December Herb Garden- Things To Do

Most plants in the herb garden will be dormant for the next several months, but others will continue to grow if temperatures remain above freezing. Protect the more tender herbs with cloches, agri-bond coverings or plastic tunnels.

Protect herbs in planters and containers against frost and freezing temperatures. If containers can be moved, group them together in cold frames, against the house or porch. Remove fallen leaves from the herb plants, as the leaves will pack down solidly and damage the plants.

If herbs are overwintering in the greenhouse, check for pests and diseases. Remove dead leaves and check under leaves for aphids and spider mites. Use an insecticidal soap for biological control. Be sure to water herb plants growing in containers. Do very little pruning and clipping at this time. The herbs need the leaves for protection against cold nights.

Should you purchase a rosemary plant or any herb plant during the holidays, poke holes through the foil wrapper. If water remains inside the foil, it will cause root damage. Keep rosemary plants in a warm and sunny window.

Gently remove snow from parsley plants, sage and thyme. The snow will pack down and either smother the plants or damage the crowns.

As garden catalogs come in this month, decide which herbs you wish to grow from seed. Order early, as the more popular herb seeds sell out quickly.

Herb plants indoors will benefit from weekly mistings to keep the air around them moist. Turn the potted herb plants in the windows once a week, so they will continue to grow evenly. Keep the soil a little on the dry side. Don’t over water indoor herb plants, and don’t feed them any plant food.

~ Meadow Walker

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