12 Oct COOL HERBS
I should be more clear — I think all herbs are cool. They are my favorite plant group by far — if I had to choose only one type of plant to grow for the rest of my life, it would be herbs. But not all herbs love the heat, so today we’re talking about herbs to grow when the weather turns cooler. If you live in a milder climate and can continue to over the winter, this article is for you.
First, clear out the summer-beaten herbs out of your garden. If your basil is still going strong, by all means, let it be, but if you see those signs of your warm weather herbs fading and going to seed, it’s time to add them to the compost pile. Amend your soil if necessary and clean out any weeds that persist, then get ready to plant these top 5 cool herbs!
Sorrel: If you already have sorrel in your garden, you know that it also grows in the heat, producing a very strong flavor. At the end of the warm season, cut all the foliage back (great for the compost pile) and wait for new foliage to grow. During cool months, sorrel develops a more lemony flavor and is great in salads, soups, and sauces.
Parsley: I do grow parsley in the spring and summer, but it does tend to thrive better in the cooler temperatures. It’s high in Vitamin C, iron, and chlorophyll, and is a great food for the swallowtail butterfly larvae. Use it as a garnish or throw a handful into your smoothie or green drink.
Chervil: I admit that I have not ever grown chervil, and I’m not sure why. It has a licorice flavor, grows well in cooler weather, and will even set seed — so look for it to pop up again next year when the mercury dips! I’m told chervil is a great balance for egg dishes, and with all of the chickens I have on my urban farm, I’m looking forward to experimenting this winter.
Cilantro: Living in the southwest, I love cilantro. But alas, it does not grow well when the heat is on, so plan to add this one to the fall/winter garden. Wherever you pulled up basil is where you should plant cilantro. It will start to bloom as the days get warmer, but if you keep harvesting the flowers off, you can extend the harvest.
Chamomile: This herb will really thrive in the winter, and as it starts to put out flowers in early spring, you can harvest those for teas, tinctures, and bath additives. Like chervil, it can set seed to produce more chamomile plants in your herb garden.