Herb farming

Asked June 7, 2018, 4:45 PM EDT

Hi, I'm looking to start farming herbs in the Klamath falls area. And I'm hoping to get a list of several herbs that grow well in the area with no or little watering. Is that something you can help me with or point me in the right direction?

Klamath County Oregon

1 Response

There are very few plants in the world that survive with no water at all--most plants require water to get a good start in life, whether seeded or transplanted. There are several herbs which, when established, get along with little to occasional water. Oregano, lavender, sage and thyme are indigenous to rocky hillsides with poor, dry soils, and they are remarkably tolerant of these conditions, according to Jerry Traunfeld, the proprietor and grower of herbs used in his famous restaurant, Herbfarm in Washington state.
If you are market gardening, you might consider these popular herbs. There are several types of oregano, including marjoram; many different thymes, including flavors of lemon, lime, licorice, classic English thyme and silver thyme, and many culinary sage plants, including 'Berggarten'. Lavender (English and French) is popular not only for cosmetics and culinary uses, but the entire plant, flowers (fresh or dried) and seeds (culinary uses or sachets) can be harvested. Lavenders are perennial plants in most climates; but you might find it necessary to protect your plantings with a frost blanket (heavy-duty row cover) in Klamath's winters. The same caution applies to somewhat drought tolerant rosemary, which has many forms. Some are more cold-tolerant than others, so do your homework by carefully reading plant labels, etc. There is an OSU Extension office in Klamath Falls that can advise on climate norms and rainfall norms in your specific location. . You can also find more information by searching various herb names at extension.oregonstate.edu/publications. Thank you for using Ask an Expert!