Late season herb planting

buzzitoSeptember 5, 2009

Does anyone have some suggestions for planting Herbs such as thyme, opregano, tarragon and sage this late in the year? We have some dificult soil (wet all this summer) which also has some clay. I am concerned the plants may not establish themselves well enough to make it through the winter. Growing indoors has been difficult for me with several plants due to poo sunlight. Any help/experience is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Scott AKA Buzz AKA Buzzito :-)

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Not usually done. They do better in spring. Tarragon, the true type has no seeds, and comes back every year from its roots. Thyme needs a while to grow indoors before its plantd outside. Mine is over 2 years old now and lives outside quite well, after I started seeds indoors. Oregano, for me is a bit hard to grow from seeds, but I finally got a couple of plants to grow in small pots, which were transplanted outside a few weeks ago. Not sure if the oregano will survive a winter here. Thyme does quite well and can even be harvested in winter.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 6:19PM
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karen_b(6a s.c. PA)

Since it's so late in the season to start an herb garden (I'm assuming that is what you want to do) I would prep the garden site now so in the spring you will have a head start at planting time. If you want to be able to use the herbs next year I'd recommend buying them at a reputable herb nursery. If you live near Gettsyburg there is a great nursery in Fairfield, Willow Pond Farm. I start most of my annual herbs from seed, but have found starting perennial herbs from seeds doesn't necessarily get me the herb flavor I'm looking for for at least a couple of years. Unless you have a sunny cold basement or greenhouse I wouldn't try overwintering herbs. I have overwintered rosemary successfully two years...but not two consecutive years. I've also overwintered lemon verbena & scented geraniums in a heated greenhouse...but it wasn't mine so I was at someone elses mercy when it came to temps and they kept it too warm. In otherwords I'd wait until spring to buy your herbs or if you are intent on sowing your own try wintersowing the oregano, thyme & sage. As mentioned above tarragon can only be propagated from roots, not seed.

As for amending clay soil, the only real remedy is raised beds filled with top soil mixed with compost.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 9:33PM
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maifleur01

If you already have the herbs go ahead and plant. They have about 2 months to become established. You should put a light mulch around the plants to prevent frost heave.

If you don't already have the herbs wait until spring.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 11:19PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I've done alot of late season planting. Unless the plant was in bad shape to start with, most everything I've planted late summer - early fall does fine. In fact, I now over summer the bareroot trees I get in the spring in pots, make sure they get the water they need through the summer and plant them now. The conditions are far kinder to them in the fall than the hot summer.

If you have the herbs or if you've already picked them up at clearance prices, add to your garden. I wouldn't pay full price for anything now - full price stuff buy in the spring.

I've grown oregano, sage, and thyme for years and they do over winter nicely for me north of you [buzzito] in NY State. Drainage is key for winter survival. Adding compost is a good idea but these herbs resent rich soil so take care how rich you make the soil. I've linked an excellent article of improving clay soils below.

FataMorgana

Here is a link that might be useful: Improving Clay Soils

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 9:42AM
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buzzito

Thanks all,

I bet you get a little more of a temp break then I do though living closer to the city has some of those benefits. I am going to get them in ASAP and work with the soil a bit. I will see if any really won't make it because of the cool evening temps. I am going to try and raise they're chances by putting some plastic over top (after finishing putting in some fence posts for vynl vence). Any ideas in that direction is appreciated. Would love to return the favor some time. And yes, these were clearance prices ;-) Thanks Fata on the clay soil link. Would love to hear more form you ... have to join an herb club :-)))))))

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 1:37PM
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gardenmom2(IN Zone 6)

I am planning on planting my herbs from their pots this week into the ground. I used to have them inthe ground and put them in pots because I was rearranging. They always overwintered beautifully. My plan is to cover them with lots of straw after we have a good freeze or two. I think that will help with the heaving. If I don't then I hope they will be ok in an unheated greenhouse, because that is my only other option. Any thought???

Someone above mentioned lemon verbena and rosemary in an unheated greenhouse???/ Is that possible. I was wondering but kinda scared to try. Any info would be great.

Thanks NIchol

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 7:59AM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

It depend on how cold or warm, how long or short the rest of your growing season will be.
I would try the following:

chives, onions(from seed=scalions) parsley, cilantro, dills, garlic, fenugreek,...

you can also gets winter savory, rosemary, sage, thyme from any nursery and plant them. They should all overwinter.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 6:16AM
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