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What Herbs Will Winter Over?

Posted by mrswaz z4 WI (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 22, 08 at 10:39

I'm beginning to plan ahead and think about what I need to do to the gardens for next year. I always hear about herbs wintering over, but I wonder what will actually survive a cold Wisconsin winter other than chives? Currently I have in my SFG rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme and basil. I know the basil won't make it at all, but will any of the other ones come back in the spring?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What Herbs Will Winter Over?

I have never grown parsley so can't say, but rosemary *usually* comes back for me. Tarragon does as well (not that you asked). chives, of course. thyme and basil have never come back for me, but sage has. This is in an non mulched raised bed. Onions and garlic are also reliable (check the garlic variety for cold hardiness)


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RE: What Herbs Will Winter Over?

Depends on the snow cover. Thyme and Sage are perennials, terragon too. Borage, an annual, reseeds itself around and acts like perennial. Lovely blue flowers, and nice cucumber-flavor. Most mints will not only overwinter, they will overwhelm your bed. Parsley is biennal, so will come up in yr 2, but you should reseed after that. Same with many of the perennials. They are pretty short lived.
Lovage is very hardy, and is tall, with yello flowers, and hollow stems, which are useful as straws. Grows in shade too. I've had lavender survive for many years in my z5, if planted in rocky sand and gravel. The prettiest of all is the borage. Its also an anti-stress tonic.
I found the seeds of most herbs to viable for a long time.
Pondy


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RE: What Herbs Will Winter Over?

Hmm. I guess this may be the year to test them. Ideally, this fall I want to prepare the gardens for spring planting so that I can try and get in my peas and other cool weather crops earlier. I guess I'll just leave most of the herbs and see how they do and work around them.

Justaguy- I didn't plant tarragon this year, but I love it- and if it will come back, that sounds like a reason to get some in for next year.

Pondy, I've never tried borage- but your description certainly sounds appealing! I may have to hunt that one down for next year. I also didn't know that parsley was a biennial- interesting.


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RE: What Herbs Will Winter Over?

There are a lot of herbs that overwinter in Wisconsin. The easiest of course is the chives, garlic chives, multiplier onions, anise hyssop, sage, lovage, angelica, lemon balm, lavender, oregano, sweet marjoram, thyme and tarragon. For the best tarragon, make sure you get the French. Russian tarragon does not have the flavor or scent of the French. Herbs that come back from seed are Borage, Anise Hyssop and Chervil. I also have a large Rosemary plant and Bay Laurel Tree but overwinter them in the house. I kept a parsley plant overwinter in the house, too, because I've never had any luck with that overwintering outside.


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RE: What Herbs Will Winter Over?

mrswaz, good luck with your selections.


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RE: What Herbs Will Winter Over?

I would like to overwinter my rosemary in my house this winter. When is the best time to pot it up? Last time I did this the plant dried up completely. What would be the best soil mixture?


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RE: What Herbs Will Winter Over?

I had my rosemary in a pot all summer, but I would say to use a good potting mix, not soil, something that holds water well and yet drains well. I kept my plant in the dining room in front of the patio door where I could see it all the time. As soon as the tips of the branches would droop, I'd water it well and I never lost even one branch all winter. In previous years, I had kept the rosemary in the livingroom by the east facing window, but because I didn't see it all the time, I'd forget to water it and I usually lost them before spring. So the best way to keep them is to make sure you water them well and often, as long as they are in a pot with good drainage.


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RE: What Herbs Will Winter Over?

Waterlily girl, Have you potted your rosemary yet? I should have added that you should do it as soon as possible so you can leave it outside to get used to being in a pot and not get the double shock of being taken out of the ground and taken into the house both at the same time. Let me know how "rosey" fares over the winter.


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