June 30, 2022
Rosemary has been a strong favourite in herb gardens for many years. A native of the Mediterranean it has been used by a wide range of nationalities and in a wider range of culinary dishes. Used for centuries Rosemary is reputed to strengthen the memory and is planted for remembrance. On anniversaries such as ANZAC Day or the loss of a loved one, a sprig is worn.
All parts of the rosemary bush can be used for numerous needs. It is a compact growing shrub which reaches a height of about 1 metre. Flowering in Spring its bright blue flowers are born all over its branches. Although the blue flowering Rosemary (Rosemarinus Officianalis) is the most common it is also available in pink & white forms. Rosemary has many different varieties. Some growing very upright (suitable for small hedges around your herb or vege garden), others growing into a sprawling shrub (excellent in pots), and even a semi-prostrate ground covering form which makes a fantastic hanging basket plant. But with its many varieties it is worth just having as an ornamental shrub in your garden, as it helps to keep cabbage butterflies away.
When in flower use the flowers to toss into salads to add colour and flavour. When it is added to meat dishes such as lamb & pork its aromatic leaves really come alive to produce a fantastic aroma & taste. Baked potatoes are also an excellent partner for Rosemary or if kebabs are more your style then why not use the striped stems as the skewers. This will mean the flavour will go straight into the meat. If insects are a problem at the BBQ, then throw some fresh picked branches onto the plate and the oil from the leaves will burn to let of a scent that discourages insects.
Although Rosemary is more popular in cooking it does have some medicinal properties, aiding in stimulating circulation Rosemary oil can be applied to ease pain where it will increase blood supply. It can also be used in craft to make wreaths to decorate your house.
Rosemary originates from a Mediterranean climate where summers are warm and dry and winters cool and mild, but will grow happily in most climatic zones in Australia as long as it is not too wet, humid or windy. Rosemary preferably flourish in soil with excellent drainage where the pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. Slightly lower pH range if planted in pots. When preparing the soil in gardens use Searles Premium Garden Soil Mix. This mix is full of essential organic compost, carbon and a balanced range of nutrients and trace elements for increased plant growth and health. Because Rosemary does not like wet feet, growing them in a pot is ideal, as this lets any excess water drain away. Always use a premium potting mix such as Searles Herb & Vegetable Mix.
Rosemary doesn't need a lot of fertiliser if the soil is rich in composted organic manures. However, they will benefit from an organic fertilise each season with 5 IN 1 Organic Fertiliser to provide all the ongoing essential nutrients for balanced plant health. To encourage flowering during spring, liquid feed with Searles Flourish Flowers & Foliage Soluble Plant Food.
Harvesting of the leaves and flowers can be done all year round, and as Rosemary is propagated from cuttings this can be done at any stage during the year as well. Caring for your Rosemary is very simple as they are a very hardy plant. They rarely suffer from any pest or diseases although they can occasionally be attacked by scale insects. This can simply be cleared up by spraying with any suitable spray for scale insects, such as white oil.
Rosemary is such a versatile shrub with many uses including cooking, medicinal & craft, it is also gaining popularity as just a shrub in the garden or clipped into a formal topiary shape to give your herb garden some class.
So with so many uses every garden should have one.