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  Put Herb to Sleep
  October 27th, 2006

Don’t Stop Herb Now!

You don’t have to make do with dried or frozen herbs just because it is winter. Some herbs such as mint, chives, parsley and marjoram, can be potted up to grow indoors or in the greenhouse for a fresh supply of winter leaves. The supply will be modest, but no less welcome.

Mint is an easy plant to force indoors, or in a cold frame or greenhouse. Lift an established clump to provide a supply of roots to pot up.

Be careful to select only pieces with healthy leaves (diseased leaves are common by the end of the season). You can pull pieces off by hand or cut through them with a knife. Plant the roots in a pot if you want to try to keep the plant growing indoors for a month or so longer. Three-quarters fill a 8-10 inch pot with soil or potting soil; then spread the roots out and cover with more soil.

If you want a supply of tender fresh leaves early next spring, cut off the tops and put the roots in seed trays or deeper boxes, then cover them with soil. If you keep them in a greenhouse (or even a protected cold frame) you will be able to harvest new mint much earlier.

Chives also respond favorably to lifting for an extended season. Lift a small clump to pot up. If it’s too large, you should be able to pull it apart into smaller pieces. Place the clump in a pot of ordinary garden soil or potting soil, firm well, and water thoroughly. It should continue to provide leaves after those outdoors have died back, and will produce new ones earlier next spring.

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