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Planting herbs mid-July here in central VA?  RSS feed

 
Ian Pringle
Posts: 24
Location: Central VA
bike chicken urban
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Well we have finally gotten our herbal flower garden finished and now we just need to plant the seeds. The problem is I am not sure if there is any point in planting the seeds this late into the summer. I believe most, if not all, of our plants are perennial in out Zone 7 area so I definitely don't want to get them planted and going well only for a freeze to kill them because they were too young. Any advice on what to do about the following seeds?

Hyssop
Bergamot
Chamomile
Lemon Balm
Echinacea
Catnip
Yarrow
lavender
Creeping Thyme
St. John's Wort

The rest of the herbs are currently in containers and I'm confident that they will survive the transplant and they include rosemary, thyme, sage, a few different basils, some mints, common jasmine, and false unicorn.

The area is everything from full sun to full shade. But I am also concerned that the new plants might get killed by the full July sun.

EDIT, I did not mean to post this in Greening the Desert. Oops!
 
Liz Hoxie
Posts: 223
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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Have you ever tried wintersowing perennials? I sow them where I want them to grow in January, they get any stratification they need, come up when it's safe, and grow into healthier plants.
 
Ian Pringle
Posts: 24
Location: Central VA
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Liz Hoxie wrote:Have you ever tried wintersowing perennials? I sow them where I want them to grow in January, they get any stratification they need, come up when it's safe, and grow into healthier plants.


I have not. This is our first year not growing in pots on an apartment's patio so we're very new to this. Maybe she'll have to grow something else in her garden for the rest of this summer and then switch over to the herbs come next year then. Right now it's just dirt in raised beds and mulch on the ground.
 
Helene Turpyn
Posts: 2
Location: Piedmont NC zone 7b
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I agree with direct sawing in the fall. When unsure, I usually try several methods and see what works best for my site. So you could take a portion of your seeds (1/3?) and grow them in the shade on the porch. Then bring them into the herb garden when the worst of the heat is gone. I'm border NC/SC so for me that would be mid to late Sept.
 
Wj Carroll
Posts: 47
Location: near Athens, GA
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I lived near Lynchburg, VA for a while.... central VA gets blazing hot!  Your heat and sun loving annual herbs should come in quickly and grow just fine if planted now.  A frost in zone 7 is a long ways off still.  I wouldn't hesitate to plant them all this year and see how everything fares - if you lose a few, it won't be many.  I agree that fall planting the perennials is a good idea, following the natural cycle.  I have had uncovered herbs, vegetables ... all sorts of stuff grow just fine in zone 7 through November with no cover.  Although it is zone 7, VA gets much harsher winters than GA though, so I can't guarantee that.  Here, we can keep the greens growing all year without much effort. 
 
Ian Pringle
Posts: 24
Location: Central VA
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Wj Carroll wrote:I lived near Lynchburg, VA for a while.... central VA gets blazing hot!  Your heat and sun loving annual herbs should come in quickly and grow just fine if planted now.  A frost in zone 7 is a long ways off still.  I wouldn't hesitate to plant them all this year and see how everything fares - if you lose a few, it won't be many.  I agree that fall planting the perennials is a good idea, following the natural cycle.  I have had uncovered herbs, vegetables ... all sorts of stuff grow just fine in zone 7 through November with no cover.  Although it is zone 7, VA gets much harsher winters than GA though, so I can't guarantee that.  Here, we can keep the greens growing all year without much effort. 


Yeah we live right downtown in Lynchburg actually! I figured those sun loving mediterranean herbs would love this heat. I guess I'll give it a shot, it's only a few bucks for seeds and learning is priceless. I'm hoping to extend my veggie season at least until January when the cold really sinks in. Working on building a greenhouse to get us through Jan and Feb and then to get a head start on March planting. I have a friend who gets four growing cycles out of each year by planting in a greenhouse in Feb, transplanting in Mar with cover at night and then he's already got his veggies harvested by the time he's planting again come late April.
 
Wj Carroll
Posts: 47
Location: near Athens, GA
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Ian Pringle wrote:
Wj Carroll wrote:I lived near Lynchburg, VA for a while.... central VA gets blazing hot!  Your heat and sun loving annual herbs should come in quickly and grow just fine if planted now.  A frost in zone 7 is a long ways off still.  I wouldn't hesitate to plant them all this year and see how everything fares - if you lose a few, it won't be many.  I agree that fall planting the perennials is a good idea, following the natural cycle.  I have had uncovered herbs, vegetables ... all sorts of stuff grow just fine in zone 7 through November with no cover.  Although it is zone 7, VA gets much harsher winters than GA though, so I can't guarantee that.  Here, we can keep the greens growing all year without much effort. 


Yeah we live right downtown in Lynchburg actually! I figured those sun loving mediterranean herbs would love this heat. I guess I'll give it a shot, it's only a few bucks for seeds and learning is priceless. I'm hoping to extend my veggie season at least until January when the cold really sinks in. Working on building a greenhouse to get us through Jan and Feb and then to get a head start on March planting. I have a friend who gets four growing cycles out of each year by planting in a greenhouse in Feb, transplanting in Mar with cover at night and then he's already got his veggies harvested by the time he's planting again come late April.


I lived in Altavista, so very near there.   The best bet is to always check the seed packs or their equivalent online, if you save seeds, and see how many days they need before they mature.  Then, just count back from your last frost date.  There are some great gardeners in the area.  I don't know of any Permaculture folks, but there are plenty of old farmers who use the almanac and can grow anything.  Check the community/tech college down in Rustburg for ag programs and master gardener stuff,  or your local extension agency.  They are very down to earth, friendly, helpful people.  I remember once, my car ran hot between Lynchburg and Altavista, in front of a guy's house.  Even though he had worked the night shift, he came out with water and tools, pulled my radiator, blew it out with an air compressor, got it to run cool enough to get me to town and recommended an honest mechanic to change the thermostat.  I changed it myself, but I sure did appreciate his help!  He grew a garden on some old family property just to provide the local widows and single mothers with extra food.  Mighty good folks around there. 
 
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