Tuesday, August 16, 2011
*Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
*best in zones 8-11
*many varieties that vary from bushes to hedges, etc.
*Leaves, both fresh and dried
*Flowering tops, both fresh and dried
*excellent drainage, though tolerant of any type of soil
*In colder areas, grow plants in pots outdoors and take inside in the winter
*propagate by tip cuttings taken in early fall or spring. Use a rooting hormone and extra heat in order to germinate
*the seeds germinate poorly, it is really best to propagate this plant through tip cuttings
*regular light pruning helps shape the plants
*if you are mulching your plants, use gravel, gritty sand, or pebbles next to Rosemary b/c organic mulches cause fungal rots
*Do not over water b/c it causes rot/fungal issues
*regular trimmings help prevent fungal problems
*In milder climates, take clippings of rosemary at any time of the year, then air-dry in a well-ventilated place. When completely dry, strip the leaves from the stems and store in airtight bottles.
*Major harvests should be done before flowering
*In cooler climates, only take clippings before frost.
*If you only take 25% of the plant for harvesting at a time, you can get multiple harvests from the plant
*It acts as a stimulant to the nerves and to circulation (improves them)
*It is a popular remedy for combating fatigue and depression
*Excellent enhancer of memory and concentration by increasing blood flow to the head
*A digestive remedy that eases cramping, bloating, and gas
*Helps with headaches, blood pressure problems, and heart problems
*Aids in the digestion of fats
*It has a cooling, pine-like scent and a strong taste
*It complements strong flavors (wine, garlic, etc.), starchy foods (bread, potatoes, etc.), rich meats (lamb, pork, etc.), and soups and stews.
*Use them finely chopped or remove the whole sprigs before serving.
*Fresh herbs are better for cooking than the dried ones
*If planted next to carrots, it is reputed that it repels carrot flies
*It is beneficial to sage (enhances flavor, makes it healthier, etc.)
For more information, see: references and warnings