Herbs for your winter garden


Kitchen gardening

In much cooler weather, can herbs survive? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’, and we’ve put a guide together to share the top choices for your kitchen herb garden this winter.

Tale as old as thyme

To those who know how much thyme thrives in the warmer months, this may come as a surprise. Yes, indeed, thyme is something of an all-rounder, hardily pushing through the colder weather.

For gardeners up north, thyme is an especially good choice for your winter herb garden: it’s frost hardy and able to manage dry conditions, ideal for those highveld winters.

Ideal companion herb

Sage and oregano are friendly neighbours to thyme, as they share similar growing conditions. 

Freshly minted

Another resilient sprout, mint is quite a fast-growing spreading plant, so take care to give it enough space for its roots to spread. Some gardeners aren’t big on this characteristic of the plant, so if you’re one of them, rather stick to pots or raised beds when planting this herb. 

In the Cape, winter rainfall will keep this herb happy; for Gauteng gardeners, be sure to water regularly to keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged.

Ideal companion herb

Mint is the exception here: it’s not a particularly hospitable neighbour to other herbs. But consider planting it alongside veggies from the brassica family (so, your cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale). Interestingly, these crops benefit from the fragrant essential oils in the mint plant.

Oregano, the all-rounder

The delectable aroma from your pot of bolognaise or fresh home-made pizza takes enough convincing, we think, to add this herb to your winter garden.

Oregano is impressively resilient against winter frost, and comes with the added bonus of deterring aphids and other pests from neighbouring plants. A herb that earns its place – we’re fans!

Ideal companion herb

Parsley and rosemary are good friends of this Mediterranean mainstay, so be sure to plant them together for an easily accessible supply of fragrant sprigs for your kitchen.

Rosemary rules 

It isn’t winter without roasts, and it isn’t a roast without that distinct rosemary aroma.

She can handle the cool climes, just be sure to take care of her by planting in a well-draining pot in a nice sunny spot. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and you’ll be rewarded with a continuous supply of garnishes and flavourings.

Ideal companion herb

Quite the opposite to mint, rosemary is the popular companion to many a winter herb. In fact, you can grow it alongside all the other herbs we’ve mentioned!

Sage advice

Needing a little more attention than thyme, sage is still remarkably hardy, thriving in cooler weather. Plant this long-leafed herb in a pot with good drainage in full sun for the best results.

A heads-up: expect slightly smaller leaves in winter. 

Ideal companion herb

Rosemary is sage’s bestie, intensifying the health and flavour of sage when grown alongside it. Other top companions to add variety to your herb garden and keep your sage happy include lemon balm, oregano and fennel.

Stock up and savour your herbs

At your local Stodels Garden Centre, you’ll find all you need to start or boost your winter herb garden, including seeds, seedlings, fertiliser, tools… and gardening experts

Western Cape customers, you can also browse these online and use our Consultants-on-Call service for guidance.

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