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Herbs for Winter

How to fool you plants into thinking it's spring

Here are some handy tips for getting the most out of your herbs during the winter season.

While many herbs go dormant during the winter, several window box herbs actually benefit from regular cutting. Trim chives on a regular basis to keep them growing; trim back sage to keep it from overrunning your windowsill. Herbs like Basil and Marjoram do best when you pinch back blossoms and don't allow the seeds to set.

Good drainage is essential to any window box herb garden: Herbs like it moist, but not soaking. You can set individual plants in pots with drainage holes, and set the pots in larger containers with a layer of pebbles.

Instant Spring
If you're not willing to wait for spring, here's a good trick to know. You can force herbs just as you can with bulbs.

Propagate your herbs into some small pots by either dividing older plants or planting cuttings. Once they're established, trim them down to two inches, and close the entire pot up in a plastic bag.

Put the pot in the refrigerator for two weeks; then move it to your freezer for another two weeks; and finally put it back in the refrigerator for two weeks. Place the pot in a nice sunny window, and new growth should begin.