Growing Herbs for "Fresh Herbs Fundraiser"
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Lori Moloughney
Posted on: March 26, 2002

My granddaughter’s school is having a Fresh Herbs Fundraiser and I would like to purchase a few for my garden, however, I don’t know what is the best place to plant them.

I live in a Zone 4 area and would like to plant Chamomile and Mint. Would it be better to place them in full sun, half and half, or in a shady area? I would also like to make tea with them, is there a special method to follow for drying them so I can also enjoy them in the winter?

A "fresh herbs fundraiser" sounds like a terrific idea. We find that many herb enthusiasts are uncertain about using fresh herbs, not knowing exactly how to harvest and use them. They may be much more familiar with using dried herbs, perhaps from years of buying dried herbs from the grocery store; but fresh herbs *are* different and, we believe, much better than dried!

Both chamomile and mint do best in full sun, as do most other culinary herbs such as rosemary, basil, thyme, chives, and many others.

In your zone 4 area you are limited to growing the annual german chamomile (Matricaria recutita) because the perennial varieties are not hardy in your area. Some mints may not make it through the winter in your area, but even if they don’t they will produce a harvest the first season. In effect they can be treated as annuals in cold zones.

Of course, not all of your harvest can be used immediately in its fresh form, so you will want to dry the excess for later use during the winter months. We have covered drying in previous answers to questions. Go to the "Q&A" section of our website ( and search for "drying".

Good luck with your fundraiser. If we can help by providing free catalogues and a gift certificate door prize please contact our promotions department at

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