Springtime is here and it’s time for us to replant many of our older or poorer plantations. During the autumn we took out several different herb blocks and have replanted them into new fields.
On average we would leave our English Chamomile in the ground for around 5 years. The fields need to be alternated due to our land being very fertile (typically used for veg growing) and this can cause problems with weed contamination.
We send our seed to the local nursery and these are propagated ready for us to plant them as transplants. Which can take around 3-6 weeks. These are ready once they have a suitable root system in the blocks of their trays and before they start to mat together making the planting process easier. The trays are given a little time outside to harden them ready for field life.
Planting is done with a specialist transplanter with is used widely in the vegetable world. Which comprises of 5 planted rows. Each row is supplied by a carosel which has 10 holes where the transplants are dropped into.
This turns at the same speed as the traveling speed of the tractor. On reaching the furthest point away from the operator, the transplants drops down the planting tube as it hits the soil a kicker pushes the transplant into the already formed Chanel holding it in place as the Chanel is closed behind it.
This year we have only replanted one field of the English Chamomile. We have put in New areas of Clary Sage, Thyme and Yarrow.
The German Chamomile is of only a few of the herbs that is grown from seed. Using a seeder the German Chamomile is sprinkled onto the soil and rolled to ensure good seed to soil contact promoting germination.