The Survival Podcast Forum

Farm, Garden and The Land => Permaculture, Land Management and Foraging => Topic started by: Sweethearts Mom on October 02, 2010, 12:34:57 PM

Title: "wild" herbs
Post by: Sweethearts Mom on October 02, 2010, 12:34:57 PM
Has anyone ever tried to make seed bombs with normal herb seeds and throw them out on their land, or even just broad cast seed on their land to grow "wild" and establish self seeding or perennial herbs?
Title: Re: "wild" herbs
Post by: I.L.W. on October 03, 2010, 08:33:25 AM
In my experience, there's little need to broadcast most herb seeds.  The most common herbs tend to be so invasive, it's just not needed. In most areas, just dropping a few seeds in the ground will guarantee a recurring perennial growth. A large area isn't needed unless you harvest before the plants go to seed, in which case you just plant double your consumption.

Dill, and it's distant cousins, parsley, anise, coriander (cilantro), tarragon & fennel will all seed themselves readily.  The problem is usually containing these, not propagating them.

Sage, lavender and heathers are slower growing, so there may be some interest in spreading the seed. But once fully established (3-5 years), they do begin to get invasive.

Mint, obviously, needs no seeding. In fact, it's prompted many farmers to buy flame throwers to control it.

Tyme & oregano don't spread much from seed, but like mint, grow from the root.  Given a few years, 1 plant will divide into more than you and your family could ever find a use for. 

Black pepper does better as a climbing plant, so spreading it in a field will produce very little.

Chives, while not strictly an herb, can be divided from the root to speed propagation, but will spread very easily from seed as well.

The only purpose I could see for mass-planting would be to sell.  In that case, blends sell better than individual herbs. Tyme, Oregano and Sage for "Italian seasoning" for example.  Various curries tend to be the big sellers, and saffron is by far the most profitable (though labor intensive).

If you're looking to use it to attract wildlife, there are better plants to use.  Many herbs have such strong aromas (which is why we use them), it actually deters many birds, deer, squirrels and insects.  Small shrubs and berries will work better in that case.

If you want them for their scent, plant several types of sage. There's a huge variety in flavors and aromas in the sage family.  Cutting a fist full of stems and hanging it in front of a fan will quickly deodorize a house.  My neighbor burns his trash.  A few handfuls of fresh cut tarragon makes the noxious odor of his burning waste instantly smell like a delicious barbecue. If you wanted to go a bit further with the aromas by distilling your own oils, Lavender is easy to grow, and there is a market for it accessible to those just starting out in small scale oil production.