Although container-grown plants usually need more frequent watering and fertilization, pests and disease problems are virtually eliminated.
The easiest way to transport herbs indoors for the winter is to grow them in pots, but you may find that adding too many different sizes and types of pots makes your summer herb garden look unorganized and messy. In addition, potted plants need frequent watering since the plants can't draw moisture from the garden soil.
The solution for easy-care herbs in containers is to sink your pots into the ground. Sinking pots provides many benefits for both the plants and the gardener. Aside from allowing you to use cheap plant containers, sinking pots enables your herbs to draw water and nutrients from your garden soil.
Sinking containers into your garden also provides your plants with weed barriers, offers them some relief from competing with other invasive garden plants, and keeps invasive herbs, like mints, in check. Simply dig your sunken herb pots out of your herb garden in the fall, rinse them off, and move them indoors for the winter.
If you wilt as you watch your herb garden wither in the nippy autumn air, take heart! You don't have to stop growing herbs in the winter. Tender perennial herbs, like rosemary, need to come indoors to avoid a harsh winter. However, just as setting plants outdoors in the spring, you'll have more success at maintaining growth and bloom if you acclimatize your perennial herbs before making a permanent move to your kitchen.
The best time to bring herbs indoors from outside is before the first frost. It's also a good idea to make the transition a slow one. Start by bringing your plants inside for an hour or two each day, increasing the time each day for a week or two to help them to adjust to the changes in temperature and light.
One way to protect your herbs from frost is to bring them indoors in the late afternoon and set them out again in the morning, setting them out later and/or bringing them in earlier, little by little, for about a week. Acclimating your plants in this way greatly increases your chance for successfully growing garden herbs indoors.