Soil Requirements for Herbs
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Joni MacFarlane
Posted on: March 4, 2001

I’m a student in Soil Science and was wondering if you could help me. I would like to know, if possible, what the requirements are for herbs for:

1. pH

2. lime content

3. essential nutrients, i.e. the percentages of N, P, K and S

Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated, since any reference material I’ve found is not this specific when it comes to herbs. Perhaps their requirements are the same as a particular vegetable, so if I knew that, this too would be helpful.

First, I am sure that you realize this already, but it is worth making the point clear: not all herbs are the same in their soil requirements. There are hundreds of herbs in commercial cultivation with a huge range of soil requirements.

There is information on perhaps a few dozen different herb crops scattered over different sources, but unfortunately nothing is available yet in easily transmittable form. You could consult the "Manual for Northern Herb Growers" and the "Herb and Spice Production Manual" for much of the information you are looking for. Both are available from Richters.

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