Thursday, November 18, 2010

How to Grow Rosemary

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs to cook with! It goes amazingly well with chicken and pork, and both my dad and I love baking it in our breads. It's a great addition to any garden, as it produces cute little flowers in late Spring!

Timing is Everything: Rosemary is a perennial so it will grow all year round. It is highly recommended to buy small plants from a nursery (which is what I do), but if you want to take a shot at starting from seed, it is recommended to start indoors about 8-10 weeks before last frost. If you wish to start outdoors, sow in Spring after all risk of frost has passed, and be prepared for a very low germination rate.

You can also start plants from cuttings. Take a cutting from a new growth shoot in late Summer or early Fall. This means cutting the strongest shoot where the new growth meets the older stem. Plant this in a pot with soil and compost and water generously.

Location! Location! Location! Rosemary needs a lot of sun, but it can tolerate a little shade. If you are growing your plant in a container or pot, be sure that it is large enough to hold the root ball with some extra space. Also, be sure that the soil can drain well in the container.

Depth and Spacing: I have only grown rosemary from a starter plant, so make sure you read the back of your seeds packet before sowing your seeds. Spacing may vary depending on the variety of plant you are growing, so reading the details is important.

TLC: Rosemary is a low maintenance plant. Water regularly in the beginning, but once the plant is established only water when the soil and compost looks dry. You can also feed your rosemary about once a month with an organic fertilizer, or even a liquid fertilizer made from your compost!

Friends: Plant your rosemary with cabbage, beans, carrots and sage!

Foes: Keep your rosemary away from basil and potatoes!

Reaping What You Sow: Harvesting your rosemary is easy! Simply snip the sprigs as you need them!

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