Rosemary is very easy to grow at home. If you grow your own rosemary, you not only save a lot of money in the long run, but also refine quite a few potato and meat dishes with fresh herbs knowing exactly what's in it. It's hard to imagine a kitchen without the aromatic, tart note of Salvia rosmarinus. Today you'll learn how to bring it home to your flower bed or kitchen window.
How to grow rosemary at home
There are two simple methods of growing rosemary at home yourself. The first method is to sow rosemary seeds and let them germinate. You can usually start this around the middle of March. The second method is vegetative propagation using rosemary cuttings. If you know someone who has an adult rosemary plant, this method is a little faster.
Sowing rosemary seeds
You can find rosemary seeds at most hardware stores that sell plant seeds. Since rosemary is a popular herb anyway, you may even be able to find the seeds at your local supermarket. A single seed packet will do just fine if you don't want to start an entire herb business right away.
In mid-March, the outside is still a little too cold for the rosemary seeds. Therefore, a greenhouse or a raised bed with a cover (cold frame) is recommended. Alternatively, you can of course place a pot next to your well-lit kitchen window and grow the rosemary in it. There you can even look at it daily.
Rosemary does very well with nutrient poor soil and just needs some lime. If you have some mussel shells or snail shells, you can pulverize them with a mortar and mix them into your soil. It also helps if your soil is fairly loose and fluffy. You can also mix some sand into the soil for this if needed. This will not harm your rosemary sprouts at all.
Important when sowing seeds is that rosemary online germinates in liht conditions. Therefore, you should not cover the seeds, but only gently press them against the soil with your finger . Moisten them a little and then cover them with cling film or a glass plate. After a few weeks your sprouts will be a few centimeters high. Below I'll explain when you can plant them in your garden.
Growing rosemary from cuttings
Faster than sowing rosemary seeds is the cultivation of cuttings. However, for this you already need a fully grown plant. Cut off a few branches about 10 centimeters (4 inches) long and place them in a pot as stably as possible with some distance between them. If they fall over, you can tie them to a thin branch or skewer.
After a little over a month, the roots will be long enough for you to repot the plantlets into individual pots.
Move it to the garden after a year
While rosemary is a hardy plant, you should not plant it outside in an open bed until after a year. This will give it enough time to grow and give it a much better chance of surviving the winter. Until then, you can enjoy the aromatic smell in your kitchen a little.
The best place is a sunny spot, but preferably protected from the wind. If it should be particularly windy, you can cover it for example with a transparent tarp or a garden fleece.
In winter, rosemary will sooner or later shed its needles. But you don't have to worry about that, because it will grow new ones in the spring. You can also protect the rosemary from the cold by covering it again and covering the soil. Straw, leaves and garden fleece are very suitable for this purpose.
You can harvest rosemary whenever it bears needles, and it couldn't be easier. Just as you did with the cuttings, you simply cut off a branch. Just make sure you don't harvest it all at once and leave some branches for the rosemary to survive the cold season.
Drying and storing rosemary
The fresh rosemary needles can immediately be used for seasoning without needing to dry them first. Dry them only for preservation, if you want to keep them for a long time. Tie several twigs together with a string and hang them upside down.
After one or two weeks they will be completely dry and you can store them (needles still attached to their branches) in an airtight container. The darker the rosemary is stored, the longer it will retain its aroma. As soon as you need them, separate the needles from the branches.
With the help of seeds or cuttings, you can easily grow rosemary at home. The hardy plant is easy to care for and can be used both fresh for cooking and dried for long periods of time. In the first year you should keep rosemary indoors or in a greenhouse. From the second year onwards, however, it will survive the winter without any problems. The only important thing is a sunny, but wind-protected place in a loose soil rich in lime.
If you want to grow more herbs, you can read how to grow basil or oregano yourself!