How to Keep Your Herbs Thriving Through Winter

Caring for herbs during the cold, winter months can present some challenges that gardeners may not face in other seasons. As the temperatures drop and daylight hours diminish, herbs will require a bit more attention and adaptation to survive and thrive. If you want to maintain a healthy, productive herb garden through the winter, here’s a few helpful tips.

Preparing Your Herbs for the Cold

While the colder weather may signal the end of the growing season, with a bit of preparation, you can ensure your herbs survive and are ready to provide fresh flavours once spring arrives.

One of the most important steps is to properly prune and tidy your herb plants. Snip off any dead or damaged foliage and consider cutting back the plants by a third to a half. This will help them conserve energy and prevent rot over the winter.

Next, consider adding a layer of mulch around the base of your herb plants. This will insulate the roots and help retain moisture in the soil. Straw, leaves, or even wood chips make excellent mulching materials. Just be sure not to pile it up against the stems, as this can lead to root rot.

In areas with particularly frosty winters, like the Mornington Peninsula, you may want to consider moving your herbs to a sheltered location, such as a greenhouse, or even indoors. This will protect them from the worst of the elements and ensure they have the best chance of survival.

With a little TLC, your herb garden will be ready to burst back to life come springtime, providing you with fresh, flavourful herbs for all your culinary creations.

Essential Watering, Lighting, and Temperature Tips

It’s important to adjust your herb care routine to ensure your plants can adapt to the changing conditions.

Handling Limited Sunlight – One of the primary obstacles for herbs in winter is reduced sunlight exposure. Many herbs are accustomed to long, sunny days, and the shorter daylight hours of winter can cause them to become weak. Strategically positioning your herb containers or garden beds to maximise available sunlight is vital. Move them into north-facing areas if possible or use supplemental grow lights to provide the 6-8 hours of light these plants crave.

Fighting Fluctuating Temperatures – Herbs can be sensitive to both extreme cold and sudden warm spells. In winter, you should be mindful of drafts and chilly night time temperatures, which can stress your plants. Protecting delicate herbs with cold frames, cloches, or by moving them in indoors can help mitigate the effects of frost and freezing. 

Watering Winter Herbs – During the winter, growth slows and evaporation rates are lower, so your herbs will require less frequent watering. Check the soil moisture regularly and only water when the top inch or two feels dry to the touch.

By taking a few simple steps to protect your herbs from the cold and ensure their survival, you can enjoy bountiful harvests all year round!

Landscape Supplies – Mornington Peninsula

For sand, soil, screenings, and firewood Hastings and suburbs all over the Mornington Peninsula can rely on Bittern Garden Supplies for high-quality, affordable landscaping products and services. Our friendly and knowledgeable team can also help with expert advice on a wide range of gardening issues. Reach out to us online today, call 9583 9779, or visit our garden centre located on Hendersons Road, Bittern.