Different Uses for Cool Season Herbs
- Growing herbs can be a year round activity in our region; it’s not just limited to spring and summer! Here are some tips for growing herbs in fall and winter, and some inspirational ideas on how to use them to keep you warm during the chilly seasons!
Herbs to Grow in Fall & Winter
- - Many herbs can tolerate the Southeast’s mild winters outdoors. Hardy options like rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, parsley, chives, lavender, and mint can stand up to cold weather. But once winter sets in fully, chives will go dormant and oregano and thyme may lose some leaves to frost but will continue to grow new leaves you can harvest.
- - Tender herbs basil and tarragon should be brought indoors and placed in a bright, sunny area of your home like a window sil.
Cool Season Growing Tips
- - Always plant herbs in an area that receives 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day.
- - Herbs can be grown in raised beds alongside vegetables, or try them mixed in your ornamental flower beds to accent cool-weather blooms
- - A layer of pine straw in winter will help protect herbs grown in the landscape
- - If short on space, herbs are easily grown in containers inside or outdoors. They can be grown together or individually (except mint – it should be kept separate from other herbs; it can overtake them in a mixed container).
- - In case of a freeze or snow, water outdoor herbs well (in the ground and in pots) and use frost cloth for overnight protection
Fresh herbs are a sure-fire way to amp up the flavor in your Thanksgiving and Christmas meals!
- Plant rosemary, thyme, oregano, chives and winter savory if your goal is to use them for your turkey or in your stuffing.
- You can also dress up your dinner displays and plates by garnishing with fresh sprigs of herbs!
- Rosemary can be shaped into topiary forms, like a cone, and decorated like a miniature Christmas tree. It’s a fresh, fragrant option for an indoor or outdoor container to compliment your holiday décor.
Soups & Broths
- Those same savory herbs for your meals can add all kinds of flavor to homemade soups and stews!
- If you're feeling sick, add fresh parsley and thyme to some chicken, vegetable, or beef broth for a warm, aromatic sick-day treat. These two herbs are high in vitamins A and C, which are useful for fighting off colds and boosting the immune system.
Add a Little Flavor to Your Drinks
You can have a lot of fun creating holiday drink with fresh herbs!
Add mint to your hot cocoa
- - Boil a few mint leaves with your water, strain before adding in your cocoa powder. Top with whipped cream and a mint sprig.
Add rosemary to your apple cider
- - Mull your apple cider in a pot with rosemary & cinnamon sticks
- - Simmer for 20 minutes and then serve, garnish with a fresh sprig of rosemary
Add lavender to your tea
- - Steep some chamomile tea with fresh lavender for a soothing, relaxing bed-time tea
- - Hot toddies are great if you're feeling sick or have a sore throat
- - Boil lavender sprigs with tea and lemon
- - Strain into your mug, add honey, and steep for 5 minutes
- - Leave it non-alcoholic or add whiskey for an extra kick
Make a tonic with thyme & sage - another idea for those with a winter cold!
- - Pour hot water over sage, thyme and lemon
- - Steep for a few minutes, strain, then add honey to taste