I try to overwinter as many herbs as possible, indoors, and use them judiciously until they put on new growth. Oregano dries great in a paper bag (wash, then air dry for a day before bagging), along with some other middleweight herbs like tarragon and chives. Tougher stuff like rosemary and thyme — I just keep them going. Basil, parsley and other tender herbs get used up in an orgy of herbaceousness in the fall, then I save a few plants to keep going in the kitchen until next year’s seedlings are underway. (I plant extra so I can harvest micro basil, arugula, etc. around March-April.)
For seed saving in the fall, I let the seed pods mature on the plant, then snip them off (no leaves) just before they totally dry out. Hang them up in a closed paper lunch bag (writing what it is on each bag) to finish drying for a few weeks, depending on humidity, in the shade. Shaking loosens most of the seeds and is a good indicator of when they’re thoroughly dry, then you can pick out the stems and fan the chaff away gently.
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.