I’ve killed plenty of rosemary plants over the years, typically in late winter. At least that’s when I’d discover that they were dead. Casually brushing against the plant would bring dried leaves raining to the floor.
Problem is that rosemary has naturally stiff leaves. They don’t wilt to broadcast that the plant is thirsty. And then it’s too late; the plant tells you it’s dead as it’s leaves flicker down.
Perhaps like you, I knew that rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region. The picture in my mind is of the plants thriving on a sun-drenched, dry, rocky hillside in poor soil. True enough, except below ground the roots are reaching deep or wide for water. Which my potted plants can’t do.
Following this latter realization — duh! — I haven’t lost a rosemary plant in years. The secret to keeping a potted rosemary plant happy is to keep it well …
Second best to fresh-picked vegetables in winter, which are not within most gardener’s grasp with temperatures in the single digits, are fresh-picked herbs. Fresh-picked herbs — indoors — in winter are within the grasp of most gardeners, even non-gardeners.
Flowering and fruiting demand lots of light energy, but it is the leaves of most herbs that provide us with flavoring, so most herbs do fine in any reasonably bright window. The same goes for normal household temperatures and humidity.
So make space near your windows for herb plants!
Let’s look below ground now. Any potting mix suitable for houseplants will also be to the liking of herb plants. The mix should hold some moisture between waterings while at the same time drain well so that roots, which need to breathe, don’t suffocate. My own mix, made from equal parts compost, perlite, peat moss, and soil, provides air and moisture as well …
Book Giveaway: AND THE WINNER IS: Andrea Jilling. Andrea, please contact me about mailing out the book. Everyone, stay tuned for more book giveaways in future weeks.
Blueberry-growing used to be so boring. Each autumn I’d spread soybean meal beneath the plants as fertilizer and top it with 3 inches of leaves, wood shavings, or other mulch. Late each winter I’d prune. In late June, netting would go over the top of the plants and from then on, into September, I’d harvest oodles of blueberries.
Earlier this year I knew things could get interesting. Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), a new pest fond of many fruits, showed up last year in the area and an encore was predicted. And then, starting in early August, my harvested blueberries began to soften quickly and were soon swimming in their own juice. The culprit, SWD, was here, in numbers, with plenty of enticing berries …