Rosemary…


image Rosemary is a tender perennial that does well growing in the hot, dry, well-drained conditions of its native Mediterranean habitat.

Soil – must be well drained and not too rich; a mixture of two parts sterilized potting soil to one part of coarse sand or perlite works well. Add one teaspoon of lime per five-inch pot to make the soil alkaline. If you don’t have lime available an easy trick is to use a match. Bury an unburned matched in the pot below the root system. Be sure to cover with an inch of soil, then add the plant to the pot. It grows best in neutral to alkaline conditions (pH 7–7.8)

Container – Make sure you place lots of drainage holes at the bottom of your container. Rosemary, likes to be kept moist but hates soggy conditions. Rosemary is susceptible to ‘root rot.’

Light Requirements – Place your Rosemary plant in the brightest window in your home. Rosemary needs between 6-8 hours of bright sunlight. If your rosemary plant is not getting at least 6-8 hours of light a day, place a lamp with a fluorescent light bulb as close as possible to the plant to help supplement the sunlight.

Starting by Nursery Seedling – Rosemary is best grown by starting with a plant obtained from a reputable nursery. Its root system is rather delicate though, so be sure to remove the plant from its original pot carefully, leaving as much of the original soil around the roots as possible.

Watering – It is easy to water your Rosemary plant too little or too much. Only water the soil when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. However, never let the soil dry out completely.

Diseases/pests – Rosemary is susceptible to powdery mildew. Keep the plant in an area where it has good air circulation. Treat with a fungicide, if necessary. Be careful to choose an organic mixture if you intend to use the leaves in cooking. I have found that by changing the direction of the light source powdery mildew can be confounded. Try placing the plant in a window with a different exposure.

220px-Rosmarinus_officinalis133095382In monastic gardens of the Middle Ages, Rosemary was tended as a medicinal herb. Valued for its tranquilizing effects, this intensely aromatic evergreen was believed to cure headaches, strengthen hair, and aid memory and powers of concentration. These days, cooks celebrate rosemary’s uncanny ability to create memorable dishes: Just a hint of its fragrant foliage, fresh or dried, can infuse simple spinach soup, roast chicken, or gilled or pan-seared meats, fish, and vegetables with bright flavor.

To make Rosemary Sugar, harvest fresh rosemary flowers and allow any moisture to evaporate from the flowers, so sugar doesn’t clump. Combine with the lightest grade of unrefined organic sugar and grind together in a food processor, or with a pestle and mortar. Then add a few dried rosemary sprigs to intensify the herbal flavor, and store in an airtight jar.
Use the sugar in the same quantities you would use granulated sugar to sweeten teas or to add a subtle hint of herbal flavor to plain biscuits, cakes, yogurt, and whipped cream. Rosemary sugar adds a pleasant kick to shortbread cookies and scones — and it tastes heavenly sprinkled on fresh blueberries or strawberries. – http://www.countryliving.com/outdoor/gardening/herb-guide-rosemary-1009

According to legend, it was draped around the Greek goddess Aphrodite when she rose from the sea, born of Uranus‘s semen. The Virgin Mary is said to have spread her blue cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush when she was resting, and the flowers turned blue. The shrub then became known as the ‘Rose of Mary’. – Wiki

Coming tomorrow – You guessed it – Thyme!

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