Re: [gardeners] Herbs during California's rainy season

George Shirley (
Wed, 15 Sep 1999 11:43:47 -0500

Ron Hay wrote:
> Good morning.  This is my first experience with an herb garden, modest
> though it may be. My basil is now about 3' tall, and beginning to
> flower. My oregano is spreading like crazy and some plants are in
> flower. My parsley is thriving apace.
> Should I let the basil to to seed? If I cut off the blossoms, will the
> plants continue to grow over our rainy season (we usually have about 1
> night of frost in December). What about the Italian parsley and the
> oregano? They seem to be chugging right along, without any dimunition of
> effort.
If you deadhead the basil blossoms you can continue to harvest basil
until first frost. It has been my experience that one light frost will
do basil in. Oregano here is a perennial as it should be where you are.
If it gets too cold throw some leaves over it and it should come back.
Ours has withstood temps in the mid-twenties and done okay. The Italian
parsley will probably die off in a frost too as it is tender.

> What about serrano chiles? Will they contine to inundate us with their
> largess?

Chiles are generally susceptible to cold weather and will quit producing
and then die if it gets cool enough. We pot up at least one plant and
stick it in the greenhouse over winter and it just slows up a bit.

I live in USDA Zone 9b, SW Louisiana so your mileage may vary.

> Thanks. We are so new to having a garden, that we have tons of
> questions. Thanks.
> Ron
> Van Nuys, CA