Don’t give up on your gardens just yet!
These 5 alternative approaches will have your herb garden thriving all winter long.
Just because the temperature has changed doesn’t mean your green thumb has to hibernate! You just need to modify your approach to stay gardening throughout the cold season.
Are you ready to start producing flavorful foliage all winter long?
Cold-resistant herbs like chives, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, and thyme tend to withstand the cold better than some of their counterparts such as rosemary. Regardless, any of these can survive when they follow these five steps.
Encase your herbs using cold frames or cloche.
Cold frames and cloches protect your herbs from the cold by encasing the entire plant. The enclosure traps the heat rising from the soil, raising the temperature several degrees when it otherwise would be too cold. This can promote further growth of your herbs.
What is a “cold frame” or a “cloche”? A cold frame is a house-shaped frame with glass panels that slope downward in position that capture the most sunlight for the enclosed plant. Cloches tend to be smaller in size and significantly more portable. Traditionally they are glass and bell-shaped. However, their higher price tags have encouraged the DIYers to create their own using cut-off milk jugs or soda bottles to enclose each plant. If you choose the DIY approach, don’t forget to push the edges about an inch or two below the soil to prevent them from blowing away. You can purchase plastic ones here.
Cover in mulch or straw.
Like a warm blanket, a thick layer of mulch or straw will allow your herbs to continue growing in the cold season. This approach works best in places that don’t experience extreme cold. When you would like to harvest, simply pull back the mulch or straw blanket, cut the herbs you need, and then return the mulch/straw blanket to its place. Keep in mind your herbs will not produce at the same rate as they did during the warmer seasons. If a small layer of snow falls atop the mulch/straw blanket it will act as additional insulation. When spring returns you can turn the mulch/straw blanket into the soil with little to no waste.
Repot your herbs and transport them inside to a greenhouse or sun porch.
If you are growing your herbs in the ground one of the most popular options for keeping them alive and producing is to repot them and move them somewhere warmer. The optimal way to accomplish this is by first trimming them back to about an inch tall making them easy to transport. You can use the trimmings and if there are extra follow step 5. Using a sharp shovel separate them at their bases ensuring that the roots of each one will fit into its container with well-draining planting mix. They will grow back when replanted in the garden in the spring.
Grow herbs in your sunny window.
Herbs can add that extra greenery to your kitchen window. Make sure they receive at least six hours of sunlight a day. If not, you can use artificial light to supplement, keeping in mind it takes about 14 hours of artificial light versus the six hours of sunlight per day. Keep your plants in an atmosphere where the temperature ranges between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a well-draining potting mix and water often.
Extend life in a cup of water.
Some plants don’t need soil at all. You can place a cut of basil, mint, sage, oregano, thyme, and green onions in a cup of water on your window sill and they will begin to produce roots and grow new leaves. This is a great way to get extra from your harvest.
Be sure to remove lower leaves to keep them from being submerged in the water.
Keep in mind all plants will do better outside but these ones are a great alternative. Their leaves might be thinner and a tad less flavorful, but they will still be fresh for weeks to come.
If you liked this article, you can find other useful household articles by searching our blogs. Keep reading here.
Dedicated to achieving her vision of a live Laburnum trees tunnel, Maureen Murphy, owner of Bayview Farm & Garden, engaged a team of staff committed to making this seemly impossible goal come to life! 20 years ago it didn’t look like much. But as the trees grew, a process of tireless pruning, weaving, and re-tying of each branch helped the trees evolve into what we see today. Every year in late spring the arbors burst with beautiful yellow flowers and beautiful fragrances that can only be experienced in person. Click here to learn more.
With spring upon us and gardening on the top of our minds lets discuss 5 simple landscaping ideas to spruce up your space this spring before you rush out and use your 20% off plants at Mailliards Landing Nursery coupon during the month of April. Don’t have one but want one? Request yours here!
- Do you have a side yard that doesn’t get much sun? You probably find yourself feeling defeated when you are constantly left with patchy grass intermingled with mud when you were shooting for a lush green lawn. This is a sight for sore eyes, but this defeated feeling can be instantly cured with landscaping material such as pea gravel, sand, or steppingstones. A smooth, full look in this type of area is appealing to the eye and can give your yard a polished look that is not only simple to create but is also easy to maintain. Pro tip! Spruce it up with some potted seasonal flowers to brighten the space when you feel necessary.
- Determine your yards focal point. This is typically one big item. It can be a tree, a shrub, or a hardscape item like an arch, bench, or sculpture. Perhaps your yard already has one? If so, work with it to enhance eyes towards that focal point. If you don’t have one, Mailliards has a plethora of plants, shrubs and hardscape ideas to get your yard from 0 to 100 in no time!
- Create a flower bed. When choosing plants, lean on the expertise of garden store staff (they typically have a plethora of knowledge in this area). Then experiment with plants that work well in that location based on the level of sun, shade, and soil quality.
- PRO TIP: Choose native plants! These are plants that grow naturally in your area, are economical, and super easy to care for because they flourish with little to no help and are still enjoyable to look at.
- Add fresh mulch to flower and garden beds. Keep in mind that dark new mulch not only protects your plants, but it prevents weed growth and creates a fresh clean look for your yard.
Let your creativity flow. Post a picture to your social when you are done and tag us in it. We would love to see your finished product!
If you are considering buying or selling and would like to dive deeper into this subject, we would be happy to schedule a consult with you at your home to show you even more low-cost tips and tricks for maximizing your sale price! Call us today at 360.675.5953 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you liked this article you might also like: Best ways to increase curb appeal for under $100 this Spring.