Rosemary Herb: Enhance the Flavor of Sweet and Savory Foods

Rosemary herb is a shrubby perennial evergreen with aromatic leaves. It provides delightful seasoning for both savory and sweet foods. 

It can be used to flavor chicken, stew, egg dishes, pickles, shellfish, lamb, vegetables, jellies, fruit jams, cookies, and breads.

You can successfully grow this warm-weather herb indoors in a container.

Grow Rosemary from Seeds

The seeds should germinate in 14-28 days and mature in 85 days or you can do it the quick way and use a transplant.

Starting by seeds: You can buy prepackaged herb kits with everything you need to start by seed.

Sow seeds shallowly (1/4" deep) in a well-drained growing mix in small pots or starter trays. Keep plants in moist clean soil and place in a warm, well-lit area of the kitchen.

Starting by transplants: You can purchase young potted plants at the garden center or you can buy them through a catalog. Then repot your plants into a larger pot that is at least 6" - preferably terracotta/clay. You must repot them within a week to prevent plants becoming root-bound, resulting stunted growth.

How to Grow Herb Indoors

Soil: You must use a well-drained soil mixture that contains equal parts soil, sand, and peat moss. Always use a commercial potting mix that is sterilized and not yard dirt.

Watering: Water by thoroughly drenching plants, let water drain out and empty. Do not leave plants standing in water because this will cause the roots to rot and your plant will die. Let soil dry out between watering.

Lighting: Give the plant good light, a sunny south or west-facing window that gets a minimum of six hours of sun a day, or supplement with 12 hours of artificial light.

Fertilizer: Apply monthly with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer or fish emulsion. keep at a temperature around 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and a little cooler at night.

Containers: Terra-cotta pots are ideal for this herb because they are porous which allow plants to breathe through the sides. This protects the plant from over-watering so they dry out a lot faster. Be sure to soak them in water before the first use. They are best for growing herbs that like dry light soil.

Harvesting: Leaves, stems, and flowers can be used; however, flavor is best before plant blooms. Pick leaves and stems as need and use fresh.

Mix clean chopped leaves with light vegetable, canola or grapeseed oil and fill ice cube trays two-thirds full with mixture and freeze. Store frozen cubes in freezer-safe bags. Frozen rosemary will retain flavor up to one year.

Click on this link to find books with detailed information on herbs concerning the origin, care, use, and storage. Plus mouth-watering recipes that bring the herbs from the garden to the table.

› Rosemary

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