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growing chamomile zone 9-10

 
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Hello. New to the forum. I'm interested in making my own natural decaf teas to help me sleep better. I'd like to grow lots of chamomile and echinacea. I'm not sure how i should start doing this. If anyone has any experience feel free to leave a comment. In my climate it is very dry summers wet winters. Bay Area, CA. Should I direct seed into the soil during spring? Also, my soil is hard to work with, I'm thinking of tilling then doing a cover crop or put some compost and letting it just decompose in the dirt to add some nutrients. I'm not sure if anyone here has grown these flowers, and whether they need water in the summer? If they do should i do overhead? I'm also growing other ornamentals like gladiolus and iris. My garden plot for chamomile and echinacea is 25'x16'. I have room to expand if need be. Cheers!!
 
pollinator
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Location: Southern Oregon
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I'm in the Bay Area and have grown chamomile and echinacea. I prefer to grow chamomile in a container because it's low growing and the slugs love it. I prefer my tea without slugs. The biggest issue I've had with echinacea is that it likes some cold stratification if you are starting from seed, so I refrigerate for a couple weeks prior to starting. I would definitely water during the dry months. The chamomile will require more frequent watering than the echinacea. I've never found them to be particularly heavy feeders, not like annual vegetables.
 
Cameron Pierre
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Ok, thanks for the tips. I was just out catching some slugs on my cabbage plants. They're a real problem here!

-Cheers
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