The common herbs that are usually grown together in a herb garden vary in their ability to survive winter weather. Some are quite tough and need little protection, but others will benefit from overwintering indoors. There are measures you can take to protect your herbs for winter as Kris Wetherbee explains in her article which I found over at the OregonLive website.
Winter is always unpredictable at best, and sometimes the onslaughts of unexpected hard freezes and soggy ground caused by chilly wet weather can take its toll on the more sensitive herbs in your garden. The worst case scenario is when a perennial plant succumbs to winter weather and dies.
Even more robust herbs like thyme, oregano and sage benefit from some level of protection in the garden from our sometimes cold and often wet winter weather. For Mediterranean herbs like these that like drier conditions, cold and soggy ground can make these plants more susceptible to disease or sometimes even cause their early demise, especially in the case of rosemary.
The good news is there are steps you can take to prepare your herbs for winter so that even the most vulnerable of plants will bounce back next spring. Here are some tips for both indoors and out on how to keep and protect your perennial herbs through winter.
Mulch outdoor herbs
While most perennial herbs are relatively fuss-free plants, that’s not to say that they are always immune from any winter damage. As such, the best way to keep all your herbs intact is to add a 2 inch thick layer of shredded bark, shredded leaves, straw, or other light-textured organic mulch around plants. For marginally hardy and more temperamental herbs, spread a 3 inch to 4 inch layer of mulch around plants.
The added mulch will help protect the ground from the freeze and thaw cycles of winter. That way the roots are less likely to heave out of the ground and become exposed to additional killing freezes or desiccate and die. Herbs with shallow roots are especially vulnerable.
It’s usually best to wait until after the first hard or killing frost (28 degrees F) before mulching plants for winter. Leave a 2 to 3 inch mulch-free zone around the base of plants when applying mulch. For herbaceous perennials that die to the ground, mulch the soil to keep roots protected.
See more at OregonLive
Image source: Cristina