How To Prepare A Herb Garden For Winter

Paul West/ Backyard Maintenance

If you’re anything like me then you will know that growing herbs is a fantastic way to pass the time whilst also adding a lot of flavour and nutrition at mealtimes. That said you may well think if you have to give any special preparation thought to make sure your herb garden gets through the winter.

A lot of gardeners feel that taking the time to prepare a herb garden for the onslaught of winter can help to keep the plants healthy as the cold and frost strike. Personally, I feel they’re quite right so let’s take the time in this article to walk you through preparing your herb garden for the winter spell.

Believe it or not, making preparations for winter survival of your herbs is not a complex process and can be distilled down into relatively few easy steps. I’m going to walk you through the steps involved for both indoor and outdoor herbs and give your garden the best chance of winter survival.

Understanding Perennial And Annual Herbs

you may have come across the term perennial herbs before but not been quite sure what that means. Perennial herbs are a particular type of plant can survive the winter. These include Sage, Rosemary, oregano, thyme and chives and you will probably be familiar with all of them. Fortunately this type of herb or stay alive, even if the temperature gets really cold. The benefit of that is that you don’t have to plant them again the following spring.

However, needless to say there are also those plants for which there is a different story overwinter. These normally have to be replanted each spring because they won’t survive cold snap. These include basil and parsley and the name given to this particular type of herb is to call them annual herbs. So if you want that particular group to be a regular part of your herb garden then you’ll be faced with replanting as the weather improves yearly.

That’s a brief overview of the types of herbs that we often encounter so now let’s talk about winter itself

Annual herbs are a different story though. They usually don’t make it through cold weather and need to be replanted in the spring. Basil and parsley are examples of annual herbs. So if you want these kinds of plants in your garden next year then you’ll need to buy new ones when it warms up outside.

Now that we understand what kinds of herbs there are, let’s talk about winter itself and what steps are involved with winterising a herb garden.  There’s a little bit of preparation involved for winterising but it’s straightforward and can ensure your plants survive for the coming year.

Preparing Outdoor Herbs For Winter

Winter can be tough on outdoor herbs, so it’s important to prepare them before the cold weather comes.

Pruning back dead flower heads and excess growth is a great way to get started.

Mulch should also be added around the stem of plants to help protect their roots from freezing temperatures. And don’t forget to give your plants plenty of water and fertilise them with compost for extra nutrients!

To really keep your basil, dill, tarragon, and other herb plants safe in winter, cover them with horticultural fleece. This will provide insulation and protection from frosty winds.

With some good preparation, you can overwinter your herbs without any worries. Now that we’ve discussed how to prepare outdoor herbs for winter, let’s look at what needs to be done for indoor herbs.

Preparing Indoor Herbs For Winter

If you don’t have outdoor space for a herb garden, don’t worry! You can still keep your plants alive by bringing them indoors during the winter. To prepare indoor herbs for winter, start by choosing a sunny windowsill that gets at least 6 hours of sun each day.

Then make sure to water regularly and prune any dead or yellowing leaves. Fertilising your herbs with a balanced fertiliser will help give them the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Lastly, be on the lookout for pests like spider mites or whiteflies as they thrive in warm indoor environments.

Next up is overwintering tender herbs such as pineapple sage and lemon balm which require special care due to their sensitivity to frost. One way to protect these delicate plants is to add mulch around their roots before temperatures drop too low. It may be beneficial to move your tender herbs indoors if possible since this will offer greater protection from cold weather conditions.

Finally, remember to check on your overwintering herbs frequently and provide extra care if needed throughout the winter season.

Overwintering Tender Herbs

Winter can be tough on tender herbs, like pineapple sage and dill. They need a little extra help to survive the cold! Here are some tips for overwintering these special plants:

  • Take cuttings of new growth and root them in water. Once they have roots, transplant them into pots that you can keep indoors during winter months.
  • Find a sheltered spot outside, like a greenhouse or enclosed porch, to protect your herbs’ roots from the cold weather.
  • Prune back any overgrown parts before bringing them inside to encourage new growth and prevent drought stress.

Bringing tender herbs indoors is also an option if you don’t have an outdoor space available. Place potted herbs near a sunny window so they get plenty of light, and make sure to keep them watered regularly throughout the season. With these simple steps, your tender herbs will stay healthy all winter long!

Tips For Overwintering Herbs Indoors

Herbs indoors during winter can be tricky. They need the right environment and plenty of care to survive through the cold months. But don’t worry! With a few simple steps, you can make sure your herbs stay healthy throughout the winter so they’ll be ready for spring planting.

To start, choose a sunny spot with at least six hours of light each day. If there isn’t enough natural sunlight in your home, consider adding a grow light to supplement it. You should also keep an eye out for any pests that may try to take up residence on your plants — like spider mites, whiteflies or aphids.

Watering is key when overwintering herbs indoors. Make sure not to over-water or under-water them; stick to watering only when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Fertilising regularly will help ensure that your herbs get all the nutrients they need while indoors. And don’t forget about harvesting! Regularly snipping off leaves encourages new growth and gives you fresh ingredients for cooking and baking!

Lastly, make sure there’s adequate air circulation around your plants by opening windows or using a fan – stagnant air can lead to mould and mildew growth which won’t do your herbs any favours.

Having all these tips in mind makes caring for herbs during winter much easier – if you follow them, your garden will thrive no matter what season it is!

Overwintering Herbs Outdoors

Now let’s learn how to overwinter herbs outdoors. If you live in a mild climate, it is possible for your herbs to stay outside during the winter months.

To winterise your herb garden, start by choosing evergreen plants like rosemary and thyme that can withstand freezing temperatures. Then add mulch around the stem of each plant to protect the roots from cold weather. For extra protection, cover them with horticultural fleece too!

Be sure to watch out for wet conditions as some herbs don’t do well with too much moisture – if there’s water pooling near the base of any plants, be sure to remove it quickly so they don’t suffer from root rot.

Finally, remember that even though it might seem counterintuitive, many herbs actually need more watering during the colder months than usual because of dry air and intense winds. Water regularly but not too often; about once every two weeks should suffice for most types of herbs. And when temperatures begin dipping below freezing or snow starts falling heavily, be sure to bring this beloved greenery indoors before it’s too late!

With just a few simple steps and proper care, you can keep your outdoor herb garden thriving all winter long. So what are you waiting for? Get started on winterising your herb garden today!

Final Thoughts

So as winter approaches, you may be wondering what steps you can take to prepare your herb garden for the cold weather. Hopefully, with the steps we’ve outlined above for the different types of herbs both indoor and outdoor, you will feel happier that you can take the right action. You will see that with a little bit of effort you can maintain the lives of your herbs throughout the colder months and many herb types will see you through to grow again the following year.

Follow our steps above and keep an eye out for pests as the weather improves and you should find your much better placed to carry your herbs with you to those winter months and into a warming spring

Questions? See If Yu Can Find The Answers Below

What Is The Best Type Of Soil For Growing Herbs?

Having the right soil is key when it comes to growing herbs. The best type of soil for your herb garden depends on what kind of plants you’re growing. If you have a wide variety of herbs, then look for a potting mix that’s rich in organic matter and has good drainage. This will give all your herbs the nutrients they need to stay healthy during the winter months.

How Can I Protect My Herbs From Frost Damage?

Don’t worry, protecting your herbs from frost damage is easier than you think! First off, it’s important to make sure that the soil in your herb garden is well-drained and loose. This will help ensure that water doesn’t get stuck and freeze around your plants’ roots. You should also consider adding a layer of mulch over the soil – this can provide extra insulation for your herbs during cold winter days. Finally, if temperatures are expected to drop below freezing, cover up your plants with a blanket or tarp to keep them warm. Following these steps will help protect your herbs from any frost damage this winter season!

What Should I Do If My Herbs Become Diseased During The Winter?

Don’t worry if your herbs become diseased during the winter! It can happen to anyone, even experienced gardeners. Before you do anything else, it’s important to identify what type of disease is affecting your plants so that you can take the right steps for treating them. You may need to get help from a professional plant pathologist or an extension office in order to correctly diagnose and treat the problem. Once you know what kind of disease it is, there are many ways to prevent its spread and hopefully save your herbs – like applying fungicides or removing infected plant parts with pruners.

How Often Should I Water My Herbs During The Winter?

Watering your herbs during the winter is important, but you don’t want to do it too often. You should water your herbs about once every two weeks. During the colder months of winter, make sure you check the soil before watering and see if it’s dry or wet. If it feels damp, wait a few more days before watering again. When you do give them water, make sure that it gets down into the roots of the plant so they can get enough moisture to stay healthy!

Are There Any Herbs That Are Particularly Easy To Winter Over?

As the saying goes, ‘A stitch in time saves nine’, and winterising your herb garden is no different. When it comes to herbs that are easy to overwinter, there are a few sure bets. Sage and thyme both do well over the cold months with minimal effort on your part. They require very little water compared to other plants, so you don’t have to worry about keeping them hydrated as much either. If you’re looking for something even easier, rosemary can often survive through mild winters without extra protection.”

Paul West
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About Paul West

Longstanding and passionate about really having family fun in the backyard. I'm no expert but I've picked up a thing or two along the way!