I use a lot of herbs in my cooking. Fortunately Melbourne’s climate lends itself to having fresh herbs all year round. There are even some like coriander and chervil that do better in the winter.
Coriander tends to bolt quickly during the rest of the year in my garden whilst chervil tends to bolt in Spring. My chervil seems to bolt at the end of spring reseeding itself, germinating during summer, and restablishing itself by Autumn. Whilst chervil generally looks happy all winter I do find an occasionally purpling of the foliage (as you can see in the above photo) which I’ve always presumed is its reaction to the cold. Correct me if I’m wrong about this.
Also very happy in winter is parsley:
I get excellent parsley crops right through the year although the plants do tend to bolt in Spring and I try to time my sowings right to ensure I have plants at a cropable size when the previous years go to seed.
Some of my other herbs look a little unhappy during winter but they are still harvestable from (in some cases only just). My mint tends to grow much, much more slowly with smaller leaves and more sparse foliage.
The sage also starts to look a little unhappy as the temperature cools:
Whilst my thymes tend to hold up pretty well, it does get a little mildewy which I presume is due to a lack of sunlight.
The oregano looks more sparse than it does during the rest of the year:
But it doesn’t seem to mind the cold too much.
The garlic chives hold up well too, as does the bay tree whose growth slows but as you can see from the growth buds it is still doing something useful.
The curry leaf plant stops putting on new leaves and starts to look a little sick. Its leaves yellow, but in my garden they stay on the plant.
I also have rosemary going strong but it somehow evaded the camera.
So which herbs can’t I harvest in winter? The tarragon dies back – although I did notice yesterday that it has started to reappear. Basil is a Spring to Autumn crop but otherwise most of my favourite herbs grow year round. YAY!