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Herbs in the tundra

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Herbs in the tundra

Post  greatgranny on 8/5/2014, 1:34 pm

This year I decided to plant herbs that I have never planted before. 

Basil, Oregano, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.  Also planted Parsley which I have grown before. 

Anyway, I am looking to preserve some of it by dehydrating it in my dehydrator and also do some ice cubes with fresh herbs. 

I live in zone 4 so was wondering if I could leave the oregano and cover it after the ground is frozen.  I read that somewhere but don't know if it gets too cold here. 

About the rest, are any of them able to be potted and over wintered and then replanted in the spring?

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  Windmere on 8/5/2014, 1:46 pm

@greatgranny wrote:This year I decided to plant herbs that I have never planted before. 

Basil, Oregano, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.  Also planted Parsley which I have grown before. 

Anyway, I am looking to preserve some of it by dehydrating it in my dehydrator and also do some ice cubes with fresh herbs. 

I live in zone 4 so was wondering if I could leave the oregano and cover it after the ground is frozen.  I read that somewhere but don't know if it gets too cold here. 

About the rest, are any of them able to be potted and over wintered and then replanted in the spring?
This a a great question greatgranny.  I do not know the answer, but I also have rosemary and thyme growing beautifully in a large pot.  I want to overwinter them too... but I have no experience with them (zone 7A/8B).  I figure if greatgranny could overwinter in zone 4, then I probably could too.  I am very impressed by how well they are growing in my home made MM:




The plant in the upper right is ginger.  Of course this is a tropical plant, but the friend who gave me these two rhizomes has them growing wild outside in her garden.  I know I'll have to eventually separate them, but I have them together in this pot so I can hopefully over winter just one container.  It's difficult to tell the diameter of this pot from the photo... it's 20 inches.

Sorry for butting in on your post greatgranny.


Last edited by Windmere on 8/5/2014, 1:51 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added pot size)

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  greatgranny on 8/5/2014, 2:27 pm

@Windmere wrote:
Sorry for butting in on your post greatgranny.
Not a problem.  Your herbs look very healthy.  Just hope I can salvage some for next year.

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  walshevak on 8/5/2014, 3:05 pm

oregano hardy to zone 5A

Rosemary hardy to 30 degrees although the potted rosemary that was brought inside this past winter died and the one moved to the southern side of the brick foundation survived 18 degrees days but not for extended periods.

Basil   NO  It turns black with just a hint of freezing.  But it self seeds if you let the seeds fall out of the heads.

I had parsley come back after this past winter's 18  degree days.  It is hardy to zone 7, but is a biennial and will go to seed the second year.

Sage hardy to zone 5.



 German thyme is perennial in zones 5 to 9, lemon thyme in zones 7 to 9. In the North and cold climates, cover with pine boughs after the soil freezes to help protect from winter damage. In zone 10, thyme is usually an annual, often succumbing to heat and humidity in mid-summer


Hope this helps.


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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  greatgranny on 8/5/2014, 3:23 pm

Okay, walshevak, I think I will keep harvesting now and then will split and bring in some of the oregano - (will try some covered with pine boughs).  I think the sage, rosemary and thyme will come indoors.  (although I might split the thyme and cover with pine boughs)

Thanks for the info.

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  donnainzone5 on 8/5/2014, 8:03 pm

My potted oregano and English thyme survived our weird winter, which included temps down to -15F (or -27F, depending upon which website one believes).  

I brought the sage indoors, though, and probably will do the same this year for the rosemary, although it's a hardy variety that I just might cover for the winter.

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 8/5/2014, 10:27 pm

I have no idea about growing in cold zones as I'm zone 8a or b.

However, one way we preserve our herbs is to use my stick blender (cuisinart) and blend them into extra virgin, first cold pressed Olive oil. Then I spoon out about a tablespoon into a snack sized bag that I have marked as to what it is and when it was frozen. I press the air out and squish them so they lay very flat. Then these are stored in my top freezer drawer where I can easily see and pull out what I need during the winter.

Because they're single serving size it's so handy. I just use them and toss the bag so there's no messy clean up. I've done basil, thyme and cilantro like this. I'm fairly certain almost any herb could be done likewise.

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  camprn on 8/5/2014, 10:35 pm

@greatgranny wrote:This year I decided to plant herbs that I have never planted before. 

Basil, Oregano, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.  Also planted Parsley which I have grown before. 

Anyway, I am looking to preserve some of it by dehydrating it in my dehydrator and also do some ice cubes with fresh herbs. 

I live in zone 4 so was wondering if I could leave the oregano and cover it after the ground is frozen.  I read that somewhere but don't know if it gets too cold here. 

About the rest, are any of them able to be potted and over wintered and then replanted in the spring?
the oregano, sage and thyme are perennial plants to zone 3,  I believe. Dig and pot up your Rosemary and bring in in for winter. Must it every few days and don't let the soil dry out. I kept one for 5 years like me that. Parsley and basil are treated as annuals.

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  greatgranny on 8/5/2014, 10:47 pm

Thanks for all of your replies.  Yup, going to bring in the Rosemary.  I am now dehydrating some oregano and thyme.  Put some fresh in ice cube trays and will put them in bags in the freezer.  The ones that might survive will be covered after the ground is frozen.  A neighbor has tons of old straw that I would love to get my hands on - maybe he would be willing to let me have a few leaf bags worth.

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  camprn on 8/6/2014, 2:05 pm

I never cover my oregano or thyme. The potatoes ones do get placed in holes in the flower beds. They come through 6+ months of winter well.

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  sanderson on 8/6/2014, 4:53 pm

@camprn wrote: 6+ months of winter
 lots o 

I suppose one gets used to it but that's depressing to this Californian!  sunny  On the other hand, you get a rest from gardening.

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  johnp on 8/6/2014, 5:19 pm

We never cover thyme or oregano or sage and it comes up every year, in fact the oregano is quite evasive. We bought a new a new rosemary two years ago that is supposed to withstand our winters so we planted two plants in the flower garden in the front yard. Last fall every time it got cold I went out and covered the plants. About Christmas time I completely forgot about them and we had many very cold nights with I think minus 18 was one of the coldest. This spring it died back some but they are fine now so it worked. I think we watered it some but not much.

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  donnainzone5 on 8/6/2014, 5:22 pm

Do you let the sage go to seed?  I'm curious as to whether the plants themselves survive, or the new seeds grow.

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  greatgranny on 8/6/2014, 6:30 pm

@sanderson wrote:
@camprn wrote:  6+ months of winter
 lots o 

I suppose one gets used to it but that's depressing to this Californian!   sunny  On the other hand, you get a rest from gardening.
Where you live has its advantages but I like the fact that four seasons are obvious here.  I was in Texas about 15 years ago - in January.  I felt sorry for my kids who lived there. They missed the winter too. 

I'm old now so I enjoy the rest.  Except for the snow - and I pay someone to remove it - I love it.  Nothing like a white - and I do mean white - winter.  The 2 boxes that you see at the bottom of the picture are where I have planted the herbs.  They will probably be in 12 - 20 inches of snow but I can't count on it.  Sometimes we have a very mild winter and those are the ones that kill plants - Thawing and refreezing.

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  donnainzone5 on 8/6/2014, 7:45 pm

I love snow--and it helps insulate plants (up to a point).

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 8/6/2014, 8:42 pm

Our daughter and son-in-law want to move to Alaska. If they did, they would want us to probably spend a good deal of time there with them. Who knows (but God) what the future holds!

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  sanderson on 8/6/2014, 10:54 pm

@greatgranny wrote:

So quiet and peaceful looking

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Beautiful

Post  Windmere on 8/7/2014, 2:26 pm

Greatgranny, your snow photo is beautiful.  While I completely understand how difficult such weather can be (I once visited Wisconsin relatives in December), there is a poetic beauty about such images.  That time I visited in December, we had many friends and family over for a feast of a breakfast.  I was asked to give thanks, and in the course of doing so, I gave thanks "for this beautiful snow..."  after I said that I heard some stifled odd sounds.   When I had finished, everyone began to gaffaw.  They said, "We do not give thanks for the snow, we ask that it go away!"  That is one of my favorite stories.

I wanted to add something about Basil.  We bring some of ours inside at the first warning of frost.  The winter refugees end up living in our kitchen window, and they do quite well until I transplant them the next spring.

Several months ago we tried an amazing gelato at Whole Foods.  It was a lemon/basil flavor.  We only visit Whole Foods, at the most, once a month.  We've since tried to get it again, and all summer, without fail it has been sold out every time.

My daughter has been pining for that gelato.  So... she made some fresh lemonade in which she had crushed basil.  She then strains out most of the basil and adds a basil garnish to the top of the glass.  It is positively the best lemonade I've ever had.  It's like a refreshing glass of summer breeze.

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  greatgranny on 8/7/2014, 7:23 pm

Windmere, that sounds delicious.  Maybe I will try it.

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  camprn on 8/7/2014, 7:33 pm

@greatgranny wrote:Windmere, that sounds delicious.  Maybe I will try it.
+1

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Re: Herbs in the tundra

Post  herblover on 8/11/2014, 11:27 am

@Windmere wrote:Greatgranny, your snow photo is beautiful.  While I completely understand how difficult such weather can be (I once visited Wisconsin relatives in December), there is a poetic beauty about such images.  That time I visited in December, we had many friends and family over for a feast of a breakfast.  I was asked to give thanks, and in the course of doing so, I gave thanks "for this beautiful snow..."  after I said that I heard some stifled odd sounds.   When I had finished, everyone began to gaffaw.  They said, "We do not give thanks for the snow, we ask that it go away!"  That is one of my favorite stories.

I wanted to add something about Basil.  We bring some of ours inside at the first warning of frost.  The winter refugees end up living in our kitchen window, and they do quite well until I transplant them the next spring.

Several months ago we tried an amazing gelato at Whole Foods.  It was a lemon/basil flavor.  We only visit Whole Foods, at the most, once a month.  We've since tried to get it again, and all summer, without fail it has been sold out every time.

My daughter has been pining for that gelato.  So... she made some fresh lemonade in which she had crushed basil.  She then strains out most of the basil and adds a basil garnish to the top of the glass.  It is positively the best lemonade I've ever had.  It's like a refreshing glass of summer breeze.

You can also grow lemon basil; I have a huge plant in my garden.

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