New Herb Garden Planted in Fall
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Ken Proffitt
Posted on: September 23, 1998

Have just established a new herb garden(empty except for the design which is an eight pie shaped circle with eight planting triangiular sections.

We want to get this planted with a variety of herbs that are generally perennial, especially lavenders. and other scented low growing herbs.

Can we plant this late or should we wait until next spring? Would appreciate any advice. We have your catalogue (terrific selection) but need your input before we order for this late in the year or order for next sprinng.

We are in Cranbrook, B.C., zone 3/4.

We happen to think that the fall is an excellent time to plant many hardy perennial herbs. We are planting a large display herb garden next week (late September) and we expect few problems with over-wintering. We are in zone 5 and our soil has excellent drainage and we can plant most of the important perennial herbs, including lavender, tarragon, thyme, oregano, etc.

Your zone 3-4 makes for a somewhat riskier proposition. Even if you plant in the spring, many important herbs are not hardy in your area. Lavender and thyme are just two examples, both of which are hardy only to zone 5, or perhaps zone 4 with winter protection. We suggest that you delay planting until next spring, and in the meantime get Deni Bown’s excellent book, "Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses" because it has the hardiness zones of most of the herbs on our catalogue, and it indicates sun exposure and soil requirements for most of the 1000 or so herbs it covers.

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