How to Grow Rosemary
Rosemary is a delightful evergreen herb used for culinary, medicinal and cosmetic purposes.
It's an essential in your garden.
You can grow rosemary either from seed, by cuttings or division.
It prefers a light, sandy, dry soil if you can manage - that reflects its natural habitat of the Mediterranean.
Add some lime to the planting hole - use a few crushed egg shells, some wood ash, garden lime or ground chalk.
So - the easiest way to get rosemary plants is by cuttings.
Take a 4 inch pot and fill it with good quality compost - water it thoroughly and allow it to drain.
Cut a non flowering sprig - about 4 inches long from an established plant.
Gently strip the bottom half of leaves and then dip in rooting hormone powder.
Make a small hole in the compost and put the cutting into it. Firm the soil around.
Take some more cuttings - you can fit about 8 cuttings into a 4 inch plant pot.
Move the pot to a windowsill and keep an eye on the cuttings.
I use a plant spray filled with cheshunt compound solution to spray the cuttings on a daily basis.
I like to use this because it prevents diseases in the growing plants.
Turn the pot frequently as the plants will grow towards the light - this will keep the cutting growing straight.
Leave the cuttings for a few weeks until you see signs of growth - new leaves appearing at the top.
You can tell the plants that have failed because they go brown - any ones that remain green, but appear to be dormant are still viable. Take out the brown ones straight away as if they go mouldy, they could affect the rest.
Once the cuttings begin to grow, you can move them on singly to 4 inch pots of well watered compost.
Keep an eye on them, water carefully and then when there's no risk of frost, you can plant the rosemary outside.
Choose a sunny spot if you can.
Bear in mind, a rosemary bush can grow to around 5 feet tall and can spread quite a few feet as well when you pick your planting spot.
Dig a hole which is bigger than the plant pot and fill it with water. Add some lime - crushed egg shells, wood ash, garden lime or chalk.
Gently remove the rosemary plant from the pot and tease the roots apart.
Put the root ball into the prepared hole and then return the soil you have removed.
Firm down all around trying to ensure there are no air pockets.
Give a final water.
Keep the rosemary plant weed free - it will need a bit of tender loving care for its first year.
If it looks dry, then give it a good watering - don't just pour a bit on the surface - you need to encourage the roots to go deep to search for water which will make for a well established rosemary bush.
Once you have learned how to grow rosemary, you will be able to grow many similar herbs and shrubs - maybe the start of your backyard nursery?