Autumn Herbs: Extend Your Harvest Season

As the temperatures drop and summer transitions into fall, many gardeners are looking for ways to extend their gardening season.

One great way to do this is by growing and preserving herbs.

Not only can herbs be used to add flavor and depth to your cooking, but they also have numerous health benefits.

In this blog post, I will share some tips on how to choose, plant, and preserve herbs in the autumn season.

Whether you are an experienced gardener or just starting out, there’s something in this post for everyone.

So, whether you’re looking to add some herbs to your garden or you’re interested in learning how to preserve them, let’s dive right in.

Choose the Right Herbs

Are you thinking of planting an herb garden in the fall? There are many herbs that grow well in autumn and can help you extend your harvest season. Choosing the right herbs to grow is important, so here are some tips to get you started:

First, consider which herbs are best suited to cooler temperatures. Some herbs, like rosemary, sage, and thyme, are hearty and can withstand the chill of autumn. Other herbs, like basil, mint, and cilantro, prefer warmer conditions and may not thrive in the cooler temperatures of autumn.

When selecting herbs to grow, think about what you like to cook with and what herbs are in season. Popular autumn herbs include parsley, chives, dill, and cilantro, all of which can be used to add flavor and freshness to a variety of dishes.

Additionally, consider how much space you have in your garden and how much sunlight different herbs require. Different herbs have different growing requirements, so it’s important to choose herbs that will thrive in your particular garden.

By selecting the right herbs to grow, you can ensure a bountiful harvest this autumn and enjoy fresh herbs in your cooking all season long.

Preparing Your Garden

To prepare your garden for growing autumn herbs, it’s important to consider soil preparation and ways to protect your plants from frost and cooler temperatures.

Soil Preparation Techniques

Before planting your autumn herbs, it’s important to prepare the soil so that it’s rich in nutrients and well-draining. Start by removing any weeds and debris from the area where you plan to grow your herbs. You can then amend the soil with compost or other organic matter to improve its fertility.

You may also want to consider adding a layer of mulch on top of the soil to help retain moisture and regulate the temperature of the soil during cooler weather.

Ways to Protect Your Plants

It’s important to protect your autumn herbs from frost damage and cooler temperatures to help them thrive and extend their harvest season. There are a few different ways to do this, including:

  • Covering your plants with protective fabric, such as cloth or burlap, during colder evenings.
  • Using cold frames or mini greenhouses to create a warmer microclimate around your herbs.
  • Planting your herbs in containers that can be moved indoors during particularly cold spells.

By taking these steps to prepare your garden for growing autumn herbs, you’ll increase your chances of having a successful harvest and being able to enjoy fresh herbs well into the fall season.

Harvesting Techniques

To get the most out of your herb garden, it is important to know when to harvest your plants. The best time of day to do this is in the morning, after the dew has evaporated but before the sun gets too hot. At this time, the plants are still full of moisture, which helps to preserve their flavor and fragrance.

When harvesting your herbs, it is important to use the proper techniques to ensure that the plants stay healthy and productive. Be sure to use clean, sharp scissors or pruners to cut the stems cleanly and avoid damaging the plant. Never pull or rip the herbs, as this can damage the roots and reduce future growth.

Once you have harvested your plants, you can choose to use them fresh or dry them for later use. To dry herbs, simply bundle them together and hang them upside-down in a well-ventilated area, such as a shed or covered porch. Once the herbs are completely dry, remove the leaves from the stems and store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Remember to only harvest what you need and leave enough foliage on the plant to allow for healthy growth and future harvesting. By following these simple tips, you can extend the harvest season of your autumn herbs and enjoy their fresh flavor and fragrance for months to come.

Preserving Methods

Preserving your herbs is crucial if you want to keep them fresh for as long as possible. The good news is that there are several preserving methods you can use. Some popular methods are freezing, drying, or pickling. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks that you should consider before deciding which one to use. Here are some tips that will help you choose the best preserving method for your autumn herbs.

First, decide what you plan to do with your herbs. If you plan to use them for cooking or baking, then freezing or drying them might be the best option. Freezing is a great way to preserve herbs that you plan to use in sauces or soups. Simply chop the herbs and put them into an ice cube tray with some water. Once frozen, remove the herb cubes and store them in a freezer-safe bag. Another option is to dry your herbs. Drying herbs is simple and can be done in several ways, depending on the herb. One of the most common ways to dry herbs is to tie them into small bundles and hang them upside down to dry.

If you plan to use your herbs for pickling or preserving, then pickling or canning would be your best option. Pickling is a great way to preserve herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and oregano. All you need to do is create a pickling solution of vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and seasoning. Pack the herbs into sterilized jars and pour the pickling solution over them. Canning is another popular preserving method that can be used to seal herbs in jars for long-term storage.

Regardless of which method you choose, make sure to label your herbs with the type of herb and the date you preserved them. This will help you keep track of how long your herbs have been stored.


Herbs are a versatile ingredient in cooking and can be used in a variety of ways. During autumn, hearty herbs like rosemary and thyme are particularly fitting for warming dishes. Here are some suggestions for using autumn herbs in your cooking:

If you’re making a roast, try stuffing it with herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage. Infusing the meat with the herbs’ flavors will give it an extra touch of deliciousness.

Autumn is the perfect time for making soups and stews, and herbs like bay leaf and parsley can add depth of flavor to these dishes. Simply chop them up and add them to the pot while you’re cooking.

For a healthier, herb-based snack, try making kale chips. Coat the kale leaves with olive oil and herbs like thyme and oregano before baking in the oven. You’ll end up with a crispy, nutritious snack that’s perfect for munching on throughout the day.

Another way to enjoy the flavors of autumn herbs is by making homemade butter. Beat softened butter with herbs like sage or rosemary for a delicious addition to any meal.

Finally, a classic use for autumn herbs is to make your own herb-infused salt. Mix sea salt with chopped herbs like thyme and rosemary before storing in an airtight container. Use the homemade herb salt as a finishing touch to any dish for an added burst of flavor.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to using autumn herbs in your cooking. Experiment with different dishes and herbs to find the combinations that you like best.

Health Benefits

Using herbs in cooking is not only a great way to add flavor to your dishes but can also provide various health benefits. During autumn, herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage are readily available. Incorporating them into your cooking can provide specific health benefits, including:

  • Immune-boosting properties: Herbs such as thyme and oregano contain antiseptic and antibiotic properties that may strengthen your immune system and help fight off infections and illnesses. Try adding them to soups or stews for a healthy and delicious meal.

  • Anti-inflammatory effects: Sage and rosemary have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce inflammation and pain in your body. Using them in your cooking can be an excellent way to manage inflammation and pain naturally.

  • Digestive aid: Adding herbs like fennel, lavender, and peppermint to your diet can aid digestion and help relieve common digestive issues like gas and bloating. Try making a tea with fresh herbs or adding them to dishes like salads or roasted vegetables.

  • Blood sugar regulation: Cinnamon and bay leaves can help regulate your blood sugar levels, making them an excellent addition to dishes like oatmeal or smoothies. They have a natural sweetness, so they can also be used as a healthy sugar substitute.

Incorporating these autumn herbs into your cooking can be easy and fun. Experiment with different dishes and see how you can use herbs to not only enhance the flavor of your food but to also promote your health and well-being.

Using Autumn Herbs for Other Purposes

Have you ever considered using herbs for anything other than cooking? Autumn herbs can be used in a variety of creative ways that can be a fun and artistic addition to your home. One popular method is making potpourri, which is a blend of dried flowers, herbs, and spices that can be used to scent your home. You can mix a variety of autumn herbs such as sage, rosemary, and thyme with dried flowers such as lavender or rose petals. Place them in a bowl or sachet to fragrance any room.

Another way to use herbs is by making herbal teas. The cool, crisp air of autumn is the perfect time to enjoy warm, comforting beverages. Try mixing different herbs like chamomile and lemon balm with autumn favorites like cinnamon or clove. You can also use fresh herbs to make simple syrups to add to your tea or coffee.

Herbs can also be used in making homemade natural soaps or candles. You can use dried herbs to add texture and natural color to your soaps and add herbs such as rosemary, lavender, and mint to candles to give them a light, refreshing scent.

Lastly, you can use herbs to create your own natural cleaning products. Herbs like thyme, lavender, and lemon balm have natural antibacterial properties, making them a great addition to homemade cleaners. Mix them with vinegar and water for a natural, aromatic household cleaner.

Overall, there are endless ways to use autumn herbs beyond cooking. The possibilities for creativity are endless, and incorporating these fragrant herbs into your daily routine can help bring a sense of comfort and peace to your home.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, preserving herbs is an essential part of gardening and cooking, and the autumn season can be a fantastic opportunity to extend your harvest season and stock up on herbs for the colder months.

With the right preparation, harvesting techniques and preservation methods, you can make the most of your garden and enjoy the unique flavor and health benefits of autumn herbs throughout the year.

I hope you found this post informative and inspiring.

Which of the autumn herb preservation strategies discussed in this post are you going to try first?

Let me know by sending me a direct message.

If you found this post helpful, please consider sharing it on social media.

By doing so, you’ll help me spread the word about preserving herbs among your friends and family, and you’ll motivate me to create more content like this.

Thank you for reading, happy gardening!

Author: Scott Sanders


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