Can't forget about Ginger.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a very important part of our home apothecary, not least because it’s Ginger’s favorite. (Interestingly, if you mix Catnip with a bit of Valerian root, cats go even more bonkers for it.) But I also use it too. It makes a delicious, calming part of my evening “sleepy tea”: Catnip, Valerian root, Skullcap, Mugwort for vivid dreams, and a bit of Comfrey leaf. I grow all of these, so I usually end up with enough to keep me cozy all winter.
Catnip is very prolific, so even with our short Vermont summers I can usually get two big harvests out of it. I wait for it to get nice and big and then cut it back ruthlessly to about six inches high. In about another six weeks, I can harvest a nice big crop again. After that it will grow again, right into colder weather, but instead of harvesting then I leave it - that energy will go back down into the roots as winter comes on, and it helps the plant survive. It would still make it through even if I cut it again, but this helps the plant stay big. Plus I feel it’s only right since it gives me so much already.
This is how it looks in full bloom, with bees everywhere, all over it. That's a milkweed growing up in the middle too. I let those come up in places for the Monarch butterflies we get every year. This year I let the Catnip go a little longer than usual because my bees needed the flowers - remember they swarmed earlier and there’s only half of them now to fill the hive with honey for winter:
Here’s one of my crops drying inside my house:
A final note: Ginger would like you to fully understand just how important this Catnip crop really is.