Back on March 7th, I returned to the garden after being overseas for a few months. I sowed like a maniac. One of the seeds I sowed was basil. They’ve sprouted really well, but with winter coming on, I thought it would be a good idea to bring them inside to add to my kitchen herb collection. The basil has joined the herbs I sowed on the 6th of April (coriander, thyme and dill) and the parsley I sowed in a pot over a year ago (17 Feb, 2011).
This pass-through window between the kitchen and lounge room gets filtered light from a skylight which has proven to be enough light for herbs in the past. The location is obviously protected from the elements but, since we don’t regularly heat the house, sometimes it gets almost as cold inside as out (which is pretty mild – rarely below 10 C or 50 F). On average though, it is definitely warmer inside.
Last winter the parsley thrived inside and out even with us eating from it several days a week (I love my parsley). I’m not sure if it’s the temp or the reduced sunshine that impacts the herbs but last winter the one basil plant I left in the garden sort of survived. It suffered a bit of leaf drop and didn’t put on new growth but we could harvest from it and it didn’t die (it even revived a little in spring). The dill, thyme and coriander outside died (winter, summer, spring, you name it, I can kill those plants). I’m hoping this batch of herbs will survive better inside this winter. Actually, I’m looking for more than simple survival, I want to harvest from all of the herbs through the winter. Well, why not?
I also sowed a few celery seeds in the plastic pot that I took the basil seedlings out of. The packet says you can plant it in autumn but Gardenate suggests September might work better. I have about 10 million seeds (they’re tiny) so I’m not really wasting anything by trying now.
I have the opposite problem – it is the heat and humidity in the summer that kills off my herbs! My parsley and dill is all coming up nicely, and the basil goes year round. I tried planting the base of the celery as it re-sprouts, but that has not survived once planted out in the garden. I must plant some more celery, as it was a nice plant to have, but just one, not 10 million.
Most herbs we use in cooking thrive in a Mediterranean climate. Far North Queensland in the Wet Season is NOT that! So how is it your basil survives? I think your green thumb is the secret.
Celery is so versatile, but last year we had a hot, dry summer and mine got pretty bitter and tough. I’ll make sure to keep this batch well watered (assuming is survives the winter). Good luck with yours.
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