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Any advice for saving herbs from frost?

November 12th, 2006 at 03:49 pm

This year was my first foray into gardening. What a joy it has been-- but I have a lot to learn.

We've had a few frosts here and most of my plants (ie impatients, sedum, begonia) have died. I have two large perrenial herbs-- (sage and oregano) that seem to still be doing OK. Any idea of how much longer I can expect the herbs (espcially the sage) to be OK outside? I'm in plant hardiness zone 6a if that helps. Maybe I should be pre-emptive and start drying some? Any advice on the best way to do this? I also have a small rosemary plant growing outdoors that I was thinking about transferring to a pot and bringing indoors. Do you think this will work? I love fresh herbs, but they can be pricey at the store.

6 Responses to “Any advice for saving herbs from frost?”

  1. tinapbeana Says:

    i would definitely start drying some, just in case. rosemary is an ever green and i'm guessing it'll be find during the winter, but the sage & oregano i'm not sure about. could you possibly transplant some of those into smaller pots and bring them inside for the winter?

  2. janH Says:

    Contrary1 has a website Frugal Gardening. She might have information there that you are looking for or a way to answer questions. You could also go to her blog and ask after her entry. She'll answer you.

  3. contrary1 Says:

    I agree with tinapbeana, the rosemary will be fine outdoors. If you're really concerned, pile up some leaves on the plant & give it a tad more protection if it's small/new. Once it gets settled, it will be fine outdoors.

    Can't imagine the sedums dying. They are perennial & mine are already forming their little bud looking like things at ground level, ready to sprout up in the spring. Impatients could have been brought inside before the frost & perhaps wintered over.

    Begonias..........I'm no expert on these, but my parents used to raise them. They brought the pots indoors, or at least into a cold frame over winter. Trimmed them all back it seems.... The tubers will continue for many years.

    Sage & Oregano: You could try keeping these indoors & see if you've got enough light for them. Or, you could dry them. I have a dehydrator, so that is how I do my herbs (& everything else). Just taking the leaves off the plant & letting them air dry works fine too.

    I'm with you, fresh herbs are so nice to use, compared to store bought, either dry or fresh. When planting your garden next spring, be sure to save room for an herb garden that is as protected as you can get it.......that way, you can extend the season a bit.

    Another that I manage to keep all winter are my chives. They are up close to the house, so they stay warmer...... Clipping some of them to put on food during the winter is such a treat.

    Keep us posted on your progress re; gardening..... It is such fun, great exercise & truly one of the most frugal activities you can come up with!

  4. threebeansalad Says:

    Great advice!! Thanks so much! I'm looking forward to reading the frugal gardening site in more detail. "Dead" wasn't the correct work for the sedums.. I should have said "done for this season". My impatients were doing great in the wondow boxes, I loved having them outside and kept hedging my bets until one one morning I woke up to find them frozen. Poor little guys!

  5. baselle Says:

    Sage is supposed to be good to zone 4. That is, if you have the sturdy culinary type - salvia officinalis. If you've a foofoo type of sage - pineapple, purple, tricolor - the pretty inbred stuff, that will go in the first frost.

    But you do want to trim your herbs back a bit and blanket them with leaves. Great for you, because the branches and leaves you'll get will make everything fabulous.

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    My sage and oregano have been going strong for 7 years and my rosemary for 5. The coldest temps we've had were 9 degrees F, with a windchill of -17 and they survived that. Mine are out in the open and I've never done anything to protect them. I'm in zone 7a. If you are really worried, try insulating them with branches from evergreens. I do that to my strawberries every year and they come back very well.

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