Recently I bought this awesome book by Tammi Hartung called "Homegrown Herbs," A Complete Guide to Growing, Using, and Enjoying more than 100 Herbs, which you can purchase at The Bulk Herb Store through the affiliate link on the right. I love, love this book for herbs, not only does it tell you everything about various herbs, how to grow them, what their companions are, how to harvest them, but it also includes recipes for medicines, and personal care, along with others for cooking.
Recently I planted a variety of vegetables, and herbs, and noticed that my Yarrow was not sprouting. I went to the book, and looked in the personalities section to read more about this herb, and find out what was wrong. It turns out that this seed needs to go through what is called stratification. See some seeds dropped to the ground, and are left there through out the winter months. During that time they are exposed to moisture rather it be from snow or rain, and would also experience times of freezing, and thawing which benefits the seeds.
So to mimic this process seeds need to be placed in a ziplock bag, with a few drops of water, shack the seeds to coat them with the water, place in the freezer for a month, take them out to thaw for a few hours. This process should be done over a two to three month period of time. However, if the seeds would experience a milder winter, not frozen this process can be accomplished through the use of the refrigerator.
In the back of the book there is a section called "Herb Personalities, A Closer Look at Each Plant,"
Here she tells you witch plants need to go through the cold stratification process, and for how long. However, she doesn't tell you if you should use the freezer or the refrigerator. There is a chart of the plant habitat preferences, a little common sense, and using this chart I think can help us figure it out on our own, It would be convenient, however, if it was included in the personalities section.
While that is only one thing I learned from this book there is so much more. Once my herbs have bloomed I look forward to using the "Harvesting from the Garden" section of this book. I also love that she has included so many charts, diagrams, and colorful useful photos. I highly recommend this book for those just starting out or those who would like to learn more. Other chapters in this book include the following.
- An Introduction to Growing and Using Herbal Plants
- Selecting Plants and Designing Your Garden
- Secrets to Great Soil
- Propagation Methods
- Garden Maintenance
- Pest and Disease Control
- Harvesting from the Garden