Put your Herb/Bible Garden to Bed


It’s autumn! This week with Matt Swaim on the Sonrise Morning Show, Sacred Heart Radio, we chatted about putting your bible herb garden to bed.  Here’s some timely info:


Whether you grow your Bible/Mary Garden in the ground or in pots, this is the time of year to think about putting it to bed for the winter.

Perennial Bible Herbs: Trim them back.

Some herbs are cold hearty, like the woody perennials of sage, lavender and thyme.  Also mint!  Trim only a third of their growth back to give the plants enough strength for winter. 

Most annuals do not survive our harsh, Midwestern winters.

Pot up herbs for indoors.

Sometimes both annuals and perennials survive winter when placed in a light, airy, warm area.

 I can’t guarantee success here, but it’s worth a try. Actually, the container herbs wintered over spectacularly well last year in my unheated, attached garage, with dim light and very little water. The containers held both annual and perennial herbs. Their flavors were not intense since herbs need the right climate to develop their volatile oils. 

My bay tree lives all winter in the house, providing fresh leaves for cooking.

Before you bring any herbs in, let them adjust by leaving them outdoors in a protected place for a couple of weeks before bringing in. 

Herbs don’t always follow the rules for growing indoors. 
Basil is an annual and at the first sign of frost, the plant turns dark and dies. Trim any flower heads off to keep leaf production high.
Rosemary can stay outside until the temperature gets below 15 degrees. 

What about checking the pot they’re in?
Then check the pot they’re in now – lift out the plant and check for any bugs and root binding. You can set the whole plant, pot and all, in a shallow pan of water and the bugs will usually come out of the drainage hole and float in the water. For herbs lifted out of the ground, I’ll use a good organic potting soil.  I like terracotta pots so that they can “breathe” and reduce the incidence of fungus.
Don’t overwater – that’s the biggest cause of failure, especially with rosemary. Let soil dry out between waterings. If the leaves start to turn yellow, most likely it’s too much water.  A very light feeding of fertilizer when you water, like miracle grow, will keep them healthy. 
In a nutshell, you will need good light, good humidity and good ventilation to keep them happy. 

3 thoughts on “Put your Herb/Bible Garden to Bed

  1. My husband and I have followed you for many years. We were Catholic lay missionaries with Youth With A Mission for 18 years in various places around the globe. We relocated back to Cincinnati 10 years ago and have raised 4 sons. 3 of whom have gone in to play college football. Our forth son is currently deployed in Kuwait. Are use Melaleuca products as I enjoy the harm free ingredients. I would love to know if you have any classes where you are passing on your knowledge and love of plants and herbs to the next generation. I hear you speak of your grandchildren and I am sure they have caught your love of all things outdoors.
    Are use essential oil’s on a daily basis and know that I would benefit from anything I could learn from you. Thank you and God bless


    1. Hi, Stormie,
      First, love your name and you and your family are admired from the way you’ve chosen to live, spreading God’s word. You should write a book! Where in Cinti do you live? I teach at Jungle Jims, The Spicy Olive, The Flying Olive and other places. I am also doing a presentation on God’s pharmacy/eating from the Garden of Eden/Doctrine of Signatures at St. Louis in Owensville on Jan 6, one of the 4 cluster churches we’re in. We go to. Holy Trinity in Batavia.


    2. Hi, Stormie,
      I’m not sure if I’ve replied – having a bit of trouble with my site, etc. First, thank you for your mission and for raising good sons. My own brother served, as did my nephew and now 2 of my granddaughters, as well. Tell me a bit about Melaleuca products, will you?


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