Winterize Your Herb Garden

Well, we arrived home from a week in sunny Las Vegas, welcomed by snow and below zero temperatures! Unusual for here on the west coast of Canada in mid-November.

Luckily, I had taken care to winterize my herbs before I left. Here’s what to do with some of the more common herbs to prepare them for winter.

Oregano: Cut back to about 2 inches tall. If you are in a cold climate, cover with straw or mulch so the crown of the plant is protected.

Sage: This one is quite hardy, but a good trim will also help. Sage will rejuvenate well from being trimmed right back every second year or so.

Thyme: Hardy enough not to need any special treatment.

Rosemary: I lost my big rosemary bush one year when we had 2 weeks of well below zero weather. This one is not hardy in many areas, and if yours is planted out in your garden, then make sure you protect it with straw and wrapping with burlap. In colder areas, plant rosemary in a container and bring it into a cool area like a greenhouse or garage for the winter months.

Chives: Allow to die back and clear away the dead stalks. This is a very hardy plant. Divide the clump in early spring.

Parsley: Allow to self seed. Parsley can survive some freezing weather.

Cilantro and Dill: Allow to self seed. These are tender annuals, but readily self seed.

Basil: Most tender annual – best to clip and fresh-freeze all the foliage and buy a new plant or two to have indoors on your windowsill for fresh basil during the winter.

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