25 Aug The Cultivation of Rosemary
Cultivation of Rosemary
Since it is attractive and drought-tolerant, rosemary is used as an ornamental plant in gardens and for xeriscape landscaping, especially in regions of Mediterranean climate. It is considered easy to grow and pest-resistant. Rosemary can grow quite large and retain attractiveness for many years, can be pruned into formal shapes and low hedges, and has been used for topiary. It is easily grown in pots. The ground cover cultivars spread widely, with a dense and durable texture. 
Rosemary grows on loam soil with good drainage in an open, sunny position. It will not withstand waterlogging and some varieties are susceptible to frost. It grows best in neutral to alkaline conditions (pH 7–7.8) with average fertility. It can be propagated from an existing plant by clipping a shoot (from a soft new growth) 10–15 cm (4–6 in) long, stripping a few leaves from the bottom, and planting it directly into soil. 
Rosemary is used as a decorative plant in gardens where it may have pest control effects. The leaves are used to flavor various foods, such as stuffing and roast meats.
Drying Rosemary for Use
Once you grow a Rosemary bush you can harvest the fresh branches and pull off the needles. In most cases you are going to want to dry the rosemary before using it or making an extraction.
You Will Need:
Use scissors to snip sprigs of rosemary off the plant.
The best time to harvest your rosemary is in the morning, after the sun has dried away any nighttime dew.
- Your rosemary plant will grow more rapidly bush out from the places where you pinched or snipped it.
- Try to snip straight sprigs, all about the same length, for easier bundling. 
Tie the sprigs into bundles, wrapping twine around the bases of the sprigs. Leave a loop on the twine bundle to make hanging your rosemary sprigs easier.
- Alternatively, you can use rubber bands to secure your rosemary bundles.
- You can combine up to eight sprigs of rosemary per bundle. 
Hang the rosemary sprigs in a cool, dry and well-ventilated place to dry. Although you can dry your rosemary outdoors, the “National Center for Home Food Preservation” recommends drying rosemary indoors for the best color and flavor.
- Your porch, attic, or storage cupboard are all good drying options. You can try hanging the rosemary bundles from a clothes hanger, if this is more convenient.
- Some people also recommend covering your rosemary with brown paper bags as it dries. This prevents any dust from settling on the rosemary as it dries and also stops any sunlight from bleaching out the color. Just be sure to tear holes in the paper bags to keep the rosemary well ventilated.
- You won’t be able to hang-dry rosemary sprigs in a humid environment, so you may need to dry your rosemary in the oven or in a food dehydrator. 
Turn the drying rosemary sprigs every day or two to ensure even drying. You’ll know the rosemary is dry when all traces of pliability are gone from both stems and leaves. This should take approximately two weeks.
- You can also spread your rosemary sprigs or bundles on a flat or slanted window screen, elevated on cinder blocks or wooden blocks, for the best air circulation as they dry. 
Store the dried rosemary. Once the rosemary has completely dried, place it on a sheet of waxed paper and separate the tough, woody stems from the leaves. Store in an air-tight container in your kitchen cupboard. Use your dried rosemary in recipes such as lamb roasts and stews, garlic and herb bread, and rosemary-infused oil and butter.