Food always tastes better with some seasoning and what better way to flavor food than natural herbs? Our holiday tables groan under the weight of the dishes we prepare and should feature delicious herbs for Christmas. Developing a Christmas herb garden will provide you with the unique flavors of these tasty plants. You can even preserve tender herbs for use in the winter. Use our tips to start growing Christmas herbs.
Creating a Christmas Herb Garden
If you want fresh herbs for Christmas, you need to start planning in spring. Holiday herbs add that special touch to home cooking and really impact the flavor of your dishes. Who can do without sage in their stuffing or a pinch of fresh thyme on their sautéed green beans? You can buy little kits of holiday herbs, but it’s much cheaper and easier to just have the plants on hand.
There are many traditional recipes we tend to make for the holidays. Some are cultural, while others are regional, but each has its own unique flavor. Much of the tastes we associate with the holidays come from herbs. Fresh, dried, or frozen herbs from the garden bring the “pow” factor to our food. Herbs that should be included:
Herbs That Will Thrive in Winter
Many of our tender herbs, like basil or cilantro, will be things of the past by the time Christmas rolls around. You can still dry them in winter and enjoy their flavors in dishes. There are also herbs that will still be useable in winter.
Thyme and rosemary are very hardy and can be picked fresh outside, even in snowy weather. Others, like sage, may be available in temperate and warm climates. Unfortunately, not very many herbs are winter hardy, but some can overwinter well.
Chives, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and parsley all overwinter well but may not have any of those tasty leaves in evidence during winter. Plan ahead and dry your herbs for use during the holidays.
Growing Christmas Herbs Indoors
If you want your herbs as fresh as can be, grow them inside. Select a well-draining soil and container and find a sunny window in the house. Many herbs can be grown together in the same pot. Just be sure they have the same water and light needs before combining them in a container.
Check the soil manually every three to five days. Don’t overwater soil so it becomes boggy, but also don’t let the herbs become too dry. Snip off what you need but don’t completely defoliate your plant.
Fresh herbs are pungent and flavorful, so you should only need a little bit to season your dishes. You don’t have to limit yourself to growing Christmas herbs just for the food. Herbs make wonderful additions to DIY craft projects like wreaths or candles.