Getting garden herbs ready for winter
Winter’s on the way and it’s time to get those garden herbs ready. Although it’s one thing we don’t have to worry about in our restaurants, our Vapianisti are still on hand to explain exactly how to look after your plants when Jack Frost arrives.
October’s here! “Now is the perfect time to give herbs that have spent all summer in the garden some extra TLC to see them through the colder months,” our Vapianisti explains. “However, not all garden herbs need to be moved indoors. There are some hardy enough to stay outside throughout winter.”
Hardy garden herbs
Hardy herbs that can survive outdoors can be split into two groups: annuals and perennials. “Examples of annual plants are herbs like basil, dill, coriander and marjoram,” our Vapianisti explains. In just one cycle, they are sown and then germinate, grow, flower and produce new seeds that can be planted the following spring. However, there’s no need to take these herbs out of the bed after flowering. “They usually reseed themselves, which saves us the hard work!” our Vapianisti laughs.
Wild garlic, sage, tarragon, oregano, parsley, mint, chives and thyme are all perennial herbs. Domestic plants like wild garlic, mint or chives are also low maintenance, unlike Mediterranean varieties like sage, oregano and thyme. “These herbs aren’t used to cold winters and need an insulating layer of straw or fir branches to keep them warm,” is our Vapianisti’s tip.
Take sensitive herbs indoors
“Rosemary and lavender deserve a home indoors over winter,” our Vapianisti continues. “However, don’t let them get too hot. A light but cool spot such as a window sill is best. Just make sure there isn’t a radiator beneath it.” Other suitable winter havens for delicate herbs include bright stairwells or a cool conservatory. Kept like this you can continue to enjoy them next year too.