Growing Herbs on Rocky Terrain
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Ellen Dye
Posted on: April 5, 1998

My husband and I live in West Virginia near Martinsburg. We want to establish an herb garden, mostly for our kitchen herbs. The ground here is very rocky and almost impossible to work with. I have read many books searching for a solution on how to properly prepare the ground or perhaps how to properly design a raised bed. I have yet to locate a solution for this problem, could you possibly help?

In your terrain your choice is to dig out a hole in the ground and fill it with imported soil. Or, better yet, construct a raised bed with imported soil. The retaining walls should be about 6-12 inches high. Good building materials for the walls are old railway ties, (with new ones you have to put a plastic liner between the soil and the wall to stop the creosote from killing your plants). Fill the box you built with the good soil, but no higher than the top of the retainer wall, so that when it settles it leaves a bit of a well to hold water you use in irrigation. Choose your sunniest spot for your herb garden since most herbs love the sun. Plant the tallest growing plants north of the shorter ones.

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