The strong but subtle piney mint flavor of rosemary is a perfume no good cook should be without, and you can afford to be lavish when you grow your own plants from seed! Evergreen rosemary grows into a deliciously scented shrub whose needlelike, gray-green leaves are a classic aromatic seasoning. We have long sought and are delighted to offer you reliable seeds for this herb that is an essential part of every good kitchen garden. Mature height 1-3 feet.
BEST TO START INDOORS: In early spring, sow seeds an inch apart in fine seed starting mix. Cover seeds very lightly with mix and cover container with plastic wrap, providing humidity and warmth. Maintain at 60 to 70° and provide a strong light source. Keep evenly moist but not soggy. Be patient, these small perennial seeds germinate slowly over 3 weeks. Lift plastic to water. Remove plastic as soon as seeds germinate. When they have several sets of leaves, transplant seedlings into individual 4 to 6 inch pots so root systems have room to develop. When all danger of frost has past, plant 21⁄2 to 3 feet apart in well-drained soil in full sun. To grow in containers, transplant each plant into a pot with at least a 3 gallon capacity (or 12 inch pot).
GROWING NOTES: Like many perennial herbs, rosemary has a naturally low germination rate and grows slowly the first season. Plants thrive in hot, dry conditions and require well drained soil. In mild climate areas (zones 8 through 10), where winters are mild and the ground doesn’t freeze, Rosemary will grow happily over several years into a big 3 to 4 foot shrub. In cold winter areas (zones 3 to 7), plant seedlings into large pots to enjoy throughout spring and summer. When weather gets cold and frost threatens, prune plants back heavily and bring pots inside to spend the winter indoors in a cool, well-lit area; water very sparingly while plants are overwintering indoors. In spring, when danger of frost is over and weather is settled, move potted plants back outside to a sunny spot.
HARVEST AND USE: Rosemary’s stiff straight branches make perfect skewers for grilling. Use leaves in marinades combined with lemon, garlic and oil. Stuff a roasting chicken with whole branches and use to season lamb. Sprinkle finely minced rosemary over potatoes; dust on cheese dishes, garlic bread, grilled tomatoes and root vegetables.