Valerian, Feverfew, Lemon Balm and St Johnswort Culture
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: P J Hebert
Posted on: May 26, 1998

What are the best conditions (soil, light, watering) to grow each plant mentioned above? Also, I was wondering how I could dry my herbs, avoiding to put them in the oven or to full sun exposure after harvesting them (I once heard of a simple but very effective drying machine that can be made with a pierced wood box, an electric bulb at the bottom of the box and some nets hanging above the electric bulb).

All four herbs like a well-drained soil. St. Johnswort likes a lean soil that is on the dry side, while the other three like a more fertile, moist soil. All do best in full sun.

To dry herbs do not put them into the sun, because this causes the oils to evaporate and with them goes taste and fragrance. Spread the herbs onto fly screens and put the screens onto supports such as chairs placed under trees or other shady but airy places.

The oven or microwave can be used (both on lowest setting) to finish the drying.

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