Gardening: ‘Easy herbs’ to grow in winter – ’neglect’ will make them ‘tastier’

Carol Klein provides advice on growing herbs successfully

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Growing herbs in the home is a great activity for anyone, whether they have a garden or not. The experts at GardeningExpress have shared the top “easy herbs” to grow during winter, including ones that can withstand frost and snow, as well as others which prefer a warmer environment.

One herb which can be used in stews, salads and roast meats is myrtle.

The experts said: “This easy herb has been grown in England since the 16th century and the berries go beautifully with game and pork.

“The leaves and flowers can also be dried and added to potpourri for a fresh scent.”

Over the winter months, it needs plenty of protection and will be happy in a conservatory or greenhouse.

Mint, which is a popular herb to grow in the UK, can be used to make mint sauce, in salads or even in cocktails.

What’s more, leaves can even be frozen or used to make ice cubes.

GardeningExpress said the plant will thrive indoors and provide fresh leaves all the way through winter.

Rosemary plants and small trees are easy to pick up throughout the year and due to it being quite a hardy plant, can live outside if the temperatures are about freezing.

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For the really cold weather, a garage or hallway is a good location for it.

Ideal on potatoes, rosemary can also be used when making bread and on poultry.

The experts continued: “The strong aroma and lovely taste of the sage plant make it a handy herb to have around. They love sitting on bright windowsills and will produce leaves all year round.

“After sage leaves have been picked, they can be kept in the fridge, frozen or dried, or preserved in oil.”

One herb plant which needs very little care is thyme.

According to the experts, the more “neglect” the plant experiences, the “tastier” it can be when using it to cook.

GardeningExpress said: “Bad gardeners should opt for this herb. The plant will happily grow in poor soil whilst rarely getting watered.

“However, they will need mulching during frosty periods.”

Benefits of mulch include improving soil quality and retaining soil moisture.

It can also suppress weeds and protect plants from harsh weather conditions.

Another popular plant which loves to be kept outside, even during snowfall, is parsley.

However, cold growth significantly slows down their growth and parsley tastes better when freshly picked.

The experts recommended considering bringing them inside to ensure they produce lots of leaves.

They added: “Leaves can be harvested when leaves begin curling and for optional flavour, pick from the plant early in the morning.”

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