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How do I over-winter my herbs?

I have thyme, basil, rosemary and sage in separate terracotta planters, which are currently in my south facing garden. How long can I keep them outside? If brought inside, how can I care for them during the winter months? Please help, I'm a beginning gardener and I really hate to see all my hard work this season come to an end.
Last Updated: Nov 08, 2010  |  82 Views

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The thyme and the sage if sunk in the ground in a protected area should winter over.  Maybe you could even leave them in their pots, but putting them directly in the soil in a protected spot would be best and then they are ready to grow in the ground next. year.  If you want them in pots again next summer, then try just sinking the plant and pot in the ground. Make sure the rim of the pot (if it is clay) is covered as it will wick the moisture away from the root ball. The rosemary and the basil are a little more difficult as you need to put them in a very sunny window.  The basil needs so much sun that many people do not bother to winter it over.  The rosemary needs all the sun it can get, too, and if shy on sun may get mildew.  Just keep a eye on it and if it gets a little mildew, treat it with powdered sulfur from the garden shop.  It is completely safe and non-toxic but helps control mildew.  If you decide to bring the thyme and sage in instead of sinking them in the ground, they, too, need all the sun they can get.

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