In India, winter is the most enjoyable season for gardening. Cold temperatures, dry air, clear skies, and bright sunlight are ideal for growing a variety of vegetables and blooming plants. If you want to make the most of this season, make sure your garden is ready far ahead of time.
Fortunately, you have a brief window of ‘October heat' in which to complete all of your garden's winter preparations.
One of the benefits of having a garden is having fresh herbs. During the autumn and winter, though, many herbs die down and go dormant. The good news is that there are ways to keep your plants alive and well during the winter months, ensuring that you have fresh supplies until Christmas and beyond.
Herbs that can be grown in winter
While each country appears to have its own basil type (e.g. Thai basil), it's found in a number of cuisines around the world, from Italy (where it's the main component in pesto sauce) to Thailand, and it can provide a kick to a variety of salads. It's no surprise that it's so popular because it's high in vitamin K, A, potassium, and calcium. It reduces inflammation and has been demonstrated in tests to help with arthritic symptoms. Basil also has anti-oxidant and antibacterial qualities, which can help with cardiovascular health and the prevention of harmful bacteria growth, respectively.
People that grow their own herbs never run out of mint! Consider mint to be a weed. They spread quickly and are difficult to eradicate. Mint is similar, except you want it to spread out and grow wild. This strong, hardy herb will, without a doubt, continue to thrive throughout the winter. It's an excellent herb to have on hand because it's high in vitamin C and iron. Mint's antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal qualities have also been shown to help with digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome.
Rosemary is a perennial herb, which means it may be planted all year and is hard enough to withstand freezing weather. This herb blooms all year and is one of the most economical herbs to grow and replace if your plant dies. Rosemary goes well with heartier meats like lamb and beef, and it can handle strong flavors like garlic. In addition to its flavor, rosemary—particularly its oils—has been used to cure memory loss, migraines, digestive problems, and other diseases.
In the winters, moisture kills more herbs than cold, so plant container-grown perennials like oregano, thyme, sage, and rosemary against a wall or the side of the house or garage.
Lift each pot to assess its weight to avoid overwatering container-grown herbs. The pot will be light if the compost is too dry, so water the plant sparingly in the morning (not at night as the water may freeze). If the compost is excessively damp and the pot is heavy, lift it off the ground to let it to drain.
Trim evergreen herbs into a dome shape (and remove any remaining blossoms while you're at it). This will shield them from strong winds or snow. Pruning back too much will result in serious cuts that may not heal.
Protect container-grown olives and bay trees against heavy frost using horticultural fleece or hessian. In addition to wrapping the leaves, a thick layer of bubble wrap should be placed around the pot itself, as the delicate plant roots may come into contact with the inside of the pot.
Basil and other fragile herbs should be grown in a well-lit, frost-free location, but windowsills should be avoided because temperatures below 5°C will kill them. Harvest basil leaves from the top, not the sides, and avoid watering these plants in the evening so they don't have moist roots at night. If the weather is warm, open greenhouses and cold frames during the day.
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