Skullcap in Missouri
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Kelvin Vincent
Posted on: October 01, 2006

I have a small 50 acres farm. I have a field where blue skullcap grows (Scutellaria lateriflora).

I harvested some this year but I keep all the seeds. I would like the patch to be almost two acres. I have found nothing about growing this. I plan on getting certified organic grown. I sold over 500 pounds out of there this year. I took soil samples of where it grew best and plan on taking samples of where it grows worst.

I’m on the road today, traveling home after being gone almost one month. This means my response will be brief, and not contain complete information. You may call me in one week for more detail, if you wish. Before I would do anything further, I strongly recommend you read the book "Getting Started," found at www.herbfarminfo.com .

Ten thousand pounds is within the contract sizes that herb brokers would be interested in.

Then I would also read my book "The Potential of Herbs As A Cash Crop" (available from Richters at http://www.richters.com/Web_store/web_store.cgi?product=XB6950). Most of your questions are answered in either of these two books. That’s why I wrote them, as your questions are basic and are what everyone asks first. My website also contains a number of useful articles at

http://www.nwbotanicals.org/oak/altagri/a_a_index.html

Skullcap should be grown like either Catnip ("Potential" book) or Lemon Balm ("Getting Started" book). While it likes wetter soils (sub irrigated), it will also set on fields with good irrigation. The devices discussed in the "Getting Started" book can be used for skullcap, especially if use a vacuum pick-up for harvesting.

Questions when would be the best time to plant my seed I harvested by hand. Does the seed need to freeze first?

No, skullcap germinates readily without special treatment. The main thing to watch is the tiny size of the seeds: if seed supply is tight then you will want to sow the seed in flats or plug trays instead of sowing direct in the field.

I am sure I could get this field to grow around 10000 pounds a year if I just new a little more about the plant. I also don’t want to waste my seed. I have gathered roots and herbs most my life in my spare time.I know all plants like certain areas and I can look at an area at a distance and tell you what grows there before I step foot on it. This little area would really produce with a little help .

Any help you could give me on helping this little area out would be of great importance to me. I plan on planting many other herbs in the other fields and leave my farm to my kids and grandchildren. Hopefully before I die I’ll see the farm make a little money. I am also in the start of planting a lot of wahoo trees. Is 10000 pounds of blue skullcap enough to hire a broker to sell it? Or should I stay with the $2.50 a pound locally? I really don’t know much about marketing

Ten thousand pounds is within the contract sizes that herb brokers would be interested in handling. I specialize in certified organic product so you would be a good fit for me.

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