Rake thoroughly the area of transplanting, smooth the soil, and water down to 3 or 4 inches. You do not need fertilizer with this natural herb. Now we are ready at about 3” of growth to transplant.
Here is the interesting part. This plant will form a mat of growth on the soil and then raise itself up a few inches to drop seed. The tiniest flowers appear, white or bluish in color. Eventually all the plants will form a mat that you will have to disentangle after a few weeks. At least that is what I do for the ever, cannot get rid of “weeds” that appear and have to be pulled.
The individual plant, not only is hardy, but self- regenerative wanting to spread seed. Maria Treban, author of the famous book on herbs: Healing through God’s Pharmacy, Amazon. Clip ½ way back and it will re- grow and make more flowers which you can clip again-maybe getting another harvest. Just imagine a hay field with tall writhing stems. Pooh! It is a ground crawler and just peeks up.
My current thinking is to first, with a spoon, remove the plants from the starter flat(s) and transplant to the bed. Horizon Herbs recommends a 6” spacing. That is good until they start to spread out, although you can get a clipping with the first flowers.
Since this is a valuable plant I have thought to place-between the 6” rows 3’ rods, or yard sticks raised up on end about 6”. This supports the plant and as the weedy like plant grows you can heighten the yardstick support. All this support is done in a crosshatch design.
Oh, too much work… No, it takes by a few minutes and you can guarantee straight upstanding plants you can clip.
You can also gather seed better this way, with a 3’x8’space, or even less you will have but a 100 plants or so. You can place between the plants resting on the yardsticks foil under the plants. Eventually you will gather seed. Looking at the seed growing after flowering is interesting-watching the bulging tiny seedpod burst with the dust like individual seeds. Do each plant in foil separately or you will spill. No shortcuts. Then again, as long as the seed is available you can just order it.
Some of the fresh plant seeds will escape from the foil, or maybe you are not ready to go the foil route. Tiny plants will emerge in the spring and you can transplant this 2nd generation where you want. I might add that this plant will not collectively grow all rugged and upstanding. Some starter plants will just be weak. Hence with the starter flat you can choose what you want to replace the underdeveloped plants. Over the year’s seed saving and selection of the best plants seed will give you joy.
Most of this herb traffic comes from Romania and is dried brown and shipped. This is necessary to preserve the product. However if you grow your own you can air-dry it to a lovely green. Then take the cuttings and run them through a food chopper and store them in the cardboard containers or dry paper bags. Chopping the entire cutting is beneficial to you as the medicinal qualities are throughout the plant. Being dried brown is not a major loss in the medicinal quality-but compare with the air-dried, or just chew a few plants like I do.
Another thought that I have is to install an overhead grow light just like the one(s) I discussed in earlier writings. I think that one of these would stretch the plants upward and perhaps provide more leafy material. In any event I will be reporting next year-next growing season on this brain flash.
Back2theLand.com, All rights reserved, 8-30-2016