Herb Growing in the South of England
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Angi Black
Posted on: July 02, 2007

I have a couple of acres on a south facing slope in the south of England. I would like to grow a herd crop on it if possible. Do you know where I can get advice about growing herds here?

Wow! I get to start a whole new file called England. I would need more information on your soils and weather to be able to properly answer your questions. We often call "herd crops" cover crops, or crops used for soil amendments. This would include winter wheat, fescue, and other green manure crops.

Fenugreek is a substitute which has been used successfully in Canada for especially sickly soils, high in clay. Buckwheat is another. All are grazable, but work best for soil amendments. I have no background or experience with herd animals (like cattle or horses). My background is strictly cash crops and field production.

But I am told that maybe your "herd crop" might actually be "herb crop," negating my comments above. Sloping land is often used for specific herbs, those requiring very little water -- as it runs down a hill. Baby’s Breath, for the floral trade is often found on 30% slopes, for this exact reason.

Anything less than 10% can usually hold most normal crops, some requiring more irrigation than on a flat piece of ground.. Slopes often denote what are called "alluvial fans," or soils high in minerals which have run off a hill due to wash.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alluvial_fan

Wheat is often planted in these areas, to hold down weeds, and to be used for green manure. If taken early, before flowering, it can be sold as "wheatgrass" for the lower bowel markets. It is very important to know the soil type and construction in order to recommend specific crops which might survival and grow on this slope

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