Will herbs grow in 4" of soil?

I was thinking of putting a checkerboard herb garden on an area of "lawn"(right off the edge of our driveway) that is mostly hard-packed rock/lime and a bit of grass. The blocks I will be using for the checkerboard are 4" deep so the soil where the herbs will grow will also be 4" deep. Do you think I can get an annual crop of herbs to grow in that? Or is that just too shallow? I won't be watering them since water costs a small fortune here.
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On Thu, 29 Mar 2007 23:08:21 +0000 (UTC), FragileWarrior

That should work. Most herbs do not need much soil, little water but plenty sun. Resist the temptation to fertilize, but if you must, feed small amounts of diluted fish emulsion.
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This is not really all the correct. Herbs have deep roots, shallow roots, need fertilizer, don't need fertilizer, need water, don't need water, need sun, don't need sun...all depends on what you plan to grow. If it is Coriscan mint, it will work. If it's dill, it won't. Roots need to have more room than that to stand upright and not be dragged down by its own weight in rain, not in rain, wind, etc.
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wrote:

Hmmm. I was going to go for some low growers except for maybe the back row which would face the west so they would block the wind. Maybe I can just go for low growers overall.
Any suggestions for plantings? The whole garden is triangle shaped with a checkerboard block pattern. I'll have nine, foot square openings to fill and seven half foot (triangle shaped) openings on the edge. The edge triangles can be used or not -- that doesn't matter so much.
I might even bring in some herbs that aren't considered herbs as an educational type experience for the folks who will be seeing it. Things like plantain or self-heal (heal all) or even dandelion. :) I figure if they get out of hand during this season, they'll be easy enough to clean out and start over next year.
It's really the watering part that worries me most. If we get into some sort of massive drought, I *might* be able to haul water from a neighbor's well but it wouldn't be high on my list of things to do.
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On 3/30/07 6:49 AM, in article euipvd$aa$ snipped-for-privacy@blackhelicopter.databasix.com,

Sounds like a great time to check out knot gardens variations

Thymes spring to mind. Maybe mints. Comfrey can bust through the hardest soil (for the back of the bed)...

Any way to harvest gray water from the house? Wash the dishes in a tub and use that?
C
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wrote:

I thought about a knot garden but the places I would have to put it all had this layer of super-packed #6 rock and lime with a trace of grass on it. You couldn't get through it with a pick-axe and I'm not about to try.
I looked out this morning and my neighbor has already delivered a pallet of blocks for me! Isn't that nice? He said they are from a mall somewhere. (I hope he means they were LEFTOVERS. Maybe I should check into that...)

Are all thymes small or is there a miniature version? I seem to remember something with teeny little leaves from a long-ago garden...
If Comfrey can bust through this pavement-imitation, I'll give it a place of honor in next year's garden. :)

That's not a bad idea but is that safe to use on stuff you might eat? Gray water is SUCH a lousy name. Ugh.
I was thinking I could put a barrel under a downspout but the only available one is front and center of the yard. I'm going to have to find a pretty nice looking barrel to pull that off.
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On Fri, 30 Mar 2007 11:46:59 +0000 (UTC), FragileWarrior

Wooly Thyme is the smallest, but they are all low growers. There are many varieties of Thyme so that is a possibility.

You may want to start washing dishes with an eco-friendly dish soap. They sell it in health food stores and some large chain groceries.

They sell rainbarrels for this purpose. This little garden you want will cost a fortune! LOL.
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wrote:

No it won't 'cause I don't have one! (I own horses! :)
If push comes to shove, I'll find a plastic drum and paint it up pretty or plant a huge bunck of flowers on the street side of it so it might blend in.
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I use cheap trash cans for rain barrels, with a threaded pvc drain and rubber gaskets with a spigot. If you can get a pitchfork into the subsoil you could loosen it a bit for the herbs or maybe try pounding something in and pulling it out? It seems the blocks are going to help prevent some moisture loss, the way mulch does.
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remem
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The only trouble is that the only available downspout is 15' off the front curb. Whatever goes there has to be attractive and barely visable. I was thinking of diverting the whole thing over the stockade fence into the yard so I could use whatever I wanted to for a cistern.

Not a chance. Underneath the very thin layer of soil on top, there is #6 rock with #2 on top. It's on the outside edge of a stone driveway. They sure do love their riprap here in Indiana. Freakin' stuff is EVERYWHERE *except* the driveway.

That would be good.
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On 3/30/07 7:46 AM, in article euitbj$aa$ snipped-for-privacy@blackhelicopter.databasix.com,

Actually, I was thinking of plants used in a knot garden to complement the shape and openings.

I've heard it can....

Should be - I'm talking about rinse waters.

You're up to the challenge! C
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Easy way to do that is to take the S shaped piece out from under the sink, and put a 5 gallon bucket under it... use sink as normal, just remember to check bucket level often...
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They will dry out too quickly. Not all herbs are drought tolerant. Some get to be large plants and need more root space, more depth than 4".
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I'm not going to get any that are over a foot high. And there IS ground underneath, it just has the consistancy of pavement. I guess I'll find out who the survivors are.
The nice thing about this is I can move it somewhere else next year if this doesn't work. It won't be a permanent installation.
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On Sat, 31 Mar 2007 12:19:40 +0000 (UTC), FragileWarrior

You'll be successful if you pick herbs that like your conditions. Some plants respond quickly, others take time or become invasive. My sage, rosemary, lavender, oregano and thyme have been growing well in full sun without care except for an occasional trimming. (The oregano keeps spreading fast, draws bees.) The odor can be overwhelming. We have had up to a 7-week draught.
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