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5 Benefits of Growing Yarrow In Your Garden

Permaculture gardens can benefit from yarrow, which is a powerful medicinal herb. Yarrow is one of the plants that can boost the performance of our gardens. Here are five motives to plant yarrow in your garden.

What is Yarrow?

The northern hemisphere's dry prairies, meadows, and forest edges are where common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) grows. This perennial prefers hardiness zones 3-9, growing 36-inches tall with white flowers. Other varieties have pink, yellow, red, or orange flowers. Its deep, fibrous roots, which absorb water in my rain garden, are one of many prairie plants that absorb water.

Even if you don't produce this herb in your garden, foraging for it is enjoyable. The fern-like leaves can be found in sunny, cleared areas. You can collect the seeds after the flower heads die to plant them around your garden.

Here are five reasons why you should grow a yarrow.

1. Nutrients may be accumulated in the yarrow.

Yarrow's deep roots are said to mine the subsoil for potassium, calcium, and magnesium, as Gaia's Garden and Edible Forest Gardens reported. According to these USDA databases, yarrow may also be mined for phosphorus and copper, making it a nutrient-rich mulch. While we don't have much scientific information about these nutrient accumulators, we don't know if they make nutrients available to the soil if used as mulch. Yarrow seems to improve health in my food gardens, although the jury is still out.

There are plenty of other ways to stack the deck in favor of a flourishing, healthy garden aside from using yarrow as a fertilizer. Even if every experiment doesn't yield the desired result, having a wide variety of plants offers a rich gardening experience.

Create a fruit tree nursery. Make mulch and composts that are healthy.

In addition to enhancing fruit production, yarrow can be grown under fruit trees to fertilize them. You can chop it up and utilize it as mulch around your vegetable garden or add it to your compost bin to increase nutrient content.

Grow great food forests.

The soil in a newly developed food forest should be safeguarded until the trees have grown and provided shade. A mixed cover crop can be used in this less-trafficked area to increase soil, extract minerals, break up compacted soil, and attract beneficial insects. A mixture of yarrow, which should be mown only once or twice annually according to Toby Hemenway in Gaia's Garden, is suggested:

  • annual rye

  • daikon radish

  • fennel

  • clovers

  • dill

Yarrow may help clean up lead-contaminated soil.

According to Gaia's Garden, yarrow may mine copper from the subsoil, an essential micronutrient for plant growth and an amendment for acidic soils. However, plants that mine for copper can also concentrate lead if it is present in the soil, particularly along the foundation of old houses where lead-based paints may have fallen off, according to Gaia's Garden.

It is possible to determine if a soil sample contaminates the soil. Yarrow and other copper- and zinc-accumulators are used to clean up lead-contaminated sites because the lead accumulates in the plants, which are collected at the end of every season (roots and all) and discarded. These plants should not be used for mulching, medicinal, edible, or craft purposes if this is a concern on your site.

2. Beneficial insects and pollinators are attracted to it.

Wide varieties of pollinators prefer umbel-shaped flowers for nectar collection, and white, yellow, or pink flowers are among the most attractive. Lacewings, parasitoid wasps, ground beetles, spiders, ladybugs, and hoverflies find refuge in the fern-like foliage, which is home to many beneficial insects. According to Carrots Love Tomatoes, yarrow generates an unpleasant odor that deters pests, so you may want to plant it near pest-prone areas.

3. Yarrow is an excellent ground cover.

Mowing the yarrow several times a year is advisable if you want to keep it as a ground cover. The plant can reach three feet tall and produces flowers throughout the summer if left to its own devices. Light foot traffic is okay, but you may not get flowers. However, beneficial insects can use the leaves for refuge.

4. It has therapeutic uses.

Having yarrow in your medicinal garden is an essential herb because of its numerous medicinal uses.

Yarrow tea can help to lower a fever, and a yarrow poultice can ease the pain and swelling of a bruise.

Homegrown Herbs warns against consuming the yellow flowers of yarrow, which can be used to stop bleeding and soothe rashes, bug bites, bee stings, cuts, and burns. Yarrow should only be used for internal medicine if it has white or pink flowers, not yellow ones. Pregnant women should not consume yarrow internally.

5. Yarrow can be eaten and can be used in crafts.

According to Homegrown Herbs, you can use fresh flowers to make confetti for cookie batter. Yarrow flowers, both fresh and dried, can be used to make wreaths and dried bouquets.

Having yarrow in your garden is simply fantastic!

You might also like How to Start a Vegetable Garden.

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