Herb growing guide – Rosemary

Rosemary, the Perennial that is one of my favorites. Its very aromatic scent and mild woody flavor makes this herb a must have in your garden. Rosemary is an evergreen and has little blue flowers. It is native to the mediterranean and loves full sun. As in most herbs, rosemary has much more to offer then spice up your culinary creations.

Where, When and How to plant Rosemary

Rosemary is one of the more complicated herbs to grow in your garden. If your region has hot and dry temperatures you could plant rosemary in your garden. It will need well drained soil because rosemary does not tolerate consistently wet soil. Rosemary can grow up to 4 feet tall and just as wide, so make sure you give it enough space.

In case you are in a Region that has rain periods and is very humid I would suggest planting your rosemary in a container, so that it can be brought in during the rain season and winter.

Either way, you could start rosemary from seed, but it is very hard to germinate and takes a long time to do so. The best way to plant is with cuttings from a mature plant, that way you will get a head start by growing the cuttings indoors about 8 weeks before the last frost. When Spring comes and risk of frost has passed you are ready to move your new plants outside. Soil temperature should be around 70 degrees.

How to care for Rosemary

Make sure you have your plant is in full sun, the warmer the better. Soil needs to be very well drained. I grow my rosemary in cactus soil, which has the nutrients that it needs and is well draining. The hardest thing about keeping rosemary is to know when to water since it’s needle like leaves do not wilt, so my suggestion is to water every 2 weeks unless you are in a dessert like region where you should water once a week. As mentioned before, if you are in a region that gets cold, keep your plant in a container and bring it indoor for the colder months. Make sure it stays out of cold drafts and has full sun.

When do you harvest Rosemary and how

Rosemary can be harvested all year round and should be pruned regularly to keep it bushy and does not generate long shoots that have little to no leaves. You can snip off stems to use fresh in your dishes or hang them in small bundles in a dry dark place for later use. It is best to harvest the young stems to get the freshest taste. When harvesting you want to trim about one third of the plant and then let it rest to regrow more stems to harvest.

Storing Rosemary and how to use them

It is best to dry your stems and then keep in an airtight container. You can either do that with the whole stems or you can break of the needles, like leaves, for a smaller container if storage is an issue. Use the fresh stems to add to your dishes, make tea or add to bread, butter and what ever dish you would like to make a little hardier in taste.

Medicinal use :

Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and has been shown to help with brain function by enhancing memory and concentration. It also has many anti-inflamatory properties that can reduce swelling and puffiness of the skin and helps to heal burns. The medicinal quality of this herb is powerful and often used to help with curing chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Rosemary, when added to your diet is a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6.

However DO NOT INGEST ROSEMARY OIL. It can cause damage to liver and stomach, has been know to cause

seizures along with other side effects. Read here to get the full list

Rosemary Oil is energizing and can revitalize the atmosphere you are in, no matter if in the office, kitchen or car. Just add a few drops of rosemary oil to your difuser or car vent clip. If you like, you can also add it with Orange or Lemon Oil to get that uplifting feel.

Rosemary is also know to help with reducing dull hair, just add a few drops of rosemary oil to your daily shampoo, let it sit on your skull for 5 minutes while showering and then finish up with your normal routine.


How to harvest your own Rosemary

Rosemary should be divided every couple of years, to give it enough room to reproduce nice bushy stems. Even though you could harvest the seeds of your flowering plant, I would not suggest it. Seeds are very hard to germinate and will take a very long time (4-7 weeks) and need very special care. It is much easier to cut stems of a mature plant that can be planted directly in small pots with very well drained soil and are being watered frequently until rooted.

Herb Growing guide – Sage

Sage is a perennial and loves full Sun. This easy to grow herb needs
little care when mature. Sage can be planted directly into the herb garden or can be included in your perennial border as it has pretty spring flowers in
colors that include blue purple or pink.

Not all Sage plants are eatable, so when using Sage in the kitchen you
want to stick to Salvia officinalis

That is the kind I am talking about today.

 

Where, When and How to plant Sage – Salvia officinalis

 

You want to plant sage in full sun and in well-draining soil. Sage does
not tolerate wet soil at all. To make it clear, Sage will grow in the foothills in California with little to no rain, so try to remember
this when you pick the spot for your plants, .

You can start Sage from seeds but the easiest way to grow it is by
setting small plants or rooted cuttings in well drained soil in the
garden after the last spring frost (the soil temperature should be
around 65 degrees). Sage will grow to about 30 inches in height and
around 12 inches wide. It is a great companion for rosemary, cabbage
and carrots but you want to make sure to keep it away from cucumbers,
since there need for soil is completely opposite.

 

Sage CAN be kept indoors but it is in need of at least 8 hours of full sun. The watering of the pot is just like outside, little is better.

 

How to care for Sage

 

Sage is very easy to care for since it does not need much when fully
grown, but during the growing season your young plants need to be
watered regularly and not let get dried out. After they are grown
make sure to cut the woody stems every spring so the plant will
continue to produce.

 

 

When do you Harvest Sage and how do you store it.

 

If you have a young plant under a year I would leave it alone so it can
mature. When the plant is over one year old you can harvest the
leaves as needed or harvest the stalks when you have more than 5
leaves on them starting in late Spring.

Sage can be used fresh for any dish you like but can also be dried for
later use. Some people like to keep it in the freezer but I noticed
that they are easily plagued with freezer burn, so I would suggest to
dry the Herb and keep it in an airtight container.

However, if you like to go with the freezer method you can chop the leaves soak them with oil and put them into ice cube trays, so you have portions ready to cook with.

Sage and how to use them – Medicinal use

Sage is a great addition to any meat dish even turkey and chicken. Try it
in your rice and bean dish or with roasted chicken.

Even though Sage has been used in medicine for centuries I would like to
give a word of warning.

Sage, if used for a longer period can cause stomach cramps. When
using sage as antiviral natural medicine, make sure you are not
exceeding more than 2 cups of tea a day or over 2 drops of the oil
per day. For your safe shopping you can find the oil here

How to harvest your own Sage Seeds.

You could harvest the seeds after the flowers reside in the Spring, but
it is easier to cut small stalks of sage and get them rooted in a
water container or a very well moist soil. You can also divide plants
after they are older than a year.

 

Herb Growing Guide – Oregano

Oregano is a perennial (it will grow for more than 2 Years) and has many more
uses than just as add on for Tomato Sauce and Pizza. It can be used
in salads, antipasti,with Fish and meat or with Vegetables and Rice dishes. Oregano is one the those herbs that will have a more intense taste when dried. The essential oils in oregano are more concentrated when dried and
therefor you only need a small amount when adding to your dishes. Continue reading “Herb Growing Guide – Oregano”

Herb growing guide – Parsley

Parsley is a biennial Herb (that means it grows only for one season) and much underestimated as “just” a Kitchen Herb that tastes good in Soups, salad is added to Sauces and used as a garnish .

Two of the most common plants are the flat leaved feather-like and the more bold and curly variety. Both of which have very similar tastes and both of them are also very good for you since parsley is rich on vitamins A and C as well as iron. Continue reading “Herb growing guide – Parsley”