Herbal Garden and Wildcrafting Year

Wagon

The herbalist garden lives year round. Those of us living in the Willamette Valley are spoiled by a temperate zone with short, mild winters matched with equally short summers. We have a immense biodiversity for wildcrafting but the vegetable garden can be risk. To avoid the “Green Tomato Summers”, the gardener has to be smart. Planting too early without shelter can result in rotten seeds. Planting too late, can result in a stunted harvest.

My house is surrounded by big, beautiful trees. As much as I love them, it means that I can’t force starts indoors. Those of you who advise sunlamps haven’t paid an electric bill in my little town. It’s not worth it. I tried. Instead, I have to be clever and pay attention to the weather. Not a bad trade off.

I cover my starts if the weather seems impetuous. If the listing for the plant says “may cover”, it is referring to situations in which the delicate starts are in danger from cold fronts or insect damage. Check here for cheap yet effective seedling covers.

If the listing for the plant says “cover” and you just don’t feel like it, wait another few weeks until things warm up. Remember that the garden bed is legal casino in your own backyard. Dig at your own risk.

Wildcrafting is added as a reminder for when to look for the feral herbs and edibles in the Willamette Valley. For more information about the individual herbs, click on the link. Remember to only harvest what you can use this year.

Be reasonable. Dandelions can be picked with abandon – it’s a weed. Oregon grape berries must be picked with restraint – wildlife needs it too. Be sure to only pick 10% of the native plant in the area that you have chosen for harvesting. This ensures the return of the plant next year and the health of the environment.

I welcome suggestions for veggie seeds to add to my list. I won’t post the information until I have tried the seed out in my garden so be patient if you want recognition for your brilliance. The wildcrafting list is only meant to be a reminder of the herbal basics. There are hundreds of herbs out there, these mentioned are both popular and easy to recognize.

Planting & Wildcrafting Calendar – Willamette Valley – Zone 6

This list is a work in progress. Look for further updates.

SPRING

March

  • Soybeans – directly plant into soil after last frost as green manure
  • Oats – directly plant into soil after last frost as green manure
  • Beets – directly plant into soil after last frost, may be covered
  • Peas – directly plant into soil after last frost, may be covered
  • Radishes – directly plant into soil after last frost
  • Potatoes – directly plant seed potatoes under mulch or in a potato tower
  • Cabbage – directly plant into soil, may be covered
  • Kale/Chard – directly plant into soil
  • Onions – plant as sets or seeds with cover
  • Chickweed – Wildcraft aerial greens
  • Dandelion – Wildcraft aerial greens and roots
  • Nettle – Wildcraft aerial greens

 

April

  • Soybeans – directly plant into soil
  • Beets – directly plant into soil
  • Peas – directly plant into soil
  • Radishes – directly plant into soil
  • Potatoes – directly plant seed potatoes under mulch or in a potato tower
  • Cabbage – directly plant seeds or starts into soil
  • Kale/Chard – directly plant seeds into soil
  • Onions – plant as sets or seeds with cover
  • Carrots – directly plant seeds into soil
  • Spinach – directly plant seeds or starts into soil, may be covered
  • Lettuce – directly plant seeds or starts into soil, may be covered
  • Dandelion – Wildcraft aerial greens and roots
  • Lemon Balm – Wildcraft aerial greens
  • Horsetail – Wildcraft aerial stems
  • Nettle – Wildcraft aerial greens

May

  • Beets – directly plant into soil
  • Potatoes – directly plant seed potatoes under mulch or in a potato tower
  • Cabbage – directly plant seeds or starts into soil
  • Kale/Chard – directly plant seeds into soil
  • Onions – plant as sets or seeds
  • Carrots – directly plant seeds into soil
  • Spinach – directly plant seeds or starts into soil
  • Lettuce – directly plant seeds or starts into soil
  • Cucumbers – directly plant seeds or starts into soil, may be covered
  • Squashes – directly plant seeds or starts into soil
  • Tomatoes/Eggplant – directly plant seeds or starts into soil, must be covered
  • Celery – directly plant seeds or starts into soil
  • Peppers – directly plant seeds or starts into soil, may be covered
  • Lemon  Balm – Wildcraft aerial greens

SUMMER

June

  • Carrots – directly plant seeds into soil
  • Spinach – directly plant seeds or starts into soil
  • Lettuce – directly plant seeds or starts into soil
  • Cucumbers – directly plant seeds or starts into soil, may be covered
  • Squashes – directly plant seeds or starts into soil
  • Tomatoes/Eggplant – directly plant seeds or starts into soil, must be covered
  • Celery – directly plant seeds or starts into soil
  • Peppers – directly plant seeds or starts into soil, may be covered
  • Green Beans – directly plant seeds into soil
  • St. John’s Wort – Wildcraft flowers

July

  • Yarrow – Wildcraft flowers with care – native plant
  • Blueberry/Bilberry – Wildcraft berries
  • Wild Strawberry – Wildcraft fruit/leaves with care – native plant
  • St. John’s Wort – Wildcraft flowers
  • Mullien – Wildcraft leaves and pick flowers

August

  • Yarrow – Wildcraft flowers
  • Mullien – Wildcraft flowers
  • Berries – Wildcraft/harvest berries

AUTUMN

September

  • Dandelion – Wildcraft roots
  • Black/Blue Elderberry – Wildcraft berries
  • Wild Valerian – Wildcraft with care – native plant
  • Apples – Harvest fruit
  • Elecampane – Harvest roots
  • Preserve seeds for next year’s planting
  • Bulbs – Plant bulbs for spring

October

  • Garlic – directly plant cloves into soil\
  • Chickweed – Wildcraft aerial greens
  • Dandelion – Wildcraft roots
  • Hawthorn – Wildcraft berries after first frost
  • Rose – Wildcraft hips after first frost
  • Mushrooms – Wildcraft chanterelle and other wild fungi

November

  • Mulch
  • Hawthorn – Wildcraft berries after first frost
  • Rose – Wildcraft hips after first frost

WINTER

December

  • Inspect trees for damage that require emergency pruning
  • Cedar – Wildcraft green branches that are storm beaten
  • Usnea – Wildcraft lichen fallen after storms

January

  • Birch – Willdcraft birch branches fallen after storms
  • Cedar – Wildcraft green branches that are storm beaten
  • Usnea – Wildcraft lichen fallen after storms

February

  • Peas , directly plant into soil after last frost, may be covered
  • Potatoes – directly plant seed potatoes under mulch or in a potato tower
  • Oats – directly plant into soil after last frost as green manure
  • Chickweed – Wildcraft aerial greens
  • Usnea – Wildcraft lichen fallen after storms
  • Cedar – Wildcraft green branches that are storm beaten