Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Planting Herbs in the Fall: Which Herbs Are Best for Your Zone?

It’s the first day of fall (already!). Can you believe how quickly the seasons are passing? Of course, it may feel a bit more of a dramatic shift here in Portland, Oregon, because we had a short summer. Cooler temperatures than normal and more rain.

But it looks like fall is here. The leaves are turning from crisp greens to fiery jewel tones and the air has more moisture. The rain in coming! But before the weather turns for good, it’s time to plant our fall herbs. Planting in the fall gives herbs the chance to root so they are ready for harvest in the spring.

The best herbs to grow depend on the grow zone you live in. Before you make your selection, we suggest you find your climate zone on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to ensure what you want to grow is compatible with your zone. Here’s the link:

Portland, for example, is hardiness zones 8-9. There can be lower levels of light here in the fall (and certainly in the winter), so Portlanders may want to select shade-loving herbs, such as parsley and peppermint.

Or, if you live somewhere that gets too cold for herbs to thrive and/or does not get enough direct light, consider growing your herbs in containers, so that you have the option to move them around (or even take them indoors, if needs be).

You also may want to concentrate on bulb herbs—like garlic, fennel, and saffron—which should be planted in the ground in the fall at least six weeks before the first freeze.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you may find this Monthly Garden Calendar from the Oregon State University Master Gardeners Program: - september

You may also enjoy the article “The best herbs to grow in fall” for ideas about which herbs to plant: - september

We hope your first day of fall is fantastic and look forward to hearing more about your fall herb garden. Post any planting tips, photos, suggestions …. here!

We’ve also started the discussion “What’s your favorite thing about fall?” on Facebook. Join the discussion here:

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