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Growing Rosemary - advice on how to grow Rosemary

Rosemary makes an excellent addition to any herb garden due to its fragrance and cullinary taste that goes so well with lamb and chicken. Growing Rosemary is also beneficial to the garden appearance as it will develop small flowers in late spring. Rosemary is a perennial and can be grown all year round.

Preparation

If your soil is very heavy then you can help drainage by digging in some sandy soil.

Sowing

Rosemary is harder to germinate than most herbs, make sure to buy recent seed. Sow seeds in April but expect low germination rates.

Rosemary can be propogated from cuttings with greater success than sowing seed. Propagating Rosemary by cutting requires about an 8cm cutting be taken from new growth in late spring (cut just below a leaf joint). Place the cutting in a small pot filled with potting compost. Stand the pot in water to enable the compost to draw water up. Once the compost is moist place the pot under glass of some kind (I.e. a windowsill propagator or clear plastic bottle) to retain heat. The cutting should develop roots and be ready for transplanting about 2 months after the cutting.

If growing from seed seems like to much work then you could buy a young plant from your local nursery. This will be a one off (not annual) expense as Rosemary will live for years.

Position

Rosemary likes a lot of sunshine but will tolerate some shade.

Rosemary is farily hardy and will not be effected by most frosts, avoid planting in a low position that is subject to frost.

Soil type

Rosemary will grow well in a well drained soil. 

You can also grow Rosemary in containers, ensure the compost you can drain properly by lining the pot / container with a material that ensures the drainage holes are not blocked such as broken pot pieces or coarse gravel.

Tending

If transplanting from pot to the outside soil make sure to the base of the plant is at the same depth (the top) of the soil as it was in the pot. Transplant rosemary to their its final position not an intermediate position.

A compost tea feed can be applied to the soil every month during the growing soil although Rosemary does not require a rich soil.

If growing rosemary in containers then water when the potting soil is about to dry out.

Harvesting

To harvest Rosemary simply cut the stems with a sharp knife.

When using in cooking you can 'release' the flavour and oils of the rosemary by giving it a quick bash in a mortar and pestle. Rosemary leaves can be cut up and used or whole stems can be placed in the roasting pan, chicken etc.

Diseases

Rosemary is effective in discouarging Cabbage Moth.