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Yarrow - Achillea Millefolium

 
Rory Turnbull
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common name:Yarrow

other names: Milfoil, Old Man's Pepper, Soldier's Woundwort, Knight's Milfoil, Thousand Weed, Nose Bleed, Carpenter's Weed, Bloodwort, Staunchweed

scientific name: Achillea millefolium

uses:compost activator, compost, fpe, soil amendment, foliar spray, soil building,

nutrients:Iron, Lime, Potash, Soda, Phosphorus, Sulphur, Nitrates

The primary chemical constituents of Yarrow include essential oil (proazulene, borneol, camphor, cineole, eugenol, linalool, pinene, sabinene, thujone), isovalerianic acid, achillein, formic acid, salicylic acid, polyacetylenes, asparagin, sterols, glycoalkaloid (achhilleine), flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, rutin, quercitin), coumarins and tannins

difficulty to grow: medium, but care free in most areas as it grows wild as a weed in some places( you can even buy a plant at most garden nurserys) i got one for 6$ in a 6 inch pot one time.

Perrenial or annual: perrenial given it doesnt dry out to death

invasive or not:medium.... It is sometimes called invasive when grown in fields for a few years. But if you use yarrow a lot like i do. It wont be a problem with all the harvesting.

when to harvest:when leaves are big and green. Cut off fresh new leaves for fpe and compost activator

soil conditions:well drained poor soil, this one thrives on low nutrients, too much can mess it up. I only add water nothing else and it thrives. If your soil is too thick, add sand.

when to plant:spring or fall. Or indoors i suppose all year around.

germination:2 weeks @ temps 65-75 or you can do a root division, pretty much uproot the plant cut it in half down the middle and plant the two. Fresh seed requires a period of after-ripening. Seed germination increases after a period of dry-storage. Germination is greater in the light and in alternating temperatures. Chilling and high nitrate levels promote germination in the dark. Seedlings require an open site in which to become established. Seedlings emerge from January to October but the main period of emergence is from March to April.

Sowing depth: Surface Sow

harvesting:harvest the plant a little at a time, they will keep growing and sprouting new leaves, try not to harvest too much at once off the same plant, it wont hurt it but wont guarantee it wont stunt the growth and keep it at full health. With 5 plants you can harvest more than enough for growing personal stash. Hey get bigger over time too so thats a plus.

infoh yarrow, oh yarrow........this is one of my other favorite plants, not only does it look good, but it does a good job. Yarrow is one of those "beneficial" plants, i cant say 100% why(yet), but i still love seeing it everytime im hiking. In composting this is one of my major workhorses along with nettles. The two match together like a pair of lovers. One thing i like about yarrow is its ability to improve the soil, either from the chopped leaves simply amended to the soil, the fermented plant extracts, or the secretions the plant roots make( its said to increase essential oils in neighboring plants). And like most things with organics, less is more....really. A few chopped leaves to the trash can composter or a nice sized pile will get it going in no time. On some sites ive read online its said yarrow is considered to be an indicator of loam soil in nature( but ive seen it grow elsewhere, just not as much as in good soil in fields).




what to do with it:there are a few things you can do with yarrow.

----the best use of yarrow for ME is in the "quick return compost activator". You can google it and read it if you like. For this is one of the main ingredients to get that pile cookin FAST with all the beneficial microbes. For this you will dry slowly and crush into a powder, keep stored in a cool dry place. You only need a tiny bit when added with other herbs like nettles, dandelion when making the activator........... This in turn helps give you free top quality compost faster, the most valuable of all the free ferts.

---- fermented plant extract, basically its a mixture of lacto bacillus culture(search for thread in this forum), yarrow, water and small amounts of sugar( ive been testing with pure honey and get good results, as thats what the quick return compost activator uses and it works awesome) and i mean small, one drop per pint is what the activator uses. This lets the microbes on and in the leaf to multiply as well as make some nutrients soluble, you dilute and apply to your plants.

---- infusion: take a small pot with a lid on the stove, fill it with 2-3 cups water, add some chopped yarrow leaf( about 10 fresh leaves, and a tablespoon maybe a little less of dried powder, and flowers if there is any. Put on low heat( do not boil like crazy!!!) let simmer for 10 minutes..... Strain( and toss the scraps in the compost pile to help speed up the process) dilute....start with 1:20 and work your way stronger from there, some plants like it more than others and of course little but often is better and apply to plants

----liquid soak, take water in a bucket, fill with yarrow, let sit few weeks, dilute 1:20 at least, and apply.( this stinks kinda)

----soil amendment, take fresh leaves and older leaves, and some flower stalks. Chop up as fine as possible with a knife or some kitchen slicer. Mix into soil( keep in mind i dont measure anything) and let sit in soil covered for a few weeks to a month. Then plant. If you HAVE to mix then plant right away i doubt it will hurt just dont go crazy. *** you can either use dried or fresh plant with this. Fresh need to sit longer of course but either can be used*** just make sure its in small pieces which = more surface area = faster decomposition.

----foliar spray, take the liquid soak, or infusion, or fpe. Dilute to 1:30-1:50( remember less is more and little but often with foliar sprays) then spray on. Fpe would be best as it has the lacto b. In it as well, just as long as you didnt go overboard with the sugars, molasses and such on leaves is not good imo unless very very dilute.

 
Clara Florence
Posts: 47
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I would love to grow this plant but have hd zero success. Cant even get a seed to germinate, probably my climate and soil is completely wrong. I have rich, fertile alluvial clay soil and high rainfall and humidity. Alas, because it is such an attractive plant.
 
John Redman
Posts: 196
Location: Perkinston Mississippi zone 9a
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Excellent description! The only thing I can add, it is a wonderful insectary plant and I've read (can't find the article now) that when planted next to a sick plant yarrow will help that plant to flourish.
Absolutely on my top 10 plant list.
 
John Redman
Posts: 196
Location: Perkinston Mississippi zone 9a
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One color yarrow has to offer. (my favorite)
image.jpg
[Thumbnail for image.jpg]
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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We've got a couple of types of yarrow self-seeding in the garden. Mostly the common white type, but also a pink.

I am def going to try fermenting some of this.

One of the old common names for yarrow is 'boneset' for obvious reasons. For healing broken bones, make tea from the leaves or my preference is to just chew on a leaf.
 
Jeff McLeod
Posts: 95
Location: New Hampshire
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Yarrow is also an ancient brewing ingredient BTW ....
 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
Posts: 488
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
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Clara Florence wrote:I would love to grow this plant but have hd zero success. Cant even get a seed to germinate, probably my climate and soil is completely wrong. I have rich, fertile alluvial clay soil and high rainfall and humidity. Alas, because it is such an attractive plant.


Clara, do they sell it in your local garden centers? If they do, you ought to be able to grow it, try again. It grows great in most of the US, including in the winter wet Pacific Northwest, where it has naturalized in our clay soils, as well as the summer wet northeast. It is a temperate zone plant though, so if you have a tropical climate, it may be the lack of a winter that is bothering it.
 
John Polk
steward
Pie
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Yarrow is a very important plant for many, many reasons.

As one author has stated "A single leaf added to a wheelbarrow full of other material will speed up composting."
I have examined around a dozen 'recipes' for herbal ley pastures, and each of them include yarrow.
Medicinal works for livestock recommend it as the best way to break a fever.
It is a drought tolerant, hardy perennial, that performs very well in poor soils.
Yarrow has a deep root, and is an accumulator of many minerals. This makes it a good fodder addition - animals gladly eat it.
It attracts predatory wasps, ladybugs, hover flies and many other beneficials.
It is included in most 'Butterfly Mixes'.

Yarrow plants emit a substance that nearby plants take in - this activates their immune system to ward off diseases.

Yarrow also causes nearby plants to increase their content of essential oils. This is a great benefit for medicinal and edible plants which are grown primarily for their essential oils.

Here is the description JL Hudsons gives it
'YARROW', MILFOIL', 'THOUSAND SEAL', 'KWAYU'HAYIPSNL' (Chehalis Indian name meaning "squirrel-tail"). White 1/4" flowers in flat 2 - 6" clusters in June to September. Aromatic hardy perennial to 2 - 3 feet, with delicate feathery 8" leaves. North Hemisphere. Easily grown old-fashioned flower, giving lots of bloom for little care. Forms nice clumps with age. Good for sowing in meadows. Highly valued as medicine in all parts of the world where it grows, used for coughs, colds, aches and pains, to stop bleeding, childbirth medicine, bronchitis, and as a tonic. Girls would put it under their pillows to dream of future lovers. Was used as a tobacco substitute, for snuff, and in place of hops for brewing beer to make it more intoxicating. Contrary to popular belief, this is a native North American plant.


 
wayne stephen
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Posts: 1793
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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Don't forget about simply enjoying its flavor . Reminiscent of herbs with volatile oils such as rosemary , mints , sage . Its leaves are nice simply minced into a salad . I enjoy chewing on a piece when I find it .
 
S Carreg
Posts: 260
Location: De Cymru (West Wales, UK)
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It is indeed an ancient brewing herb, used in combination with others to bitter ale before hops were widely used in Europe. It is also one of the most useful medicinal herbs, I use it all the time, to treat bleeding (externally and internally), fever, headache, and other ailments.
 
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