ROOTING HERBS

This garden tip is the ultimate in self-sufficientcy.  Why do we constantly depend on the middle man for growing our food supply?  Many experienced gardeners, such as myself until recently, do not realize that Basil and Rosemary stems can be easily rooted in water then planted in pots for enjoyment all winter long. Here is my story for discovering a new level of sustainability.

Several years ago while visiting a friend, I noticed a large pot of Rosemary in her entryway.  I was impressed that she was able to keep this tender herb growing throughout our cold Pennsylvania winters.
This finicky herb never seems to transplant well for me. Her secret: simply plant Rosemary in a large container or small urn during the summer and bring it indoors before frost. I don't know why I didn't think of this method instead of always trying to transplant it at the end of summer.  In addition to moving the planter gradually to warmer areas of the home ensuring that it did not catch a draft from a cold doorway, she rooted tiny rosemary stems for a continual supply of new starts each season...allowing the planter to grow continually. 

I decided to give her method a try.  Even though, I dry herbs for winter cooking, I'm always tempted to purchase fresh Basil or Rosemary during the holidays. This year, I decided to root Rosemary and Basil  from my summer garden in hopes of having it fresh all season long.  Both herbs are doing quite well and will soon be potted on the window sill. 

Potted herbs make great hostess gifts. If you purchase Rosemary and Basil for holiday cooking, take a small stem and place it in water for an ongoing supply of fresh herb starts. Remember to remove leaves at the bottom of the stem to encourage new shoots.

Cooking is better with herbs,
 

Sally