COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Growing Medicinals

So, I am in the process of preparing a new bed in my garden for herbs! I need some advice on what to plant in it. These are the herbs I already have:

  • Cone flower
  • Bee Balm
  • Mint
  • Yarrow
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Oregano

Also, what should the soil should be like?


  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,917 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am growing all but the yarrow at this time and I have them in good organic soil. Also I have found that bee balm, mint and thyme do better in partial shade. For my culinary garden I have added Fenugreek, chives (regular and chives) and marjoram. I have recently started growing what are considered medicinal herbs and have added stinging nettle, comfrey and others some of which are in the good organic soil.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    @COWLOVINGIRL Soil requirement can be different for many of the herbs. Mediterranean herbs will do better in full sun and a slightly drier soil. Mints like shade but will do well in full sun as long as it is not too hot. They like a damp soil. Plantain will grow in rich soil but I have seen it growing in gravel and creeping out of cracks in pavement.

    You will need lots of space for some things. Comfrey would be one I would plant for sure and it can become a huge plant as well as it will seed itself and regrow from tiny bits of root left in the ground after harvest. Horseradish is another similar plant. Will get very big and regrow from bits. Very important ingredient for Fire Cider. Horseradish and comfrey are both best acquired as a root instead of starting from seed. Marshmallow is another huge plant that will self seed itself so it needs space. Valerian and Lovage will become quite large as well and both self seed.

    Mullein will get very tall. I have seen specimens that are over 7 feet tall. It is a biennial so it will need undisturbed space for two years. Caraway is also a biennial that will self seed.

    Other suggestions: Calendula (very important), Catnip, Parsley, Lemon Balm, Sorrel, Rosemary, Dill, St. John's Wort, Cayenne Peppers, Tulsi, Motherwort.

  • Paradox
    Paradox Posts: 187 ✭✭✭

    Suggestion: Put your mint in a large (like 8") terracotta pot that you sink into the ground. That way, it will be a little less likely to spread. Otherwise, it will take over the garden.

  • karen
    karen Posts: 80 ✭✭

    I do love growing herbs. i have them everywhere. Interplanted with flowers and veggies or in their own individual pots. none of the mediterranean herbs are growing in anything other than garden soil. they just dont need anything else. They are also in full sun with great drainage! oregano, rosemary, thyme, even sage. here they suffer during the rainy season but burst out with vigorous growth and flowers during the dry season. I love bee balm but it is next to impossible to grow here. Parsley i plant in the rains and harvest in the dry. The main point is 'know the origins' and duplicate the conditions as best as possible. Do not try to grow the wrong herbs for your climate without being aware of what is needed. Yarrow will not bloom here because, I think it is too hot year round. But given a bit of shade from larger plants and all the mints thrive - except in the dry season. I am growing garden sage but it never lasts long enough to get woody. so i am continually taking cuttings and rooting too much rain for part of the year. and I only grow it in pots, again with great drainage. do you see? find a huge book about herbs - Rodale press has an excellent one - and figure what you would like or need, then decide if it will work in your climate. have fun

  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    We must be thinking along the same lines 😊 We have been working on our new herb bed as well - maybe a bit cart-before-the-horse in our case since we didnt build the shed that is going to go right next to it yet... o well! 😁 We planted dill, cone flower, mint (in pots so it doesnt take over), lovage, chamomile, sage, oregano, chives, thyme, perennial onions, flowering sage, yarrow, calendula, horseradish, sorrel, marjoram, tarragon, and savory. We just used the soil that we have been digging up from where the foundation of the shed will be (that spot used to be a large raised bed, so there is a lot of usable top soil there...) but did not add any extra nutrition. We did make sure to plant our Mediterranean herbs in areas that will drain well and water loving ones in places that will get more irrigation. The path in the garden here is actually a run-off path that will be fed from our outdoor veggie washing station (which in the future will be where my husbands work table is sitting right now) - was trying to think of a way to get as much use out of the water we use as possible...

    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

    Looks like you have a great set-up chimboodle04 !

  • naomi.kohlmeier
    naomi.kohlmeier Posts: 380 ✭✭✭

    That's a great start, @COWLOVINGIRL ! Chives come back year after year. Other good ones to add are tarragon, parsley, basil, dill, cilantro, lavender and lemon balm.

    I second the suggestions of containing any of the plants from the mint family as they will spread quickly and take over if not contained.

  • Leediafastje
    Leediafastje Posts: 97 ✭✭✭

    @COWLOVINGIRL I grow herbs primarily. I agree with everyone that suggests you add chives. I'd go one step further and say plant as many as you can. They come back every year (as long as you periodically thin them) and they are super easy to store.

    1. Cut chives into desired sized pieces 2. Spread cut chives on a baking sheet and freeze over night 3. Put frozen chives on a drying rack or paper lined cookie/baking rack and let air dry at room temp for 18-24 hrs. 4. Store in a glass jar and enjoy in recipies and on salads.
  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    Straight out of the gate I would encourage everyone to plant Borage in their herb garden. The bees love it, it doesn't want to wander the world like some of our mint friends and it is full of wonderful nutrients. I grow Borage as I love eating the flowers - they make me happy. Not like Chuckles the Clown happy, just not perturbed by spilt milk type of happy.

    Having said that, my tomato fiasco comes to mind. Well, fiasco to some while life saver to me. See, one year I went tomato plant crazy. I bought over 60 plants of every type I could get my hands on. Did everything the "right" way. Can you see it coming? Yes, they all died! As did all the pepper, potatoes and eggplants. What? How could this be? "Well..... I'm never growing these horrible things again" I shouted to the hills.

    A few years later I read that plants grow where they are needed (a topic for another post) to which I deduced that they also may not grow where they shouldn't. It turned out that my body is terribly allergic to nightshades, but I didn't understand how to listen to it at that time. The plants knew better than I. My husband was subsequently able to grow nightshades here so the only "right" thing we were missing was me. They weren't right for me.

    Borage is amazing, I hope it's not a tomato for you.

  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    @frogvalley we grow borage too :) It was one of the first edible flowers I introduced my kiddos to and now they love when they see it in bloom and get to sample some (we leave plenty for the bees too!) For me, I am glad that they are so easy to identify and seed readily - if I come across a few where I do not want them while weeding, they are easy to pop out and relocate :)

  • MelissaLynne
    MelissaLynne Posts: 205 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    This year my herb garden includes thyme, lemon thyme, oregano, marjoram, sage, rosemary, lavender, parsley, caraway, winter savory, lemon verbena, calendula, poppies, sorrel, French sorrel, chives, lemon balm & catnip (both contained).

    also spearmint, comfrey, dill and fennel in other areas.

    many of these are new plantings as very few of my herbs survived last winter. I am trying a different location and will try to provide a bit more insulation from the cold this year.

    Medicinal plants growing wild on my property include mullein, nettles, yarrow, violets, plantain, dandelions, selfheal, St. John’s wart, chamomile, common mallow, burdock, curly dock, cleavers, red clover, lambs quarter, and probably others that I haven’t yet identified or have just forgotten.

  • tilellli
    tilellli Posts: 16 ✭✭✭

    Grow mint separately, It can choke up all your other plants. I does slow down in the heat of summer unless it got some shade and lot of water.

    Thyme is small, if planning to dry it for culinary use, plant as many as you can afford.

    I like oregano and penny-royal for the flu season teas. They attract bees when in bloom.

    Chives and yarrow are perennial in most areas. Plant them once and they come back year after year.

    I plant my perennials and the herbs that need space in border adding interest to the landscape. The little shrubby ones I plant them in raised beds.

  • KimWilson
    KimWilson Posts: 197 ✭✭✭

    I agree that containing mint is a really good idea. I am not sure that a clay pot would contain them if it has a hole in the bottom. Mint is extremely resourceful in finding any hole in a container.

    When I think of growing medicinal herbs, I tend to think that a lot of them are what many people think of as "weeds". As I think about how many weeds reseed, a lot of them are simply scattered on the ground. Nature tends to be generous in seed production so there are often enough of them produced that some of them will germinate and grow given reasonable conditions. All that being said, it is interesting to study seeds that need the cold of winter or to have their little seed casings ruptured to help germination along. This is the first year that I have had real success in my effort to germinate nasturtiums. My success was finally realized in a big way by wetting a paper towel and folding the seeds inside. Then when any sign of life was discovered within a day or two, I nipped the seed casings carefully with nail clippers and tucked them back into the towel until roots and such emerged. Voila !!!! I now have many pots of the little lovelies!