My summers are a often spent in a constant state of transition – one week here, one week there, an other few days here, a couple day back there again – you get the idea, and my gardening tends to reflect this repeated stage of flux. Luckily Vermont tends towards the rainier side of things which is one less gardening concern. As a result I have learned all sorts of tricks for managing my garden produce.
I have learned, that thanks to Vermont’s mild summer weather and with some small effort on my part, most of my herbs will last all summer long, and a few of them will even make the transition indoors for the winter months. The key to this seems to be topping off the herbs before they start flowering. This year I have oregano, thyme, chives, basil, and tarragon in my wooden herb planters, I have sage, rosemary, and oregano that survived the winter in terra-cotta pots currently set out on the back deck, peppermint and lavender can be found growing among my other perennial plants in the front yard (I have to keep a watch on the peppermint or it will take over), and dill, parsley, basil, and cilantro in my vegetable garden.
Tips for Basil: pinch off a few of the leaves along the plant’s sides as it grows to obtain a bushier basil plant, otherwise it will grow up into a single stock. Basil is also really sensitive to the cold, so if you are storing basil try to keep it away from the back and cooler parts of the refrigerator.
Tips for Cilantro: at the end of the summer I usually allow my cilantro to go to seed, and harvest the coriander.