UACES Facebook Chives


(Dec. 2009)

QuestionWe have quite a few herbs still growing in our garden now. What you can do with chives at this time of year? What about sage, rosemary and thyme? I even have some basil that is still producing. Can you dry them or is it better to freeze them?


AnswerChives, sage, rosemary, and thyme are perennial herbs, while basil is an annual. Harvest all of the basil prior to a killing frost and use it fresh, dried or you can put it into an ice cube tray, cover with water and freeze the leaves inside to add to soups, stews and sauces. Depending on where you live in the state, chives can stay green in the winter or die back. If yours die back, then cutting them prior to a freeze is advisable. Again, fresh, dried or frozen will work. For thyme, sage and rosemary, harvest as needed throughout the winter, just don’t get carried away and cut too much, as they won’t be putting on much new growth during the winter months. Tip: Rosemary is being sold now for the holidays in topiary tree and wreath forms. Leave these plants outdoors, as they die quickly inside. If the temperatures are predicted to get extremely low—below 25 degrees, you may want to move these potted rosemary plants into a garage or storage building temporarily. While rosemary is quite hardy through most of the state, container plants are less so, because of limited roots, plus the soil in the containers gets colder than soil in the ground.


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