There are many different varieties available. You can get white, pale
pink or blue flowering ones. A very interesting one is the creeping Rosemary
(R. prostratus) that will hang down walls or large containers. The
leaves are a bit smaller but still very useful in the kitchen.
Rosmarinus o. 'BBQ' has
nice broad leaves on an upright bush with blue flowers.
Cooking With Rosemary
You can use Rosemary for all Mediterranean cooking, roasted meats,
lamb, chicken, pasta, tomato dishes and vegetables. Add it to the
cooking to get the full benefit of it. You can also sprinkle it into the
fire if you have a barbecue.
If you don't like chewing on the 'needles' you can use whole Rosemary
twigs and remove them after cooking. Alternatively you can use a
How To Grow Rosemary Plants
For growing Rosemary bushes you need a slightly alkaline soil that is
well drained. It should not be too rich or heavy. If you grow it in the
ground plant it into a
raised bed, slope or a rockery in full sun.
Growing Rosemary from seed is doable but you have to have a lot of
patience. It could take up to 3 years before you have a plant that is
big enough to
harvest from. It is a lot easier to buy a couple of plants and pot them
into a nice container or into the ground.
If you want to grow from seed check out this page.
You can take cuttings from your mature plants. Once your plants are
over 5 years old they will start to go slow and produce less. You should
then with new ones.
Overwintering Rosemary Plants:
This herb is not very frost hardy and will only tolerate temperatures
down to 23 F/-5 C. If the temperature is going below that it is safer to
it inside in a cool but bright place. You can bring it out again once
the frost has passed.
Growing Rosemary Plants In Containers
Feed plants in containers about once or twice a month with some
organic plant food. Plants in the ground should not need any feeding.
Regular watering is also important for containerized plants.
The ideal potting soil mix for Rosemary contains some small pebbles
or sand and a little bit of lime. It won't tolerate waterlogged
conditions for a very long time. This is often the cause of failure with
Rosemary. Check out more tips for herbs in containers here.
A round or square planter will be better than a window box or shallow bowl because a Rosemary will grow into a sizeable bush.
You can combine Rosemary with other herbs like Thyme or Marjoram.
Small flowers like Violas, Pansies or some Alpines can spruce up a pot
with an individual Rosemary plant in the centre.
Harvesting And Preserving Rosemary Herb
This herb can be harvested all year round. Pick the young shoots and
tips and you can shape your plant that way. If you take too much your
plant will go
stunted and too tired. Give it some time to re-cover.
You should also reduce the harvesting during the winter because they are not growing actively.
If you are like me and use a lot of Rosemary you better have several plants so you can give them a rest every now and again.
If you have surplus Rosemary you can dry or freeze it.
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