Tips to Keep Your Herbs Alive During The Winter
Delicious and fragrant herbs grow throughout the summer, filling the garden with fragrance and contributing to herbal teas and recipes. But as soon as frost threatens the temperatures may drop, but that doesn't mean we have to say goodbye to our herb gardens.
Cold hardy herbs like chives, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, and thyme can often survive cold-winter temperatures while still producing tasty foliage as long as they are sheltered or grown indoors.
Even herbs like rosemary, which are more sensitive to cold, can survive the winter using additional protection methods. The good news is that many of these tender herbs, as we said before, can be carried indoors. Grow them in a sunny window or under grow lights and you can continue to enjoy them for several more months.
The best herbs to grow indoors
Some herbs are better suited to internal conditions than other herbs. The best herbs to dig up from the garden and grow indoors are:
For chives, thyme, oregano, and mint, simply shake most of the garden soil off the roots, replan the plant with good quality organic soil, and place it near a sunny window.
Growing parsley indoors can be trickier. It has a long taproot and does not react well when disturbed. If you plan to dig it up from your garden, dig deep to get as much of the taproot as possible. Then wrap the plant again in good potting soil in a deep container, preferably 20 to 25 cm.
Rosemary can be finicky about temperatures. Works best on a well-lit window in a cold room. The best would be a window facing south or east.
Other herbs to grow indoors
You can also grow basil fairly easily in a well-lit window; however, do not remove it from the garden as you would other herbs. Instead, start new plants from seed, buy a small plant to grow indoors, or take seedlings from one of your existing plants. The same can be done with lemon balm, mint, or shiso.
Caring for herbs indoors over the winter
If you plan to overwinter your indoor garden herbs (or at least keep them growing long enough to get a few more crops), here are some things to keep in mind:
#1. Bright light: Herbs work best in bright light, at least eight hours of light a day. You can place them in a south-facing window, but the safest method is to place them under grow lamps, which are often used to start the seed.
#2. Careful Watering: One of the hardest things about hibernating your herbs is maintaining the correct humidity level. You'll want to water them regularly, but many herbs, like rosemary and thyme, prefer drier conditions and don't like soggy soil.
The most effective way to determine if it's time to water is to do the finger test: stick your finger in the potting soil. If the top of the soil is dry, it's time to water.
#3. Pest Control: Before bringing your plants indoors, carefully check the plants for pests and spray them with insecticidal soap if you notice any insect activity.
Keep the plants separate from the rest of your indoor plants for a few weeks to ensure that no pest or disease problems spread. After this initial period has passed, regularly check your plants for insects, eggs, cobwebs, or fungi. Look under the foliage as well - this is where a lot of pests tend to accumulate.
We hope you enjoy this video about how to keep fresh herbs alive over the winter:
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