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how to keep herbs in pots over the winter

I've grown herbs in a garden before and just mulched them good and they survived the winter ok. But where I live now (north of Boston, zone 5/6) I must keep my herbs in pots. Can I just leave them out over the winter? Should I cover them with plastic buckets? Should I bring them inside? I don't have a sunny place inside to keep them (too many)- would keeping them in the dark garage or basement work? If they are inside do they need to be watered during the winter? Any tips you can offer would be very helpful - thanks!
 
It all depends on the particular coldhardiness of the herbs. I live in zone 5. I plant my herbs in the ground. Oregano is a perennial for me, as well as tarragon, chives, lavender, mint, lemon balm and common sage. Basil should just all be picked before the first frost. Plant again next year. Same with parsley. My pineapple sage is also an annual here.
If you are really wanting to keep the tender perennials over the winter instead of growing them as an annual, you can keep them in the basement. Water them occasionally. I keep a scented geranium like this. It loses nearly all of its leaves over the winter, but it is ready to go again in the spring.
This would be easier to answer if the specific herbs were named.
 
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In addition to the above advice there are special bulbs that you can buy for growing plants. I put them in shop lamp reflectors and hang from pipes in my basement with a timer and regular watering that should be okay.
 
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Thanks so much! It sounds like most of mine are winter-hardy. I have mint, garlic chives, regular chives, oregano, basil, and tarragon. Thanks again for the advice!
 
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