East facing Herb Garden

whiteappleSeptember 24, 2009

Next year I am really going to garden a lot. One big thing I want to grow is herbs. But the place that I want to put my herb garden is on the east side of the house, like right next to my house. But will it survive by only getting basically morning sun being on the east side?

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

What kinds of herbs? "Herbs" are a huge category.

I have an herb garden under a crab apple tree on the east side of my house. I grow herbs that are mostly native, medicinal plants. Wild ginger, black cohosh, trillium, violets (not native), goldenseal, jack-in-the-pulpit, white baneberry, wild geranium, bloodroot, cowslip (not native), etc.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 11:36AM
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I planted some sweet woodruff on the east side of my house and it's doing very well. It's spread quite a bit just over the summer. I have a combination of herbs and flowers, so the sweet woodruff is growing in with the pansies, columbine and violas, but they look very nice together. I plan to add some violets next year.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 12:22PM
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Well I want to plant a lot of parsley, I love it. As well as basil, thyme, oregano, sage, mint, stevia, catnip, lemon balm, marjoram, garlic, onion, chives. The space is 12 feet by 3.5 feet so I am not sure how much will fit, I was planning on doing a modified square foot like garden to keep the perennials in certain areas. I was also wanting to plant some new zealand spinach as I read it is a perennial in some areas so I want a permanent spot for it.

Tell me about wild ginger. Do you get a lot of usable root in a year. Ginger is one of my main spices/flavorings I use and I can go through it quickly. I never thought about growing it, I'll look into it. Also how does it compare to the common Ginger in flavor?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 12:57PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Many of the culinary herbs you note prefer full sun. I would suggest putting your culinary herb garden some place else in full sun for best results. In the eastern garden location I would plants that prefer sun to partial shade.

Wild ginger....the roots are much smaller than your standard culinary ginger varieties. I've not used any of my wild ginger for the same reason that I don't cut flowers to bring indoors - I would rather see them growing in the gardens. My patch of wild ginger is finally spreading out to the point where I may start to harvest a small bit next year. I started with a small pot full a couple years ago and it has taken it a few years to get established and spread.

But if you are interested in the uses of wild ginger as a seasoning, you may wish to check out Steve Brill's wild ginger page.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 5:04PM
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I have an herb garden that get mostly mornig sun (5-6 hrs)
I have all of the things you want to grow and they do faily well.
Especially, parsley, chives, basils and mint do not need sun all day, when you have temperatures hovering close to 100F, as it does here in GA.

One word os caution: DO NOT plant MINTS in your herbs garden, instead plant them in big clay pots or somewhere in remote area. Of course, some of them are not as invasive as the others but nevertheless all mints are considered invasive.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 9:53PM
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I have only begun to landscape and garden my yard and I was hoping to tackle next week the project of constructing some raised beds for my described herb garden and some for vegetables and building more trellises for berries. I was hoping I could put herbs there and let them grow until I cut down a mammoth bush in the front yard and put some there. I do have a small raised bed behind the northern part of my house it gets more sun than the east side garden.

I have currently have mint growing and it has gone wild and I love it because during the summer I'll grab a whole bunch and put in tea and have a few mugs a day of it. It's the best refresher after working outside I also throw it into smoothies - it's a very good source of calcium and tastes good. I wanted to put mint there also because I have read mints are good at repelling mice and where I plan on putting the garden is where mice have dug and gotten under the sunroom and are apparently living.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 1:14AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I wonder if someone who posts here can actally define the word 'herbs'. It seems that many people think an herb is single magical plant of some kind..

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 2:11PM
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I'm new to the forum, but I read this recently and it seemed to be a good definition.

"Herbs are a diverse and versatile body of plants, which have been appreciated through the centuries for their many uses. In the past they were the main source of raw materials for medicines, nutritional supplements and culinary flavourings as well as fulfilling a wide variety of household needs. They provided fragrance in the home, were added to bath and beauty preparations, used as dyes, cleaning agents, insect repellents and other similar products which we have become used to buying ready made." -Jessica Houdret in Practical Herb Garden

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 7:08PM
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" Posted by ksrogers EasternMass Z6 (My Page) on Fri, Sep 25, 09 at 14:11

I wonder if someone who posts here can actally define the word 'herbs'. It seems that many people think an herb is single magical plant of some kind.. "

Ksrogers, with due respect I have to disagree with your remarks.

I think there things that are called conventions.
People talk about "Herbs", "herbs Garden" all the time, here at GW and everywhere else. You can be too technical about it then every weed is weed an herb.( O! well, here we hit another technicality; "what is a weed?")
I guess that is where the word "Herbicide!" comes from!.
Having said that, there is a class of vegetations that are conventionally and commonly called "herbs" and planted in a patch called "herbs Garden" and this convention is widely accepted and understood.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 10:29PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The word HERBS includes many thousands or plants. Aksing about herbs and not being a bit more specific is not a good way to tell what a poster wants to grwo, or know about. Its like wanting a bike, there are hundreds of bikes, and many have engines, while others are for very young kids. Herbs mitght be defined like you said, but to actually know what herbs the people are interested in knowing about is simply too broad a statement for any kind of definitive answer. Dissagree all you want, but if I were posting a question here, which I NEVER DO, I would be a bit more specific about what the question would detail. Weeds, herbs, trees, bushes, roots, and many other families are included in a very general herb definition. Ever wonder what the eleven herbs and spices are in KFC chicken? There are lots of explainations out there, but none have ever been accurate or even close to what is used in this product. I find it a bit annoying to see so many mentions of wanting to grow an herb garden, when we cant even tell what they prefer to grow, or whether they will grow in a specific location anywhere on earth. Whether there is a "class of vegetations hat are conventinlaly called herbs", what are they specifically? No one can answer that loaded question without spending a whole day or longer posting a huge reply describing each and every herb. Thats what BOOKS are for, for those who have no idea what an herb is, or doesn't realize that herbs are many and can be of good use or not useful to some. Give me a break, nit picking isn't necessary..

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 3:53PM
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As I expressed my understanding previously, there exists a common and conventional understanding and meaning for "herbs". So when we talk about "herbs" we are only referring to a specific class of herbs.

let me put this to rest by quoting from WEBSTER's dictionary:
"(1)any seed plant, whose stem withers away to the ground after each seasoN's growth, as distinguished from a tree or shrub whose woody stem lives from year to year."

"(2)any PLANT used as medicine, seasoning or flavoring: mint, thyme, basil and sage are herbs."
(end of quot)

So , when we talk about herbs we are referring to the above entry NO (2) definition.
Case closed.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 4:47PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)


Wrong. Rosemary survives in many locations and is not a tree. Thyme also survives in many locations for years and also is not a tree. You can put your philosophy to rest knowing that you are not the expert you claim to indicate. I never use these as medicines. Still, I insist that if someone wants to grow 'herbs', they are indicating to me many thouands of things called plants, weeds, seedlings, bushes, shrubs, trees, bark, roots and most anything else that grows on earth. I simply would like to see a better description or some names for the herbs, as opposed to the more than general description. Your losing touch with the original post, that wants to grow herbs, and I simply tried to get DESCRIPTIONS or even some NAMES of herbs they would like to grow in their area. Its not asking for an arguement or any other things your posting as a reply. I want to grow herbs here, what can I grow is basiclally a question that has no simple answer, and when you add more info to the location like a wooded area, poor soil, swampy, hilly, sun blocked, and many other conditions, you still can't easily describe what would be best to grow in these conditions, whithout going into great length and way to much information for a beginner. Your number 2 definition is still encompasing many hundreds to thousands of herbs, and does not define the actual names, except for a few generic names like you stated. Lavender, seems to be popular and is not included in your description, and for some, its not possible to grow. Even for that, I wouldn't bother planting anything that I have no actual use for, as some find this out later.

I refuse to battle with you about this issue any further as its just a losing battle and it looks like no one wins, not even you, the most knowledgable person on this earth!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 1:21PM
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Generally, herbs are classified by their use; Culinary herbs are of course, cooked or used in preparing food. Medicinal herbs is the other main classification. There is much overlap and also some other smaller groups such as herbs for dyeing fibers.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 3:45PM
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KSRogers, Sir!

I never claimed to be an expert here.
I just provided the defition which was a direct quote from Webster's dictionary. The point was and still is that there is a commonly undestood class of vegetables that are called herbs. It was not my purpose or intention to show that Webster's was the ultimate authority on the subject either.

You can be REALLY scientic about it, sure go ahead. We have many things in our everyday life that are scientifically and technically wrong but people do say them, Example:
sunrise, sunset, guts feeling, heartfeld thanks, knowing by ones heart, moon shine, act of God..
We know that sun does not rise or set;moon is not the source of light, we know that our guts and heart don't feel or think or comprehend anything. We know that storms and earth quake... are caused by natural forces and are not ACTS OF GOD(S). I can go on.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 3:03AM
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I don't know about everyone else, but I think it's inappropriate that you two have hijacked Whiteapple's question for such a silly debate.

I thought this forum was for people who have questions and want other people with similar interest to give them the benefit of their experience in gardening. If we should all do research in books, that's fine, but why have the forum?

I am new to the forum, but have really appreciated the very nice and helpful responses I have gotten from most of the posters. It has been nice to ask questions, even "silly questions" that could probably be answered in a book. I have appreciated FataMorgana, herbalbetty and many others who have taken the time to help a newbie like myself.

In closing, in the immortal words of Thumper, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all." -Bambi

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 12:17PM
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When people ask me about planting such as the East side of a building the question that pops into my mind is "Is the area above open to the sky?" If it is most things will grow. As far away as the sun is the only part of the sun's rays that are not hitting the ground is the yellow spectrium. The rest of the sun's rays should not be blocked as long as the area is open to the sky. Not very scientific but other than a few plants the system seems to work.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 10:54PM
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hitexplanter(8 a)

I would expect most of the herbs you desire to grow in this east location will be fine. You might consider the thyme oregano, sage, marjoram in the sunniest and driest location of this bed and the basil, parsley, chives, in separate area that you would water more frequently. 5 to 6 hours of morning sun should be workable overall. Another thing is there a gutter for this area so it doesn't get flooded from the roof run-off from heavy rains is a common problem in this type of location unless addressed ahead of time. Raising the bed area or portions of it will help if the bed doesn't drain well especially for the drought hardy herbs (the first group of herbs I mentioned).
Good Luck and Happy Growing David

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 12:03PM
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Do not expect marjoram to live over in your area. Of course it you might be making it a micro climate that it will love. It is a perinnial but a very tender one.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 11:19PM
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hitexplanter(8 a)

Yes, you are correct mailfleur some winters it doesn't handle Zone 8 so treat it as an annual and enjoy it on eggs, potatoes and meats. I enjoy it more than oregano personally but that is subjective to each person's taste:)
Happy Growing David

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 9:26AM
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How can gardening turn people into complete and utterly mean people!!! Come on now! I am sure the person who thought she gave the right answer was not arguing. Please use the old saying....if you can't say something nice, refrain from speaking!!

I am going to start my herb garden in the ground tomorrow. I have always had herbs and use them (the ones I choose to use) in my cooking on a regular basis. I have done the unthinkable and put mint in the ground...just once, if you know what I mean. Happy Gardening! Pamie G.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 6:22PM
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gigim(8A SC)

I have an east facing herb garden on the side of my house. I have had success with rosemary, basil, italian parsley, chives, lavendar, tarragon, oregano, thyme. This year I am adding cilantro and serrano peppers. I did not amend the soil this season but have fertilized with alfalfa tea. So far, so good.
Perhaps the original poster will reply and let all of us know how it went since I see the original post is a few years old. I bet they are her experts by now!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 1:05PM
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