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Herbs in a slope

 
Posts: 2
Location: Sweden
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So, I have a small steep slope where I need to grow my herbs. It's about 20° so the herb spiral I was so inspired to make is probably not a good choice. It faces south east so it has a lot of sun and is quite dry. The herbs my husband wants (who does the cooking) are parsley, dill and chives. All of these need a bit of shade and moisture what I've read. Not an ideal place for these, but the only place near the house. Next to this I have a small garden bed for snacks vegetables. Carrots, snap peas, lettuce, stuff like that. Any ideas on what I should do? I was thinking of making like half circles with stones but that would probably still be too dry.
 
gardener
Posts: 6167
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Such a slope is a good place for terraces, these would also prevent any erosion occurring when you did plant anything.

The Inca are probably the best known terrace gardeners.
 
pollinator
Posts: 945
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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Hi Jenny,

Welcome to permies!

Some housekeeping: we are talking on here about climates (even microclimates) and numerous soil types. You will get better answers if you add some info, like location/zone/soil on your profile. The output will only be as good as the input.

Herbs are native to certain climates and soil types. They do best in situation where they can live as if they are in the native location. An herb spiral is one way of changing a couple of parameters to make a variety of locations. A hill can do some of the same functions. Most annual herbs are not that picky. I grow them on the north side of the house, because they are dead in the winter anyhow. I planted them there because that is closest to the kitchen, and I like to go out in my underwear and pick them fresh for my omelet. It works for me, I think Zone 1 is where you pick stuff in your underwear, but Toby Heminway might not have actually said that. Annual herbs also lend themselves to companion planting. Lots of posts on that.

Perennial herbs need more like a Mediterranean climate, since thats where they are from mostly. They like sun, tolerate little shade, and need well-drained soil. Most are quite drought tolerant once established, actually they have higher volatile oil levels in that situation which is desirable. Lots of ways to make that happen. I just made a big lump of sandy soil and put in some terraces and . The tender stuff goes on the more protected side, hardier stuff goes on the windy side. All areas get enough sun I think. If things aren't happy they will get moved. I am not a fan of putting in structures that take a lot of time, you will end up moving stuff. Build stuff after a season of observation or with temporary structures. On hills you can maybe get small logs or pavers to define small terraces, deep mulch with chips or straw to retain some moisture, and see how it goes.
 
pollinator
Posts: 494
Location: South of Capricorn
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i don't know exactly what my slope is but it's pretty steep, and I used terraces so I don't have to worry about the water carrying my nice soil away when it rains.

You might be able to "set up" shade by planting things in a way that provides shade. Peas in the front climbing up a trellis (beans when it's too hot for peas, if your climate lets both grow year round) to shade the things behind them?
 
pollinator
Posts: 163
Location: Western OK, avg rain 23" hazards: drought, tornado, wildfire
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And my experience basil and chives grow just fine in full hot sun in area 7. That's at high elevations. How much do you need? Dill and chives especially Dill will self-seed and be everywhere. Do you really have to Terrace a slope? It seems like a lot of work for herbs that will run free and grow anywhere
 
pollinator
Posts: 206
Location: Sask, Canada - Zone 3b
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Welcome to Permies, Jenny

Jenny W Fogelberg wrote:parsley, dill and chives. All of these need a bit of shade and moisture what I've read.  



My experience is different from what you've read and similar to Denise's.

I just clipped all my parsley, otherwise I'd take a picture. The italian parsley I have seems to be pretty much indestructible as this year it's the only plant to survived a hailstorm with no damage aswell as dealing with extended drought conditions. Not sure if it'd be considered thriving, but most plants got to about 50-60cm in height and 40cm wide in low quality soil.

Seeds from my dill last year made their way to different spots in the garden and grew back aswell. Everyone here has their dill planted in the driest parts of their garden which have no shade.

Lastly, I planted chives on a terraced slope of what I would call "wild pasture" and they have come back for a 3rd year in a row now despite 0 care for them and having grass among them.

All of these were planted in full sun, unless a few weeds ended up shading them.

---

You're at 60° compared to my 51° latitude, but if you can water them at least once a week, I'm guessing they'll all do fine no matter where you place them.
 
Jenny W Fogelberg
Posts: 2
Location: Sweden
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Thanks for all the thoughts! I’m very glad to hear that they grow well in a lot of sun. Makes my life easier. The reason I need to build something for them to grow in is because the garden was a very wild place when we moved here. The ground is filled with horrible roots that I just can’t get rid off. No matter what I do the flowers keep showing up everywhere.
Maybe I should just make a wood beds for them. Easier to get rid of the slugs too.
 
gardener
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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I laughed when I saw the title of the thread.  I immediately thought of "Snakes on a plane".

My mind works strangely at times.
 
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