Sunday, May 25, 2014

How to Grow Rosemary - Our Featured Herb of the Week

How to grow rosemary. Rosemary is a woody perennial herb native to the Mediterranean region.  The name Rosemary is derived from the Latin "dew" (ros) and "sea" (marinus) or "dew of the sea" because in many costal regions the only water it needs is the humidity of the sea breeze. It has needle shaped leaves and blue flowers. It is a member of the mint or Lamiaceae family.

Rosemary is typically started from...

Cuttings rooted in soiless media or in water, but it can also be started from seeds. The seed method takes a long time and the seeds have poor germination unless primed.

Our rosemary, are typically second year plants and we bring them to market in large six inch pots ready to begin harvesting. You should let your rosemary attain the height you wish to grow and then pinch the tip of each shoot, which will cause branching and filling out of the plant. You can plant them in the soil in your garden or in a 1 to 3 gallon pot as you wish. Fertilize with fish emulsion on the soil every 3 weeks during the growing season. In September stop fertilizing so the plant can harden for winter. Rosemary is not perennial in Rochester, Minnesota but they can be brought inside for the winter and then set back out in the spring. The plants are very hardy and can with stand cold to 20 F and summer heat. It can also handle drought but it may loose some of the lower leaves. It is very pest resistant.

The leaves can be used to flavor lamb chicken, turkey or pork. We like to blend rosemary with garlic, and sweet peppers. It is good in stuffing along with sage.

It is said to improve memory and is often used as a symbol of remembrance. It also contains some strong antioxidants, when well grown.

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