Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Growth - Indoor Herbs!

As the days get longer, plants begin to come awake. We've still got a good layer of snow and freezing temperatures so outside plants remain dormant! But inside, we've over-wintered a few pots of different herbs and they are feeling the Spring vibe! Over-wintering herbs is always a challenge; these plants are all outside for the summer, so sometimes we deal with pests trying to come inside with them. This year, we've struggled a bit with white fly, which we think we've beaten with sticky traps and neem oil soil drenches. Then, we have to deal with the hot, dry air created by our indoor heating. Most of the herbs we keep in the sun room, which is east facing and very cool. We allow them to go dormant, water lightly just once a week and try not to harvest too much during the winter. This works well for woody, long-lived herbs like lavender, sage and rosemary. This year, the thyme and tarragon were both looking brown and dry. I cut them back hard in January, and they are bouncing back beautifully. The tarragon, pictured here, is growing vigorously. Just behind it, on the right, the thyme is just starting to bud. It will be so good to have fresh herbs for cooking again! And shortly, we'll start to seed more so we'll be herb-happy soon!

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