalize with no care. the leaves get tough but dice the whole plant for soup/stew.
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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How about Ginger? A very useful herb..
Ginger grows well here.

We have one 4' x 8' bed of:
basil,
cilantro,
garlic,
ginseng,
horse radish,
lavendar,
Marjoram,
mint,
mustard seed,
oregano,
parsley,
poppy,
rosemary,
sage,
stevia,
sweet annie,
thyme,
tobacco.

I also have Ginkgo biloba and Witch Hazel out in a field.

I have bay, fig, lemon and tea in pots that I bring inside for winter.
 

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Canning queen
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ETA - I've also got horseradish, cilantro, wild ginger, mustard, parsley, shallots, leeks and thyme. (I did say I would miss some - there may be others!)

And this is all on a 3/4 of an acre lot, in the city - I"m creative on where I stick stuff.
 

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Here in Zone 4, I am limited on perennial herb choices. I'd love to have Bay and Stevia-outside but I don't think they like -20F.

I thought I would make an herb garden underneath a newly planted cherry tree. It worked great the first year when the tree was small. Now, in year five, I cannot walk under the tree, and will turn the area into perennial flowers. Last year the deer got to the cherry tree, so we installed a seven foot fence to stop browsing. That meant that I could not get to the herbs, either, without convoluted contortions through a nonexistent gate. So, the annuals this year will be in the flower beds, surrounded with a rabbit fence to keep out our local grazers - rabbits.

Meanwhile, in one corner is my lemon balm. A nicely scented and flavorful perennial that I use for tea and in salads. A few seeds three years ago have grown into a circle over two feet around. I may need to divide it. I was surprised how early it emerged.

I totally agree about the mint. I used two gallon, bottomless, black pots, and planted them with about 3" of pot showing. The mint still escaped. Fortunately, it is under the cherry tree so i can freely dig out the new plants and dry them. I read somewhere else that it would be better to use five-gallon buckets, bottomless. I think the secret is to keep mint trimmed. That is just...a delicious chore.

I love dill. Some went to seed a few years ago, under the cherry tree, and those seeds came up the next spring! Now, I like to seed some areas with dill so it comes up early. All of the above plants have done well in the compost enriched soil, and partial shade, under the cherry tree.

The Basil, cilantro, and creeping thyme did very well but not the oregano and sage. I had not thought about caraway, or mustard or poppy seed.

Our chives grow beautifully. I planted a pot to take in over the winter, thinking it would keep growing. It stayed green and healthy, but there were no more stalks. Interestingly, it started putting up more shoots after Spring Solstice, and now has a flower bud. Meanwhile, my outside chives are going great guns and we are picking a lot already. I always think of the chives at the last minute, so I am going to plant more next to the kitchen door so I don't have to run outside in the pouring rain to get more.

I know people do not consider nettles an herb, but I pick it for tea. It dried beautifully in my dehydrator. Add a little dried lemon balm, or mint, and there is a nice flavor. Plus, raspberry leaves for tea (supposed to help with cramps).

I have had no luck growing parsley, chamomile, garlic, and a few others. I'll try them again.

Question: what do you use Motherwort for? I have heard it is an herb to take seriously.

Question: Why bloodroot and wild ginger? The large heart-shaped leaf with the drooping flower? It is not the same as the rhizome ginger from the grocery store. I planted the store-bought ginger in a pot once, but did not get a sprout. I must try again.

Question For Catfeet: Are you using the wild Yarrow, Monarda and Tansy?

It sounds like several of you are doing more than just herbs for seasoning food, but are also doing herbal medicines. I'd love to learn more about those. Do you have a favorite book?

I am trying to grow what I use and learn which weeds are useful. Plantain, dandelion, and purslane are common in our salads. Time to move on to learning about mullein and burdock which are abundant.

I hope some of you can post more about using herbs as medicine, and how to use weeds. If not here, perhaps there is another thread.

Thanks for the info.
 

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I have in my garden and property:
Comfrey
Lemon thyme
English thyme
Oregano
Parsley
Sage
Rosemary
Peppermint
Spearmint
Chocolate mint
Lemon balm
Lavender
Catnip
Garlic

I've planted 8 comfrey plants in the pasture and some oregano too in the last year. Working on adding others as well that are beneficial to livestock so they can help themselves if you will. I grew marigolds around the edges of my tomatoes and beans to help with pests last year and had no problems.
Trying to get some chamomile going but just having no luck. Planted basil from seed and nothing there either, so will end up having to buy a plant.
 

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To keep mint where I want it I got a large pot and cut the bottom out of it. Planted the pot nearly up to the rim, and the mint in that. That way it grows at ground level, but the rhizomes can't escape.
 

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Canning queen
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I particularly like "The Herb Book", but also like the "Herbal Medicine" book listed above.

Here in Zone 4, I am limited on perennial herb choices. I'd love to have Bay and Stevia-outside but I don't think they like -20F.
We've temps to -30, so very similar...


The Basil, cilantro, and creeping thyme did very well but not the oregano and sage. I had not thought about caraway, or mustard or poppy seed.
Oregano likes some shade. It's practically a weed here. I've got it in full shade, behind a fence, so it does have some wind protection. That said, I pull up babies every year, in the hundreds. Mustard is a weed. Poppy does grow, but I'm growing Icelandic Poppy and European Poppy, NOT California.

I know people do not consider nettles an herb, but I pick it for tea. It dried beautifully in my dehydrator. Add a little dried lemon balm, or mint, and there is a nice flavor. Plus, raspberry leaves for tea (supposed to help with cramps).
I grow it too. It's also good as a salad and as a medicinal.

I have had no luck growing parsley, chamomile, garlic, and a few others. I'll try them again.
Chamomile and garlic need cold stratification, so you need to put them out the fall before. Parsley...I've had mixed luck with. Last year was my best year with it, and I bought and planted a medium sized start. I'm not sure if it will come back or not. It's still too cold yet.

Question: what do you use Motherwort for? I have heard it is an herb to take seriously.
Motherwort is used for cramps and delivering children. It's also a uterine toner, so helps to get ready for delivering a child. It is a native shade plant, so between the bonuses, I planted it!

Question: Why bloodroot and wild ginger? The large heart-shaped leaf with the drooping flower? It is not the same as the rhizome ginger from the grocery store. I planted the store-bought ginger in a pot once, but did not get a sprout. I must try again.
Bloodroot is again a native, shade, "female uses" plant. Does a lot of good stuff. Wild ginger has a similar look to store ginger, but is a different species. It does have a similar flavor/taste, but is not the same. It's the closest I could get to regular ginger, in this zone, and it's also a native shade plant, so I went with it.

Question For Catfeet: Are you using the wild Yarrow, Monarda and Tansy?

Yes but.... The yarrow is only now (it's 3rd year) coming up in enough quantity to harvest. I'll be using it as both a dye and a medicinal. My monarda has not yet got to a stage where it's large enough to harvest, though it's on it's 5th year. When it does, we WILL be using it. The tansy? Working on getting it in this year.

It sounds like several of you are doing more than just herbs for seasoning food, but are also doing herbal medicines. I'd love to learn more about those. Do you have a favorite book?

I am trying to grow what I use and learn which weeds are useful. Plantain, dandelion, and purslane are common in our salads. Time to move on to learning about mullein and burdock which are abundant.
I can't grow purslane. It's just too cold here. Your mileage may differ.

I hope some of you can post more about using herbs as medicine, and how to use weeds. If not here, perhaps there is another thread.
There are several. Just look them up in the search function.
 
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