There’s nothing like fresh herbs from the garden to flavor your favorite recipes. As fall sets in, the thought of losing all those herbs to frost seems sad. But it’s also unnecessary! You can preserve some herbs for winter by drying them now or bring some small plants indoors to continue to grow.
Assess Your Herb Situation – Take a good look at what’s left in your herb garden. For large plants of rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, lavender and chives, it may be best to do one final harvest and dry the leaves for storage. The plants are probably too big to move.
Easy Drying – Cut long stems to hang and dry them in a warm, well ventilated room out of direct sunlight using VELCRO® Brand Garden ties. Once the leaves are dry when crumbled, remove and store the leaves in glass jars in a cupboard. It’s best to use dried herbs within one year for the best flavor.
Pot Up Your Herbs – Look for smaller sized plants of your best herbs to dig and bring indoors. After digging and potting, place the containers to a protected, part sun location outdoors for one to two weeks so the plants can get adjusted to the container. Then bring them indoors to a sunny window. They may not grow much in fall and winter, but you can still enjoy snipping herbs for cooking. All the herbs mentioned, except parsley, can be replanted back outdoors in spring.
Indoor Care – Watch for insects that might have hitched a ride indoors on your plants. Spray insecticidal soap to kill aphids, white flies and mealybugs that will enjoy living in your warm home. Keep plants moist, but not over watered, growing in a sunny window with good air circulation.
What are you doing to protect your precious plants? Leave your ideas in the comments below!