I have just started to construct herb spiral, I want to finish it before winter, let it sit until spring, and then to plant it with perennial herbs. I wonder which herbs have a chance to survive in my zone (officially 6, but my impression based on lowest winter temperatures is that we are closer to zone 5). I would like to have a majority of plants in this spiral to be perennials.
Also, is it a good idea to vary soil quality from top to the bottom? I was thinking about using more sand on upper levels (sand is a local resource) and adding more hummus/compost/rich soil on lower levels (this needs to be "imported" from outside).
Hi, I'm officially a 5b temperate USA climate. Some of the perennial herbs (and others) that have lasted for me are lavender, oregano, sage, 2 kinds of thyme, tarragon, marjoram, comfrey & chives. The rosemary I dig up & bring inside. There are multiple mints that do fine with cold. The borage self seeds. Jasmin is growing fast, the blossoms make tea. I'm sure I've forgotten some, but others will have info. Looking online will bring up a huge amount of information.
Thank you Cynthia, I'm a bit afraid that mediterranean perennials (thyme, sage, lavender, oregano) might not to survive the winter here - oh well, I guess I have to try and find out. Do you cover yours with additional mulch/straw for the winter?
I live in zone 6 near Detroit, Michigan and have grown thyme, oregano, sage, and tarragon in my garden for years with no difficulty. I don't cover them and they do fine.
This year I have planted rosemary in a sunny place next to a large boulder. Hopefully this will be a microclimate that will provide enough warmth for the rosemary to survive the low temperature, ice, and snow. Just in case I have several more in pots that will move into the house for the winter.
I've had trouble keeping lavender alive but know many other gardeners in this area who have no trouble with it. This year a neighbor gave me one of her lavenders which is now thriving in my garden. We'll see if it survives the winter.
I'm in NE Kansas USA, if that helps. I have my herbs on the sun side of house & they are protected from the cold north wind. I use a mulching mower to shred the fall leaves-these I place around the plants before the hard cold arrives. I entered a search 'herbs for zone 5'. Alot of what I grow are mentioned including many I forgot to write down. I have not visited this site before & am not affiliated with it.
Depending where you are in the world you might have to deal with lots of precipatation, or other conditions different than mine.
If you are in the US your State Extension service or Master Gardeners group would have Information about your particular area.
Herbs are fun to grow and used fresh or dried, this year's crop have so much flavor. I have a gallon jar of speramint for tea - think that may be enough
If you live near me I'll share cuttings or divisions with you to try.
Have fun Richard.
Tanya, thanks for your reply. Last year I have left some herbs on my terrace facing south, in large pots, and only mint has survived the winter. I hope that thermal mass of stones creating herb spiral will make a better niche for them though.
Cynthia, this is a wonderful, generous offer, many thanks I live however "across the pond" so no way to take advantege of it I have a lot of herbs seeds though, and seedlings are also available here (and except lavender, not expensive), so I'm sure I will have some fun planting. As I said, my goal though is to make it perennial, and reduce planting every year to absolute minimum. I hope I will manage to accomplish that. Many thanks for the link, I will check it now.
I would wait until spring before planting any herbs . I find that overwintering in pots often does not work for many herbs as they become frozen and waterlogged in the pots . Creeping types of tyme I find tougher than the upright types , perennial origano types can be quite hardy too . I also use what I call the two pot method . I plant the rosemary in two pots .then when the weather gets bad I lift it out of the bottom pot and bring it inside then return it to the bottom pot when the weather improves .
Living in Anjou , France,
For the many not for the few
I live in Boston, MA, USA, which is a zone 6 and my rosemary and thyme is evergreen, plus sage, mint, oregano and other all survive the winters here.
You just have to make sure that you get the cold hardy cultivars of rosemary/lavender/thyme/etc, but they will survive poland zone 6
Another perennial that should survive your winters is Myrrh (Myrrhis odorata).
It has been cultivated, and much used for centuries in Scandinavia (including Iceland).
(The seeds will require a couple months cold treatment if you are waiting for spring to plant.)
Its medicinal and culinary uses have been known since before Biblical times.
I am zone 5b and catnip, thyme, sage, oregano, mints, comfrey, wormwood, angelica, elecampane, and lovage are very reliable over winterers. With some babying parsley and lavender will make it. I love marjoram but it never makes it through. I keep rosemary and pineapple sage in pots outside in the growing season and bring the pots in for the winter.
You can plant garlic now! I don't know what is nicer in the early spring than to see garlic poking its bright green sprouts up through the icy ground.
Do you have plans to put stepping stones in your beautiful spiral? I am not tall, I would need a place to climb to reach all the way in to harvest.
The idea about putting extra sand in part of the spiral is good, I think. Thyme would like that.
Truly beautiful herb spiral! As a chef, I can't wait to get settled and put a few in. I use a lot of herbs, and can sell them too, so multiple spirals will be in order, and many seed orders placed. I'm really looking foreard to the little min-ponds for watercress and frogs.... I eat a LOT of frog legs, so this will be multi use!
"Them that don't know him won't like him and them that do sometimes won't know how to take him... he ain't wrong, he's just different and his pride won't let him do the things that make you think he's right"
Wow, I love how your herb spiral attracts pollinators! I find that my Sedum, Rock crop, Autumn Joy really attracts Monarch butterflies if you have something like that in your region you might want to try it. The bees also love it. I had a small spiral for a few years, but eventually the grass/weed moved in and took it over. My oregano grew quite nicely on top of the spiral. I'm planning on building another one, just haven't decided on the spot yet.
Josephine, Forest Witch
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