Growing rosemary through the year
Rosemary seeds can take an age to germinate, so buy young plants, which are widely available, or wait until after flowering and take cuttings.
Plant in spring or autumn. Although rosemary is frost-hardy, the combination of cold and waterlogging can kill immature plants. With this in mind, choose a well-drained soil in a sunny, sheltered spot. If you have a cold clay soil, dig in lots of bark, grit or leaf mould to improve drainage.
Tending the crop
Rosemary requires little maintenance during the year except cutting back after flowering to prevent plants becoming straggly and excessively woody. Save the trimmings to propagate new plants or to dry for cooking.
Rosemary does well in containers in a soil-based compost with plenty of broken crocks in the bottom for good drainage. Keep well watered during dry spells and feed with a general fertiliser during the growing season. In cold winters, bring plants under cover for protection.
Preparation and uses
Pop a few sprigs of rosemary in with your roast potatoes and meat, it goes especially well with lamb, or in casseroles, tomato sauces, baked fish or egg dishes.
Add it to vinegars or oils for extra flavour. Take care when using fresh rosemary in your cooking, it’s a pungent herb that will overpower delicate flavours.