5 Top Herbs for the Winter Garden

Winter Herbs to Grow Now

Our mild winter climate is perfect for cultivating a range of aromatic and flavourful herbs that can be used in cooking, home remedies and even DIY projects. Here’s our guide on our top 5 herbs for the winter garden:

  1. Rosemary: This robust herb thrives in cooler weather and adds a wonderful flavour to soups, stews, and roasted meats.
  2. Thyme: A versatile herb that’s great for seasoning a variety of dishes, from roasted vegetables to poultry.
  3. Sage: Known for its strong, earthy flavour, sage is perfect for hearty winter recipes and home remedies.
  4. Parsley: A nutrient-rich herb that grows well in winter, ideal for garnishing dishes and adding fresh, vibrant flavour.
  5. Oregano: A staple in Mediterranean cuisine, oregano flourishes in cooler temperatures and enhances sauces, soups and more.

Harvesting Tips

  • Timing: Harvest herbs in the morning after the dew has dried but before the sun gets too hot. This helps preserve their essential oils and flavours.
  • Method: Use sharp scissors or pruning shears to cut the herbs. For most herbs, trim just above a leaf node (where leaves attach to the stem) to encourage new growth.
  • Quantity: Don’t harvest more than one-third of the plant at a time to ensure it continues to thrive.

Storing Your Harvest

  1. Fresh Storage: Place harvested herbs in a jar with water, like a bouquet, and store them in the refrigerator. Change the water every few days to keep them fresh.
  2. Drying: Bundle small bunches of herbs and hang them upside down in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Once dry, store them in airtight containers.
  3. Freezing: Chop herbs and place them in ice cube trays with a bit of water or olive oil. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag for long-term storage.

Using Winter Herbs

  • Cooking: Winter herbs can elevate your culinary creations. Add rosemary and thyme to roasted meats and vegetables, sage to your stuffing or savoury dishes, and parsley and oregano to soups, stews, and sauces.
  • Home Remedies: Sage tea can soothe a sore throat, and rosemary-infused oil is excellent for massages to relieve muscle pain.
  • DIY Projects: Create fragrant herb sachets to freshen up your home or make homemade herbal bath salts for a relaxing soak.

Recipes to Try

  1. Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Potatoes
    • Ingredients: Potatoes, fresh rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
    • Instructions: Toss potatoes with olive oil, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven at 200°C until golden and crispy.

2.  Sage and Butternut Squash Soup

    • Ingredients: Butternut squash, fresh sage, onion, garlic, vegetable broth, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
    • Instructions: Sauté chopped onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add cubed butternut squash, broth, and chopped sage. Simmer until the squash is tender, then blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

By incorporating winter herbs into your gardening routine, you can enjoy their benefits all season long. Whether you’re enhancing your meals or creating natural remedies, these hardy plants will bring warmth and flavour to your winter days. Happy gardening!