One important aspect of herb gardening is winterizing your plants so that they can make it through the harsh winter and come back in spring and summer to provide you with a bounty of herbs. Some herbs are annuals while others are perennials and you want to make sure that the perennials have the best chance of coming back the following year while the annuals will need to be replanted each year.
One thing to consider, if you have a harsh winter climate, is the times when you fertilize your herbs. Stop all fertilization by early August because you don't want new growth to be happening in the fall. The new growth will be very tender and be damaged by the winter frost. The same thing goes for trimming, this will also stimulate vulnerable new growth and waste the plant's stored energy.
When it comes to herb gardening, winterizing isn't that difficult because nature has its own way of preparing for winter. You'll notice that as the summer draws to an end the growth of your plants slows down. Many of the herbs will lose their leaves and the stocks may wither and die. While it may look like your perennial herb is dead, it is merely in a dormant stage - sleeping, if you will, in order to survive the winter.
As winter approaches, the soil should be on the dry side. Many herbs like dry soil anyway as they are from the Mediterranean and herbs like lavender, rosemary, and thyme are used to growing in the dry rocky soil. But there is another reason why you want to watch out for water as winter approaches because wet soil wicks the heat away from your plant. Not only that, but water freezes when it turns very cold and this can crack the roots of your plant.
Protect your winter garden by putting lots of mulch over the plants. Some people like to use a mixture of pine bark or even sawdust, but commercial mulching mixtures have an attractive look for the manicured garden. If your plant is very sensitive then you may build the mulch up so it is an a little mound of mulch with some extra protection from the harsh winter weather.
While most of the fun in herb gardening is watching the plants sprout and grow to a lush green that you can use in your cooking or for teas or remedies, you need to pay attention to winterizing your garden as well. Proper winterizing of your herb garden will ensure that you get those lush green plants next season.
When you have finished winterizing your garden, be sure to look at winterizing your home.