Chamomile Path
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Kirsten
Posted on: April 6, 1998

I would like to establish a chamomile path. Can you give me tips on how to begin, and what kind of maintenance I should do. How long will it take to establish a decent covering. I live in Southern England and my soil is a clay loam.

The climate of Southern England should be perfect for the English lawn chamomile. The best variety is the non-flowering form of roman chamomile called ‘Treneague’. This variety cannot be grown from seeds (for obvious reasons!) so you must purchase plants which you can later divide. If your soil is very sandy you may have to work a lot of compost into your path area.

The standard flowering variety of Roman chamomile can be grown from seeds. It likes moist but well-drained soil. Remove all weeds to give the chamomile a chance to get established. If you start with plants, plant them on 6 inch centres and then keep the area well watered and weeded. If you start with seeds be extra diligent in removing weeds, prepare the soil surface for seeding and broadcast the seeds -- more thickly for instant results and more thinly for the patient gardener. Roll them into the soil, then mist frequently to make sure the soil surface never dries out. If this is not possible because of wind or very dry air, cover the seed bed with one layer of newspaper, wet it, weight down the edges with stones and when the seedlings start to germinate, remove the paper. Even better would be a few evergreen boughs used instead of the paper.

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