In the Garden: Bringing fresh herbs inside for winter

Published: Sep. 27, 2019 at 4:35 PM EDT
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We are getting dangerously close to the end of our growing season, but if you would like to keep some fresh herbs going through the winter, Sharon Meyer and Charlie Nardozzi have some tips for you.

Sharon Meyer: Charlie, it smells awfully good right here on your porch.

Charlie Nardozzi: I know. Ah, the smells of summer. Pretty soon we won't have them anymore.

Sharon Meyer: Unless...

Charlie Nardozzi: Unless you decide to bring some of your plants indoors. And herbs are one of the best plants to do that with.

But you can't just take any old herb, and of course you always have to have them in a container. So, the first thing you want to do is dig up some of your favorite herbs from the garden. Dig them up, knock off the soil, put them in a pot with some potting soil and then bring them back over here. And once you have everything here, then you have to decide which ones are going to do the best indoors. So, plants like thyme and oregano and rosemary, scented geranium, mint, chives, parsley -- they are all really good as indoor herb plants. Plants like tarragon, cilantro, basil -- not so good as an indoor plant. You probably just want to harvest those and enjoy those while you can. So, you have them all in your containers. You want to also put them in a shady spot. It can be on a porch, it could be the north side of your building, somewhere where it's going to get used to being in darker conditions because they are used to being in full sun all summer. And then before you bring them in, after a couple weeks, you probably want to spritz them with some insecticidal soap, just in case there's an aphid, or some other kind of insect.

Sharon Meyer: You don't want to be bringing that into your house.

Charlie Nardozzi: You don't want to bring those into your house, right. You might want to prune them back a little bit too, if their not fitting so well in the space.

Sharon Meyer: And you'd need to bring them in if there was a frost too, right?

Charlie Nardozzi: Yes, this is all happening before frost of course. And then you want to put them in a sunny window and just leave them there. You want to cut back on watering through the winter. But the things like oregano, thyme and rosemary should last right till the spring. Parsley, not so much, that you want to use up by New Years, but all of these other herbs, especially these scented geraniums, they’ll have that scent all winter long and you can enjoy them and have them next year.