Wintering Herbs

| 10/3/2018 2:51:00 PM

Country MoonHerbs add flavor and zing to many of our favorite dishes. It is so nice to step outside the door and snip what you need.

Just because cold weather hits, it doesn't mean you have to give up the flavor punches that herbs add. Some, more than others lend themselves better to being brought inside in pots. The trick is to know which herbs prefer the indoors and which like to brave the cold.

Some are perennials and, even though their growth dies back, their roots remain healthy and prefer to stay outside in the lower temperatures. Annual herbs, on the other hand, are not cold-tolerant and like to spend their winters potted on sunny windowsills.

Sage, common thyme, oregano, chives, chamomile, mints, lavender and tarragon are winter herbs that can survive the cold. Softer, woodier perennial herbs like germander, marjoram, oregano and winter savory can be cut back by half to get rid of old foliage that may not have been harvested to spur new growth. Cut stems back until the plant is sporting a pair of leaves, no more than a third of the way down.

Winter-hardy chives should be cut back hard. Mint lends itself well to being dug up and potted if you have an abundance. Catnip left outside makes a great snack for kittens while beebalm makes a great pet rabbit snack.

Although many herbs can be brought inside, they may not gain much new growth during winter but they will be ready to go in the spring. Sometimes herbs are brought inside, not for their protections, but rather for convenience and enjoyment. Not much can beat the taste and scent of fresh rosemary all winter long.

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