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Fragrant, delicious rosemary is a wonderful herb to grow on your own, either indoors in a pot or outside in your garden. Rosemary is generally not hard to grow, and once it taken root, this perennial, woody shrub will thrive for years. Read on to learn how to plant, care for, and harvest rosemary.

It not only adds flavor to your dishes, but it will also help keep the bugs away. It is one of my absolute favorite smells, but mosquitoes can't stand it.

Growing and Caring for Rosemary Plants:-

The three fundamentals for successfully growing rosemary are: Sun, Good Drainage and good air circulation.

Rosemary is easy to grow, evergreen in many climates, and it thrives in containers. There's no excuse why you shouldn't be growing some of your own. While rosemary tolerates partial shade, it prefers full sun and light, well-drained soil

Get a rosemary cutting. Rosemary is easiest to grow from a cutting, rather than planting seeds. Go to your local nursery and get a cutting, or better yet, find a rosemary plant you admire and clip off a few 4 inch pieces to propagate.

To help the cuttings grow, you can place the entire pot inside a plastic bag with a few holes punctured in the top. This will help regulate the temperature and keep things warm and moist.

Sun: Rosemary needs six to eight hours of sunlight each day. When planting rosemary indoors, be sure that its sunlight needs are met. This may mean supplementing with artificial light.

Among the few herbs that are a must for every kitchen garden, rosemary, most would agree, is preeminent... While prostrate forms grow outward, shrub rosemaries grow upward. ...

To grow rosemary in pots, select potting soil with organic home made compost and sand mix of little dry cow dung and garden soil .

Wherever you plant it, set rosemary where you will brush against it. The aroma will catch you by surprise, and, for an instant, you'll be on a Mediterranean shore. Rosemary's Latin name means sea dew.

Water: rosemary is relatively drought-tolerant. Let the soil dry out between each watering; rosemary does its best when the soil is not overly moist.
There are, naturally, elements that will polish off a plant. Too much watering and fertilizer result in woody branches that turn brittle and break. Bad drainage rots roots. Poor air circulation results in loss of leaves and perhaps even a fatal fungus.

4 Ways to Preserve Fresh Rosemary :-
-freezing your rosemary
- dry your rosemary
-Infusing rosemary
Infusing vinegar or olive oil with rosemary is a great idea. Think about all of the marinades, rubs, and salad dressings you'll be able to quickly toss together. One of my favorite ways to use my fresh rosemary is to make rosemary infuced oil .
I use Rosemary infused oil instead of olive oil for salad dressings, dipping breads or veggies, or even to make homemade popcorn.

How to make rosemary  infused oil :-

* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 3 fresh rosemary sprigs (each 5 inches long)
* In small saucepan, combine oil & rosemary. Cook over low heat until a thermometer reaches 180 F, about 5 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temp. Transfer the sprigs to a bottle, then add the oil. Seal and refrigerate up to 1 month

Rosemary citrus salt making
One of my favorite things to have around during grilling season is rosemary citrus salt. Start with a cup of coarse sea salt and add a good handful of fresh rosemary leaves, along with the zest from one lemon. Pulse in a food processor until you achieve a fine texture. Store in an airtight container.

Here are several ways rosemary can be used when cooking and entertaining:
- Tie together a bunch of rosemary sprigs at the base and use as a basting brush when grilling
- Add rosemary to marinades for beef or chicken
-Use extra woody rosemary sprigs as vegetable skewers
-Insert a sprig of rosemary on top of a serving of mashed potatoes for a jaunty touch
-Tie soft sprigs of rosemary around matchstick cut vegetables to create bundles
-Infuse oil with rosemary in the morning for a flavorful oil to cook with in the evening

Rosemary flavoured butter :-
Directions. Start by beating butter until soft. Add rosemary, garlic, and pepper to the butter. Shape into a roll and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm

I use my rosemary stems as skewers for grilling . The chicken rosemary skewers are simple as just cut dress skewers and grill ..
Grill Chicken rosemary skewers :- Ingredients: 2 lbs Chicken (cut into 1" chunks) 3 T Oil (or enough to coat chicken) 2 cloves Garlic (crushed) 2 T Soy Sauce. 2 T fresh Rosemary (minced) fresh cracked Black Pepper (enough to season chicken) approx 10 Rosemary Skewers .
Method :- put chicken in a bowl and mix all remaining ingredients then slide chicken in to rosemary skewers.heat the grill for direct heat , medium high .grill chicken for couple minutes each side . You can substitute prawns instead of chicken . Yum yum .

Rosemary for hair :-
Rosemary hair rinse is refreshing and cleansing. It will add a shine to your hair and a subtle fragrance of rosemary.
How to make a rosemary hair rinse :- Place the sprigs of rosemary in a saucepan.Fill up with enough rainwater or well water (for better result) to cover the rosemary sprigs. Do not overdo the water; just use enough to cover.Simmer. The time required is personal; you choose the point at which you think the mixture is scented. Naturally, do not let the water evaporate or you will not have anything left to rinse with! Then strain the liquid Remove the rosemary sprigs.
Shampoo your hair as normal. Finish with the rosemary rinse.
Tips :-You can bottle this preparation if there is any left over. Keep in a cool, dark and dry place and use within one week of preparation.

Rosemary keeps Mosquito away :-
Throw rosemary on the barbecue. Mosquitos often strikes while we are barbecuing outdoor . But this simple trick will turn your barbecue in to a natural mosquito repellent. While also adding delicious flavour to your food . Throw a few stalks of rosemary on the hot coals to give off a mosquito repelling aroma .
Happy growing

Shaminaz Deen
Author: Shaminaz Deen

Shaminaz is a home gardener. She gorws her own chilies, capsicums, mangoes and even roses. Cinnamon and black pepper.

She uses all natural ingredients to protect her plants from snails and bugs.

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