Autumn Guide To Herbs
17th October 2018
As the weather begins to turn, keep your delicious leaves protected to continue your pickings into winter
Herbs are the perfect choice for no-fuss gardeners. They require very little care throughout the summer months, and will provide an abundance of flavourful foliage that can be added to many dishes. However, to ensure that your plants are kept at their best through autumn and into winter, there are some preparations that growers can follow.
Protection From The Elements
Some herbs such as mint and coriander will die back during the colder months if left to battle against frosts. However, you can keep yours healthy by covering them with a cloche and placing potted plants in a sheltered spot – next to a house is ideal as they will benefit from the residual heat. Waterlogged soil is sure to make any herb sulk, so plant your crops in well-drained medium and keep containers on bricks or other raised surfaces to allow excess moisture to escape. If temperatures really start to plummet, try insulating pots with bubble wrap to act as a thermal blanket for the roots.
Tender herbs such as basil will only continue to grow if they are moved indoors. You can also sow seeds inside for baby leaves to be kept under cover all year round, or for eventual transplanting next season. In contrast to your summer routine, it’s a good idea to leave the dead foliage of some herbs on the plant as this will shelter healthy growth. Once the frosts have passed and spring arrives, you can begin to prune these crops again. Although some herbs such as mint benefit from frequent repotting, refrain from doing this now and wait until early next year. The growth rate will slow down significantly this month, and placing them in a larger container now could cause overpotting, which includes signs of stress such as yellowing leaves and wilting. Whilst it’s likely that your plants will recover from this condition if the soil is kept regularly moist, it could greatly affect the quality of your pickings.
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