Keeping beautiful, fragrant herbs on the balcony is a great idea. However, it turns out that not all of them can survive the winter there.
A little fresh basil for a salad and a little thyme for a sauce can color any dinner. However, in order for this to be possible all year round, it is necessary to take care of our herbs with special attention during the winter.
Some tips to get started
Before wintering, find out what group your plants belong to. Depending on it, follow the tips below. In addition, remember that you should move your herbs indoors when the temperature outside is close to that in the new location. Too much thermal shock can have a bad effect on the adoption process of plants. Suitable places would be a garage or greenhouse, where herbs should wait out the winter. Also, do not forget to water them and keep in mind that it is a good idea to add fertilizer before wintering.
What kind of pot to choose?
It is recommended to keep herbs in separate pots, but this is not a rigid rule. If you want to plant several plants in the same container, make sure they have similar watering and fertilization preferences. Otherwise, you may end up withering one of them. This is also important in the context of wintering, as it is better to avoid combining frost-sensitive plants with hardy ones. In addition, it should be mentioned that herbs will tolerate low temperatures better in ceramic or terracotta pots than in plastic ones. Whichever type we choose, we must also take care of proper drainage. This is because these plants are bad at tolerating excessive watering.
Overwintering depending on the type of plant
A large part of annual plants grown on the balcony, unfortunately, will have to be thrown away. Some of them we can store indoors until wilted, if they still look good.
Perennial plants sensitive to frost
It is best to store them in a greenhouse, basement or on a staircase. It is important that it is a sunny place, but at the same time quite cool. As a last resort, a windowsill will also work here. Before wintering, you can add some fertilizer to them. These plants should be watered at most twice a week. In doing so, however, care should be taken not to cause them to dry out or overflow. On the other hand, when temperatures return to normal, they can be put back on the balcony in mid-May. One of the most sensitive herbs is rosemary. It requires special care.
Perennial hardy plants
These plants can overwinter on the balcony without problems. However, you need to take into account the type of pots in which you plan to leave them. If they are made of thin plastic, herbs may have trouble surviving the winter. However, there is a remedy for this. Just cover them, and put Styrofoam pads on the underside. A valued way is also to put pots in cardboard boxes filled with newspapers and coniferous twigs. To avoid unpleasant surprises, keep track of the weather. If the temperatures are too high, the plant will most likely lose much of its water. It should then be lightly watered.
You may find that some of the stems will die, but this should not be a cause for concern. Instead, it is important in such a situation to undercut them after overwintering.
main photo: unsplash.com/Markus Spiske