Over-Wintering Herbs

All summer I had a nice supply of fresh herbs just outside my front door. I had a “Veg-Trug” from Gardeners Supply Company where I grew basil, parsley, marjoram, oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme and one determinate tomato. The trug is a big slatted wooden trough that’s great for growing veggies or flowers.

Now is the time to empty out the veg-trug and other pots and planters. Winter is coming!

Now that frost has finished off the basil and the tomato, it’s time to move the herbs. First I dug the rosemary and planted it in a 8-inch pot that I will keep on a sunny windowsill indoors all winter.  Rosemary is hardy to about 25 degrees, so the frost did not harm it. It likes good drainage, so I potted it in the same mix I had in the Veg-Trug: 50 percent potting mix, 50 percent compost.

Rosemary needs to move inside for the winter.

My thyme has grown 2 summers in the trug, and like last winter, I recently moved it into the garden for the winter. I have a mounded raised bed for herbs which keeps their roots a little drier than the garden elsewhere. Herbs do not want soggy roots.

Sage will spend the winter in the garden.

Sage and oregano winter over for me, so I moved them into the garden, too. This spring when I dug up my sage it looked very ratty, but in the course of the summer it got big and beautiful, so I cut leaves and brought them inside to dry in my dehydrator, along with oregano and thyme. Basil I picked and dried before the frost.

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The Veg-Trug requires a lot of good potting mix – some 400 liters - but I reuse it each year. I dug it all out after removing the plants and as many roots as I could find. I filled two huge contractor bags with the dry soil, tied off the tops, and left them till spring. I will add fresh compost to the mix in the spring before I re-use it. If you have outdoor potted plants, now is the time to remove the potting soil and store until spring. 

I'll move the empy Veg Trug under cover for the winter.

Want help in your garden? I make house calls - consultations - to help you plan and improve your gardens. Call me at 603-543-1307 or e-mail me at henry.homeyer@comcast.net 

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