Getting Ready for Winter
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Dorothy Simcock
Posted on: November 11, 2003

I have several herbs in my garden and I would like to know how to protect them in the winter. As they say it will probably be a cold winter this year, I was wondering if putting straw over them for cover is sufficient.

Do I need to cut them back before covering, and if so, how much? If I use straw, do I need anything else for protection?

In my garden I have Greek Oregano, Echinacea, English Thyme, Thyme,Thyme Oregano, Oregano, Lime Balm, Lemon Balm, Edelweiss, Sorrel, French Tarragon, English Lavender, Munstead Lavender, and Sage. I live in Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre just outside Quebec City. My garden is fairly open to wind. It gets a lot of sun and rain.

I look forward to hearing from you. If there is anything else that you can pass on, it will be appreciated.

Cut plants back to about 20 cm, then cover with straw after a hard frost and cover the straw with some evergreen branches to stop the wind from blowing the straw away. Remove in spring after the chance of hard frosts is over.

If there is lots of rain and the soil drainage is not the best you might want to drape some plastic loosely over the covered area, just weighting it down enough to foil the wind from blowing it off. This will prevent rotting of plants due to too much moisture.

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