Bill Farris of Prairie Wind Nursery in Norman gave a very informative presentation over growing Mediterranean herbs in Oklahoma. Prairie Wind Nursery is now in their 28th year of business and they mostly specialize in culinary herbs and native Oklahoma plants and grasses. Bill had a lot of great information to share and you can view his full presentation above. You can also download the slides for his presentation at this link.
Here are some of my key takeaways from Bill’s presentation:
- The Mediterranean climate is arid and dry with hot days and cool nights. (similar to New Mexico)
- Mediterranean herbs do not do well in clay soil. They prefer a sandy loam.
- Raised beds and containers are great for growing Mediterranean herbs since you’re able to control the soil mix yourself
- He recommends cutting potting soil with a 1/3 mix of sand to help with drainage
- Mulch with pea gravel as thin as possible. Don’t use mulches like wood chips or other forms of organic mulch that help with water retention. The goal for mulch with Mediterranean herbs is to allow for proper drainage.
- Plant-specific information
- Annual varieties are easier to grow that perennial varieties and result in more fragrant flowers
- “Sweet lavender” is one of his favorites
- True English lavenders do better than the hybrid cross varieties
- Arp is the recommended variety for being cold hardy
- Italian Oregano is a cross between sweet marjoram and greek oregano
- Green Oregano is the most popular variety for culinary uses
- Hybrid #4 (nicknamed “blue silver”) is his favorite variety
- “Giant of Italy” is his favorite variety
- It’s critical that parsley gets afternoon shade in Oklahoma
- French thyme is the best variety for culinary uses
- Vietnamese cilantro (rau ram) and Puerto Rican “culantro” are great options for cilantro-type flavor in the summer when cilantro bolts to seed
More information about Prairie Wind Nursery:
Prairie Wind Nursery
929 Goodman Lane
Norman, OK 73026