Welcome to my website. Its about growing fresh herbs amongst my vegetables and fruit trees and their use in the kitchen. The presence of these herbs benefits the other edible plants by attracting pollinators and helping to repel pests. They add beauty and pleasant aromas to my garden with their attractive foliage and flowers...............John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Latest Update 29th July 2016.
I grow rosemary as a culinary herb, as habitat for predatory and pollinating insects, and as an attractive herbaceous border plant.
photograph shows one of my rosemary plants growing healthily in the under-story of my olive tree with a number of other herbs and flowering
Rosemary propagates easily from cuttings, and I strike a few each winter in my cuttings propagator.
They are perennial and if you give them a haircut each spring, they will stay compact and look good for many years.
Rosemary is a main component in my dried herb mix preserved in glass jars. I use it all the time on steamed and roast vegetables, but its a useful flavouring in preserves and meat dishes.
I find rosemary is usually pest free in my garden.
Variety: Rosmarinus Officinalis.
Family Group: Lamiaceae.
Garden bed type: Drip line irrigation.
Recommended Soil pH. 7.0 - 7.8.
Minimum Sun per Day: 3 hours.
Plant Spacings (centres): 500mm.
Climate: Warm Temperate.
This food is low in Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol.
It is also a
good source of Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Potassium and Copper, and a very
good source of Dietary Fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate, Calcium,
Iron and Manganese.
It prefers sandy soil but grows well in most healthy organic soils.
It grows well in hot dry conditions.
Select a space for your new plant where rosemary has not been grown for some time. Clear previous crop residues and mulch and add a 60mm top dressing of homemade compost. Cover with a 50mm thick layer of straw mulch.
Leave the bed for 4
weeks to build up worm and microbial activity.
My original rosemary plants were grown from seed, but it is so easy to propagate from cuttings, that I no longer buy or save seed.
To do this, choose your strongest most vigorous plant as a source.
100mm long cuttings from your strongest most vigorous plant as it starts to grow in spring.
Remove the lower
leaves except for those in the top 15mm of the cutting.
Plant the cuttings 50mm deep in a propagator.
The propagator's compost layer and constant moisture stimulates root growth, so I don't need to use rooting powder.
Once the cuttings start to grow vigorously, move the mulch on your prepared bed out of the way and transplant them.
Water them in and keep the soil moist until they are established.Replace the mulch but keep it away from their stems. Follow up with a foliar spray of aerated compost tea every 4 weeks.
If left to
its own devices a rosemary plant will become woody after a couple of
years, however, regular pruning will extend its productive life to 4 years.
You should prune the established plant in spring after flowering. Remove the flowers and cut the green growth back by 1/3rd. Do not cut back into old wood.
Harvesting and Storage.
be harvested at any time, but don't strip too many leaves at once or you could check the plant's growth. Its best to maintain several plants and harvest a few stalks from each plant.
Begin using the leaves as soon as the plant is large enough to spare
You can air-dry rosemary in small loose bunches hung in a cool, dry, dark place or dry them in a dehydrator.
Once the leaves are dry, strip them from their branches and crush them (I use a mortar and pestle). Store them in an airtight glass container ready for use.
I premix them with driedthyme, sweet marjoram, sage, basil and oregano before use.
To keep slugs and snails at bay, I grow my herbs in a drip irrigated raised bed, and run copper tape around it 100mm off the ground.
Copper tape is a
very effective barrier as the slugs and snails get a small electric
shock when they come into contact with it, and they retreat to
less hostile surroundings.
I get one or two juvenile snails in my raised beds. I believe they get
into the bed as eggs though the compost heap. When this happens, I use
a few iron chelate snail baits to round them up. Only use the bare minimum to
do the job.