When you think about what makes food truly satisfying, many will agree that herbs are an integral part of every delicious meal. A culinary herb garden is the best way to ensure that your food is flavorful throughout every season. In cooler climates, culinary herbs can grow year-round. Yes, that’s right—culinary herbs are able to thrive even during winter! It only takes a little planning in the spring and summer months to ensure that your culinary herb garden will not only survive, but thrive, throughout the winter months.
Be sure to plant the herbs you want in your winter potager in the spring. There are many herbs that do well in winter and choosing the right ones only depends on which herbs you cook with most. Those will probably be the ones you will be happiest to have in the comfort of your own backyard!
In my own garden, I grow marjoram, parsley, thyme, oregano, and rosemary. Other herbs that do well in cooler winter climates are mint, dill, tarragon, and sage. Depending on what plant nursery you shop at, most of these herbs are usually available in early spring. Generally, plant nursery staff members are knowledgeable, friendly, and happy to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Purchasing these herbs in the early spring as “starters,” or young plants, is the best way to ensure that they will grow quickly and stay healthy before the weather starts to get cold later in the year. Starters are good for many reasons:
- In winter, it’s not warm enough to start plants from seed and germinate outside; by the time winter comes, starts will already have a sufficient root mass and leaf growth to survive through the winter.
- Starters usually come in small, 3-inch pots and their roots are more than ready to spread into the surrounding soil.
- Once you get starters into the ground and water them consistently, they will grow rapidly, if they are planted in an area that receives a few hours of sunlight each day.