Protecting Herbs During Winter

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Helena, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    north central Pennsylvania
    Last year many of my herbs in my garden did not survive. Some of my "old friends" didn't come back in the spring. I have never done anything with mulching or covering them as I have 2 herb gardens and just...never did. But since we do live in northern central PA..and it does and will get very cold and snowy...what advice does anyone offer. Should I or shouldn't I ???
  2. momlaffsalot

    momlaffsalot Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2004
    Helena, I bring my rosemary plants in (they are in pots) as well as my basils and succulents. I cut back my lemon balm, chives and oregano and that's it.

  3. Nan

    Nan Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    This is the first year of gardening in VA, but it is actually a better gardening 7 as apposed to the zone 6B that I moved from in NE Oklahoma. I put some herbs out here(oregano, chives, sage, marjoram, mint, parsley, thyme, and I forget what else...) and mulched them thoroughly with old straw. We have had a couple of mild freezes here so far and they are doing fine! In Oklahoma everything but the basil came back. I just replant basil every year because it is sooooo easily grown from seeds. I would imagine that PA is a lot like OK...maybe a bit colder. I couldn't grow Rosemary outside all year in OK...but here in VA I have several friends with huge plants of it in their backyards!!!! I have GOT to try that next year! I love rosemary!
  4. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 6, 2003
    I'm in Zone 5a, and brought in the rosemary and lavender this year. So far <crossing fingers> so good. I am doing my best to neglect them as I did when they were outside, and that seems to be working. I put the lavender next to a heat register, and the rosemary on the other side of the lavender (further from the register).

    I just took the basil and made a bunch of pesto and dried the rest; probably start some indoor seedlings this week.

    Something new I am trying this year: Potted up the parsley (BIG POT) and brought it in. At first, I wasn't sure it would make it, but it perked up after a week or so. That just tickles me. :dance:

    Something I may have to ask in a new thread is what to do with clary sage. I got a couple plants from a friend, and this stuff is HARDY. But I don't have any idea what use there is for it. It certainly isn't like my good old standard sage...

  5. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    northcentral Montana
    Mulching can certainly be a hassle, but if you collect old Christmas trees after the holidays, cut off the branches, and lay them on your herb beds, they will be a light, airy, non-compacting mulch that's easily removable in the spring. I never have to worry about the acidifying effects of the needles here in the alkaline west, but if it's a problem for you, you might have to do some raking.
  6. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2005
    Bristol, ny
    North central PA is zone 4 to 5 and you can grow any herbs that are perennial there. Lemon balm is an annual up here. Herbs are very tough and don't need much pampering. Don't fertilize after the spring cause they should harden off by fall. Cut them back in the spring. If you bring them indoors be careful of fungus gnats and whiteflies. Some plants including some herbs are biennial meaning that after the second year they resead themselves and die off. Still other perennials will only live about three years.