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My Medicinal Herb Garden

>10 July 2010
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medicinal herb bed

Here’s what my herb bed is looking like right now.

*Sigh.* Pitiful, isn’t it?

At least there is some green growing. My problem, though, is that I can’t tell what might be herbs and what is just weeds. I know some of it… okay, most of it, is just grass coming up. This past Spring I planted Yarrow, Echinacea, Lavender, Comfry, Marshmallow and Chamomile. But so far, I don’t see anything that resembles any of these herbs.

But there is this funny thing:

medicinal herb bed

Pretty sure that’s a cucumber plant. Not sure how that got in there! The chickens probably had something to do with it. They have had the best time scratching around in my poor little herb bed. No wonder nothing is coming up!

I just can’t bring myself to clean it out and start again though, for hope that maybe, just maybe, something I planted will actually sprout. At least the bed isn’t a total loss. Maybe the random little cucumber plant will give me something yet!

Perhaps container gardening is the way to go?

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13 Comments »

  • Chantel said:

    Awe! You’ll get it eventually. Thanks for keeping it real!! I feel just like that many times. Aren’t the “Volunteers” such a funny little treat?

  • Kim said:

    HA! You TOTALLY got me on Facebook since the one that is um.. not yours is the thumbnail. Here I was crying in my soup over my horrible herb showing this year while yours was looking out of a magazine. Not the I’m excited about your poor herb showing. :) :) :)

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    LOL, Kim :) That’s so funny!!

  • Joyce Zandri said:

    Kendra, thanks for sharing! I just got home from buying three Walmart tomato plants to replace three heirlooms I grew from seed that are on their death bed. Now I don’t feel like I’m the only one whose plants may never grace the cover of a magazine.

  • Babychaser said:

    I’m not going to say that our herb garden is everything I wanted it to be, but we had a lot of luck with starting our herbs inside. Ok, so I never did see any cumin, or oregano, or chamomile (the saddest loss of all), but it’s growing a bunch. Starting them inside made it easier to see what was weeds and what was plants early on. :)

    Oh, and if you start a bunch inside now, it gives some time to determine whether any of what’s in there now is going to become something great! If you find that none of it does anything by the time your transplants are ready, it may be easier to “start over” knowing that you can already see the ones you put in.

    Blessings,
    Babychaser

  • john stott said:

    Kendra and folks, we tried for years to have a medicinal garden and gave up. The weeds invariably are stronger and choke the other plants. Except for St Johns Wort, thats now growing everywhere!
    We plummed for pot growing in the end it seems to work well and allows a degree of certainty. My theory is the weeds are stronger and medicinals cant compete. And arc those hens! They are a gardeners nightmare! :)

  • Lanna said:

    Wait until you try to rotate crops or something, that’s when the things you wanted will germinate/flower.
    I have celery and parsley in one strawberry bed (let the celery go to seed last year, parsley’s on it’s second year), baby cilantro and either chamomile or feverfew in another strawberry bed (again, let it go to seed for coriander), baby maple trees in yet another strawberry bed (maple tree in the yard sends out so many darned spinners). Oh, and perennials like horseradish in the raspberry bed and thyme and chives and lilies in the front flowerbed. Sigh. So yeah, apparently unplanned and kinda schitzo works for my yard.

  • Leigh said:

    I’m having similar results with my herb garden. I’m also having random volunteer cucurbits and tomatoes pop up here and there, but I’m assuming they are from the compost!

  • Deb W said:

    I don’t think you said if you planted seed or started plants. Some herbs don’t do well from seed – lavender, for one. Chamomile is a type of ‘grass,’ so don’t give up hope yet, but that grass under the cucumber plant is definitely of the ‘crab’ variety. Hoik it out!! The chickens need to be banned, to.

    Container growing is excellent for some, but the ones you mentioned planting are either such large plants (echinacia, comfrey) or have such a spreading habit (chamomile) they probably wouldn’t do. But, it’s always worth a try!

  • Holly said:

    The nursery around here said most herbs need a freezing cold before they germinate. Try keeping some seeds in the freezer until next spring.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Hmmm, that’s interesting Holly. I’ll have to try that. Thanks!!!

  • Deb said:

    I start my own seeds for my garden and I will tell you herbs are hard to start. Ask a friedn/neighbor for a start of the herbs you want. Lambsear and comfrey will keep going once you get a start. Chamomile is very hard to grow as is St. John’s Wort for me. oregan o has come up for years for me, I started with a small start from a friend. If not I suggest waiting for a sale at a nursery and get 1 plant of the herbs you desire. I have had to do this if I really want some of them. More expensive, but thoser perennials are worth it in the end. If I lived close I’d give you starts. Lambsear is growing all over for me. Mints of course always spread. At 1 times maybe 7 yrs. ago or so I had 40 different herbs growing. Some have died off and never returned, maybe have 25-30 now. Good luck nd don’t give up.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Deb,

    Yes, I definitely learned that this year! I started a LOT of herbs, but only the mint lived. I did get a start of Catnip from a friend, and it’s doing well. Oh, my basil did wonderfully, but other than that, I’m gonna have to try everything else again next season. I will definitely be buying rosemary from the garden shop, and probably a few other things. Thanks for all of your helpful advice!

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