Cultivate your own green fingers – Endangered Herbs Part 2
Grow your own endangered herbs by your very own hand. Start with seed sowing.
Even if you start with simple ones it is empowering and a fundamental reconnection with our green friends.
First a story about seed sowing with Echinacea…
I had ordered about six different species of Echinacea from Strictly Medicinal Seeds in Oregon USA to see what I could grow. The seed was stratified in the fridge for about 3 months (Stratify means expose the seed to cold temperatures) to break the seed dormancy.
Sowed the seed as instructed in a seed tray with commercial seed mix. Then the morning came when the magic happened…
All the seed had started germinating, the amazing vitality of the young plants as they thrust their leaves up into the light – it was like a mass eruption of echinaceaness. It is still such a vivid memory. The previous post has a photograph showing the germination.
So back to your seed sowing…
Start the journey with simple herbs, master the basics then work your way up the levels of challenge to herbs that need different pre-treatments to germinate.
Here’s some starting places for you – work your way through the levels…
- Easy-peasy level
Good to refine and practice your seed growing technique with. Success pretty much guaranteed.
Sage – Coriander – Basil – Nasturtium are all reliable, dependable germinators and great plants in the garden both for your health and lunch table.
2. Simple treatment or prerequisite conditions for success
Parsley (needs warm water pre-soaking overnight) Angelica (needs fresh seed)
3. Plants that need cold temperature stratification
Echinacea is a great example of this group hence the story and photograph.
Growing Echinacea is carrying out plant conservation pure and simple.
It is endangered in the wild due to over harvesting and commercially the focus is largely on Echinacea purpurea. There are another 7 species which apart from Echinacea angustifolia are rarely talked about.
They are beautiful too – check out the headline photo
Place your echinacea seed into a clip lock bag with damp coco peat and place it in your refrigerator for 30 days.
Please label it and obtain the permission beforehand of the principal refrigerator carer.
Remove the seed after 30 days. Sow in early spring onto the surface of pot with a minimum 10 cm depth of commercial seed mix. Cover the seed with 0.5 cm of seed mix and water carefully. Once again label. Do not let it dry out! Let me know what happens.
All being well you will have young plants to look after.
You can buy your seed from these seed suppliers that I have used and recommend. All Rare Herbs and Eden seeds for Australia and for a wider range try Strictly Medicinal Seeds in Oregon USA.
You need to check import requirements first of course. All provide good instructions for your seed growing.
Having grown a plant by your own hand – you have formed a relationship. Suddenly it’s not something in a bottle or tablets or powder that comes from somewhere else. It’s yours.
Now a reminder…
I am co-creating with Wendy Dumaresq a foundation course on growing herbs, making medicine from them and usage. It is a great starting place where you can get your herbal ‘sea legs’, gain confidence and learn techniques from the experts.
It will show you how to grow & make medicines that are so much more effective than what you can buy over the counter in freshness and potency. Interested?…