The best herbs to grow during winter are those that you can easily get indoors during the cold months. They don’t need much extra care, but it does mean you have to be a little more patient when they’re out of the ground. For many years, gardeners have been growing herbs for use in tea, cooking and just to use on the table. It’s really only been in the past century that people have begun to grow herbs for other purposes, like medicinal uses.
For most people growing herbs in the garden in the summer is really quite pleasant. The heat feels good, the air is fresh and everything is almost manicured and ready to go. However, the soil can get so dry and even moldy that it feels pretty awful. When the weather turns cold it all changes. The nutrients that your plants need in order to thrive slowly diminish, the soil dries out and it becomes very hard to even water your plants properly.
Because you want to take advantage of the warmer temperatures to grow your herbs, you need to start planning early so that you can have them ready to harvest in the winter. It does feel much better in the summer to pick a plant and have it start growing immediately. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case when you are growing herbs in the winter. Some herbs tend to do better when the temperatures start to dip into the 20s, so here are some ideas on what to look for when you start choosing.
Your first choice will be cuttings. Cuttings are basically baby herbs that you can take and replant in your herb garden when you are ready to move it to the next year’s bed. If you cuttings are healthy, you should be able to remove the main stem and the main leaves. Keep the cuttings in a glass container with a small drainage hole. You can also try putting the cuttings into large pots that have some air circulation. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the container so that the plant has room to grow.
Another idea is to use pots instead of containers. If you have some type of a greenhouse, then growing your herbs in that can be a great way to get them started during the winter. Just remember that you might have to move them to an indoor herb garden once the growing season ends. Pots are easier to keep up with than containers.
Your final choice for herb plants will be your choice of pot shapes. There are three common pot shapes: square, round, and sun-loving. If you have a spot with east or west-facing walls, then you will want to plant your herbs against these walls. If you have a spot with north or south facing walls, then you will want to place your plants on the north or south side of these walls. A little research online can help you choose the right shape for your spot.
During winter, there are two plants that you might want to consider. The first is the mint plant. Mint tends to grow in damp environments and can survive in temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit. The second is the lemon balm or wintergreen plant. Lemon balm grows in much the same way as mint, but it will not grow as fast or as deep as the wintergreen does.
Growing your herbs during the winter in pots can be a great way to have healthy plants all year long. Just be sure to place your plants in pots that get plenty of sunlight and a good amount of drainage. For more tips on choosing containers or plants, be sure to check out the herb section of this website. Our site will even have some additional information on growing herbs in containers.