Longing for rosemary

Four of my rosemary seeds germinated and I duly potted them on. Then one of these seedlings went brown and died. On the windowsill that works, of all places.

The two seedlings I put in the shed are doing okay, albeit growing very slowly. The final one, however, seemed to be succumbing to the same browning effect that the first had. So in the garden it has gone.

Unfortunately, the rosemary seedling couldn’t go in the bed I had planned for it. This was the one right by the back door, which was basically builders sand, topped with pine tree branches and a thin layer of soil. Not exactly ideal, especially having learned that the tannins in pine may be detrimental to plants.

However, with a decent amount of soil to grow in, I hope that whatever ails it will now be in check. Rosemary is such a delicious accompaniment to starchy food, such as garlic bread and steamed potatoes.

Which is your favourite herb?

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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25 Responses to Longing for rosemary

  1. Ann says:

    I love rosemary! Growing plants from seeds is fun, but challenging. My favorite herb is lavender. I love the color of the flowers and the smell! Thank you for sharing!

  2. jeffpermie says:

    Just in case you don’t succeed and are desperate to get a decent Rosemary plant, Sainsurys (the big ones at least) have perennial herbs for only Β£1 and they are a good size, sold in the fresh herbs section.
    My favourite is Terragon, I’m lucky to have a contact which I was able to dig some roots up this Spring and I now have two healthy plants, one in a large pot interplanted with all the other herbs and the other in a herb spiral on the allotment πŸ™‚

  3. skyeent says:

    Hopefully it will be able to grow through whatever is ailing it. They don’t like it too damp. My favourite herb is probably oregano (although hard to choose…mint….thyme…). I have a golden one which is tough as anything outside, and a couple of plants of marjorum in the polytunnel, which I cut and dry occassionally – good for anglicised mediterranean dishes like pizza and bolognese. I remember being impressed by the amount of butterflies visiting the flowers on some at Ryton gardens one summer.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, I think the reason for the browning on the rosemary could be over-watering, so being in soil could remedy the situation.

      In Greece, I used to eat oregano flavour crisps! I’m not sure of the difference between that and marjoram – are they different varieties of the same basic herb?

      • skyeent says:

        That’s my understanding. I think oregano as such is more tender and marjoram is hardier? but they’re both oreganum sp. I’d have to look up my Jekka herb book to be sure!

        • Helen says:

          By the way, the strawberry runners are doing well. Having cleared some ground of poppies, they are putting down roots, so it should be easy for me to send you a batch of them.

          • skyeent says:

            Lovely Helen. I might pop some in my perennial poytunnel as well, as ground cover! If you fancy some skirret, or Hablitzia Tamnoides let me know. The latter prefers more alkaline soil than I have and I have loads of seedlings which need better homes!

          • Helen says:

            I’m not familiar with skitter or Hablitzia Tamnoides – what are they?

          • skyeent says:

            Both are perennial plants you can eat. Skirret is an alledgedly tasty historic root crop displaced by potatoes, but you can replant and divide so you don’t have to sow each year. Hablitzia is a decorative climbing plant that has leaves that you can cook and eat like spinach. The Hablitzia I think likes it more alkaline than I have naturally so I’m going to make a “Habby bed” for it with concrete rubbish and compost. I’ve not tried either yet, but am looking forwards to it!

          • Helen says:

            Actually, I think I have read about skirret recently. It would be interesting to see what it looks like – as with the hablitzia. At the same time, I doubt the latter would work in my garden. I’ve got neutral soil and nowhere for it to climb really.

            Almost all of my garden has now been covered in hugel beds, so I think root crops (apart from Jerusalem artichokes in their dedicated patch) are a bit of a no-no at the moment.

            What is your ‘concrete rubbish’?

          • skyeent says:

            It’s mostly the render that was falling off the old byre. I took it off and put it in old compost sacks a couple of years ago to either take to the tip or use as landfill. I had a thought then I might use it as a slow release calcium source, we’ll see if it works….I also didn’t want it generally spread changing the natural pH at random.

          • Helen says:

            No, best to do it in a controlled way, where you want it.

          • skyeent says:

            Alison was the person to send me my first Hablitzia plant. In her post http://backyardlarder.co.uk/plants/caucasian-spinach/ she suggests neutral to alkali. To be honest I’m not actually sure what my pH is, but the hydrangas locally have very blue flowers!

          • Helen says:

            Soil can vary even within very short distances, although I would have thought there’s still a good chance you have at least somewhat acidic soil.

            It might be worth getting a test done – unless you do the trial and error route I took. I did last summer do a test and was pleased it told me what I had already worked out!

          • skyeent says:

            I have got a kit somewhere. I should probably test where my plant isn’t doing so well (although that’s also not the most sheltered position), and then the new bed once it settles in a few months…

          • Helen says:

            You can apparently test soil with vinegar and sodium bicarbonate (not together) to get a rough idea of pH. I’ve not done it but if you want to test a number of areas, it could be cheaper.

            As for plants thriving or otherwise, there are many potential factors, are there not? I think that my strawberries are stronger than the mint growing with them. But maybe it’s water levels or nutrients or lack of light in winter.

  4. Helen says:

    Thanks for the link to The Back Yard Larder, by the way. I will definitely be looking to buy some stuff from Alison – good to support ventures such as this.

  5. Such a shame you’ve had trouble with your rosemary – you’re right, it’s such a delicious herb. I think my favourite herb would have to be basil as it’s only in season for a short time and is so good with tomatoes in the summer! S x

    • Helen says:

      I’ve got other rosemary plants, so I think it will be fine 😊. Just surprised that the two indoors didn’t like it.

      Anyway, basil is great indeed. I haven’t grown any this year due to lack of space but maybe next …. on bruschetta!

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