Bringing in rosemary for winter

Last spring, I had a rosemary plant in a six inch pot that over-wintered in the garage.  It looked like it could use a vacation, so, I took it out of its pot and planted it directly into the garden.

While in the garden, it suffered the regular abuse that you expect a rosemary plant to endure.  Whenever I needed rosemary for cooking, I pulled off  leaves. Also, I tore off a few stems to use for starting some new plants from cuttings. It certainly didn’t get coddled during the summer.

 

Some stems look vigorous while others seem to be under stress on this rosemary plant.

This fall it survived those nights when the temperatures  dipped down into the teens. Normally, rosemary can’t deal with our harsh winter temperatures. I have in the past, had one or two, by chance,  survive a mild winter.

This week, I finally decided to dig and re-pot this tough little plant. Despite all of the abuse and neglect, the roots grew large enough to fill a 12 inch pot. Also, the dead and damaged stems needed some pruning.  Otherwise, it looks to be in pretty good shape.

I used a garden fork to lift the rosemary from the garden soil carefully, leaving the root ball intact.

My plan is to let it rest in our cool, dimly lit garage over winter just like last year. Then, come next spring, I’ll plant it back out into the garden.

Bob

November is a Good Time to Add Lime

The weather people are predicting a string of nice days through the weekend and into next week.  Many of us will looking for things to do out in the yard and garden.

Because November is the ideal time to apply lime,  this weekend would be a good time to check the pH of your garden soil. pH is a measure of acidity or alkalinity of something, in this case, garden soil.  If you have been fertilizing your garden regularly for several years in a row, the chances are your soil may need lime.

Lime is a calcium-based soil amendment that farmers and gardeners use to sweeten garden soil — raise the soil pH.

It’s not a good idea to just guess if your soil pH is low, your soil has to be tested. Fortunately, this is one test you can do yourself with a pH test kit from a garden center. These kits are pretty accurate. Just make sure you buy a fresh test kit because the test-chemicals will get old over time and produce an inaccurate reading.

There are several different types of lime and each type has a different application rate.  Don’t worry though, all lime containers have application instructions printed on them. The amounts are usually given in pounds per 100 square feet or 1,000 square feet depending on the size of the bag.

In many cases, a five pound bag of lime will be enough to treat 100 square feet of garden soil.

Keep in mind, that sandy soils need liming more frequently than loam or clay soils.

Lawns too, will benefit from a fall application of lime if the soil pH tests low.

So, there’s your excuse to head out to the garden center, pick up some supplies and get some productive work done in your garden.

Bob