Rosemary

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by perennial, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    I have a rosemary plant in my herb garden that did great this year. I bought it small and cheap and it almost doubled in size. I trimmed off some and dried it, etc.

    I live in the in a cold zone - Massachusetts and want to know how to prep it for wintering over. It is in a raised bed herb garden.

    bringing it in is not an option because i kill all plants in my house except one cactus that i've had 16 years.

    Any help would be great.

    brural
     
  2. Laura626

    Laura626 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Brural!
    My advice for your rosemary being so far north is to first assess it's situation in the yard. Generally rosemary does best with a southern exposure, but it also suffers from wind-an ideal spot would be a sheltered southern exposure spot up against the house. Barring that, I wouldn't cut it back, as the old growth provides some protection against the elements, and mulch or protect it very well with hay or a teepee. I've had some luck with that-rosemary can be fickle over the winter,though. I take cuttings around this time of year and rosemary does pretty well. Take cuttings from the soft tops of the plants and dip them first in water then in rooting hormone (Schultz makes one called Take Root). Stick them in moist seed starting soil, and you could have a dozen or so small plants like you had at the beginning of the season as insurance against a bad winter. Good luck!
     

  3. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    I wouldn't be very optimistic about it overwintering outside. It is not
    very hardy.
     
  4. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice.

    I think I'm going to put lots of leaves, hay, etc. around it and then cut the bottom out of an old plastic planter and put that over it to protect it from the wind and heavy snow - I'll let you know how it comes out. It is faced southerly, maybe that will help.

    thanks again,

    brural
     
  5. MOgal

    MOgal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Last fall I bought 2 small plants of a variety the greenhouse employee assured me was the hardiest of the rosemaries. I planted one in our hoop house and the other in a pot to keep inside. The one in the house promptly went toes up while the one is the hoop house is over 2' tall despite my having cut a good deal of it for cooking, etc. Our hoop house is basically a big walk in cold frame, nothing more, with no supplemental heat and only natural ventilation from openings in both ends. I do use a layer of floating row cover supported by wire wickets, ala Eliot Coleman in Four Season Harvests, but that is all the rosemary got in the way of special treatment.

    Since my rosemary does so well in the hoo house, I wondered if perhaps you could just build a cold frame around your herb bed or rig some sort of support for UV plastic to protect it from the wind and snow this year. You might have to occasionally need to remove snow from around the cover as I do when we have heavy wet snow that won't slide off the hoop house easily. We do remove the cover from the hoop house in the warm months to allow the permanent plantings to have regular summer growing conditions.

    Good luck with yours.