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Gardening with Barbara Armitage: Moving the herbs indoors

Success with her favorite herb, basil, incites writer to expand indoor, kitchen-tableside herb acreage

By Barbara Armitage

Basil is one of the easiest of the garden herbs to grow indoors. With very little effort you will be harvesting a fresh bounty to keep your winter dinners reminding you of summer.

Last October I had to face one of the sad truths that all gardeners have to face. Frost warnings.

I was exhausted after working the garden all summer but I wasn't emotionally ready for the end of the season either. Standing in the middle of my garden last October I realized that there was little I could do to stop Mother Nature's onslaught. I had waited too late to organize row covers over everything so I decided to save what I could and kiss the rest good-bye.

I seriously had no idea that my plan would even work. I selected a couple of the least dead looking basil plants, grabbed a hand shovel, up rooted them and dropped them in pots. The herbs were whisked away with the efficiency of the witness protection program into the safety of the house and relocated next to a bright southern facing window in the sun room. With winter coming fast and the sun going south I decided to outfit them with a grow light for good measure.

These poor basils had been giving their all since early spring, supplying me with several pounds of their aromatic leaves for my Roasted Garlic and Basil Marinara. I thought that they had reached the winter of their little green lives (no pun intended). They may have been down but certainly not out. Within just a few days new growth began sprouting, in just a few weeks I was harvesting my favorite herb again.

With one success under my belt I'm starting to think about other garden plants that would be happy on my sun porch. I have my eye on a lettuce table on wheels for next winter.

This story was posted on 2015-01-25 10:11:54
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Happy basil on my sun porch

2015-01-25 - Columbia, KY - Photo by Barbara Armitage. Safe from the snowy winter weather outside the pots of basil and rosemary love their cozy little space on the sun porch at Tucker's Station Farms.
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