How To Grow Rosemary
Rosemary is very important herb in Mediterranean cuisine, having very specific fragrance and aroma. And the best of all is that Rosemary is very easy to grow in the home garden, on the balcony or even on the windowsill.
Rosemary is a woody, perennial plant with aromatic, needle-like evergreen leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean region, but is grown globally.
There are many varieties of Rosemary plants, depending on the size, type, flower color, hardiness to the cold, drought and similar.
In most home gardens, Rosemary is grown as a small bush, but cascading Rosemary plants can also be grown in hanging baskets - it is not only very aromatic plant, it is also very decorative plant.
When growing rosemary, it is important to remember few things:
- Watering: Rosemary tolerates drought very well and it doesn't like soggy feet. Before watering, be sure that the soil is almost completely dry.
- Soil: Rosemary is not very picky about soil type, and it can be grown even in soilless potting mixes. However, pH must be kept between 6.0 and 8.5, preferably between 6.7 and 7.5 - it prefers slightly alkaline soil. Also, drainage should be very well - any excess water should drain quickly. Feel free to add some sand or even gravel to the soil, especially when the plant is grown in the pots or containers.
- Fertilizers: herb plants are grown for their aroma, scent and fragrance, so keep the fertilizers to the bare minimum. Occasionally add some compost and/or humus to the soil, cover top of the soil with some mulch and check pH from time to time - decomposing mulch and other organic matter tend to lower pH of the soil.
- Position: Rosemary plants prefer full sun positions and in the warmer areas can flower almost year long. If it is grown indoors, adding fluorescent and/or LED grow lights can help the plant grow properly even in Alaska or Canada.
- Companion Planting: When grown in the garden, Rosemary is a great companion plant to cabbage, sage, various beans, thyme and carrots. One of the benefits of Rosemary is that it repels cabbage flies and many other parasites.
Culinary Use of Rosemary
Rosemary leaves are added to the meals with fish, beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey etc. Actually, whole plant can be used, but in most cases, leaves are used.
It is commonly used for various marinades and barbecues, just be sure not to add to much of it - it has strong and very specific, slightly bitter, astringent fragrance.