Your Guide to Fresh Herbs Year-Round

If you’re longing for fresh herbs during cold, wet winter days—take heart. With a little preparation, plant know-how and winter protection, it’s possible to have herbs in every season.

| February/March 2011

  • Keep fresh chives all winter by transporting its bulbs to an indoor container during the fall.
    Photo by Rob Cardillo
  • Harvest dandelion flowers to make wine.
    Photo by Rob Cardillo
  • Mint easily spreads throughout the garden. Try growing it in a container for convenient winter storage.
    Photo by Susan A. Roth
  • Lavender, such as this 'Hidcote' variety, requires very little care in order to flourish.
    Photo by Rob Carillo
  • Harvest nasturtium leaves during the entire growing season to add a peppery bite to salads.
    Photo by Rob Cardillo
  • Add color to semi-shady areas in your garden with bright bergamot blooms.
    Photo by Rob Cardillo
  • Cover yarrow with a layer of mulch during the winter to protect it from frost.
    Photo by Susan A. Roth

If you’re staring out your window, longing for fresh herbs during cold, wet winter days—take heart. With a little preparation, plant know-how and winter protection, it’s possible to have herbs in every season. Select a few (or many) of the plants discussed in this article and follow the accompanying tips to grow a selection of culinary delights throughout the year.  

Year-Round Herbs

What could be better than a plant that provides fresh herbs all year? Although it sounds like a culinary fantasy, several herbs do just that. When plant shopping, your best choices for year-round herbs are those described as “evergreen” or “hardy.” Even though many of these plants don’t die back in the winter, their growth slows, so try not to be too greedy when harvesting.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). This feathery-leaved perennial grows almost anywhere and even enhances the disease resistance of neighboring plants. Yarrow is quite hardy, but if a lengthy freeze comes your way, protect it with mulch or a frost barrier. Use the leaves in salads year-round and infuse the summer blooms for a refreshing skin toner or a cleansing hair rinse. Dried yarrow flowers look stunning in herbal arrangements.

Note: Eat yarrow leaves in moderation to avoid skin irritation.



(View a picture of yarrow.) 

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum). This mild-flavored hardy perennial is happy indoors and out. Harvest the leaves all year to flavor and garnish food. In June, cut the flowers for a pretty addition to a summer salad. You can trim chives down to 1 inch, four times a year, to sprout a fresh batch of leaves. After cutting down the plant in the fall, dig up some of the bulbs and plant them in an indoor pot for chives through the winter. The bulbs can be kept inside year-round or planted outside again in the spring. If you live where winters are harsh, mulch your outdoor bulbs each fall.



Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds