Tips for wintertime herb gardening
Planting in winter might seem counterintuitive for those fresh to gardening, but many herbs and plants actually have a greater chance of survival when planted in winter rather than spring or any other season. Also, just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for a supply of fresh herb goodness, right in your own backyard or kitchen. The Australian School of Herbal Medicine is a big fan of herb gardening all year round and is here with some tips on how to garden like the best of them throughout the colder months.
The benefits of fresh herbs
Fresh herbs are jam-packed full of nutritional goodness, and while some of it remains in dried varieties, it doesn’t come close to its fresh counterpart. Not only that, but fresh herbs taste so much better, adding a richness in flavour that dried herbs simply cannot match. As a bonus, enjoying that splash of green in your kitchen or the wellbeing benefits of working in your garden, might even give you that extra boost to get through the winter smiling.
What herbs grow well in winter?
Being in Australia, we’re more spoilt for choice when it comes to what herbs we can grow and enjoy throughout the winter months. Amongst the perennial herbs you can enjoy year-round are rosemary, chives, thyme and mint. Just remember that any plant grows slower in winter, so make sure you don’t stunt its growth by over-harvesting.
Perhaps most beneficial in the colder months is coriander, which tends to spring to seed if it gets too hot. The cold, moist soil of winter will suit it well and will encourage it to grow without seeding. So why not make some tacos or throw it in your soup, salad, pesto, you name it – coriander goes well with nearly everything.
What vegetables grow well in winter?
Herbs alone don’t make a meal, so we’ve included some great vegetables for a homegrown winter meal. With vegetables you’ve got a range of winter harvest options, including potatoes, garlic, dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, leeks, onions, broad beans, peas, asparagus, carrots and much more. These vegetables are ideally planted in autumn and can be harvested right through winter. As it is always better to eat foods fresh from the soil, we wholeheartedly suggest you make time and space for a little veggie patch to go with your herb garden.
Take it indoors
Many plants thrive wherever they grow – even on a sunny kitchen benchtop or windowsill in the dead of winter. For some wintertime herbal goodness consider repotting your favourite herbs from the garden in autumn and propping them on your windowsill through winter. Just remember to make sure they get the appropriate amount of water and sun – it can be easy to over-water plants, especially if they’re in a pot that doesn’t drain, but if it does drain, make sure you don’t cause any water damage with a plate or an extra pot. Our favourite winter windowsill herbs? Basil, coriander, mint and oregano! These staple herbs grow well in pots on the counter, require little care, provide key tastes that go with most dishes and look great! Happy winter gardening!