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Rosemary is appreciated by many gardeners not only for its spicy aroma, but also for its aesthetic properties. The bushes of the plant are often grown in summer cottages as decoration. In regions with frosty winters, including the Moscow region, rosemary is best grown outdoors. Planting on the ground contributes to accelerated and correct growth, the absence of diseases.
Rosemary, the specifics of growing in the suburbs
When planting rosemary bushes in the Moscow region, it is worth considering the climatic conditions and the specifics of the soil in the region. In summer, the plant can be immediately planted in open soil, and in winter the bushes will take root only in pots. For planting a perennial, soil with low acidity is suitable.
The plant should be planted in late spring to avoid possible frost or early summer. Shrub propagation is allowed in any period, except for winter. In temperate climates, it is better to take shoots for seedlings in the spring before the grass begins to bloom and plant them in the soil in May - June. Autumn perennials are suitable for growing at home.
Choosing a landing site
When grown outdoors for rosemary, it is better to choose places well-lit by the sun. In practice, the plant shows vigorous growth when placed on southern slopes. If the bushes were planted at home and transplantation into the soil is required, then they are taken out into the open air after all frosts and transplanted after a few days of acclimatization. For a perennial plant, moderately moist soil with a high content of deciduous-grain composition, sand and humus is better suited.
Planting plants in open ground
Planting rosemary in the soil is carried out using layers, seeds or cuttings. There should be about 50 cm between the bushes so that the root systems do not intertwine with each other. Before planting, you should moderately moisten the soil and remove the remnants of previously planted crops. Plants should be placed to a depth of no more than 4 cm for cuttings and cuttings and 0.4 cm for seeds. The landing sites are covered with loosened earth.
A perennial does not require special care conditions and is able to grow for many years if the basic rules are followed. It is enough to water the rosemary periodically, visually monitor the damage to the leaves and keep the soil in good condition. To ensure active growth, you should pay attention to the following points:
- If the foliage of the plant turns yellow, then more frequent watering is required. When foliage falls, an excess of moisture is likely.
- Like other plants, rosemary needs constant weeding and loosening of the soil.
- Once every 6-7 years, the plant must be cut to soil level to form new shoots. It is recommended to rejuvenate the bushes in March - April. After flowering new bushes, you need to cut the shoots up to 3 cm to strengthen them.
Rosemary can tolerate drought, but it requires abundant and regular watering for stable growth. In spring and summer, the plant can be watered every other day, and in dry weather - daily. If the bushes are not planted in open ground, but in separate containers with soil, then it is important not to flood the plants, since rosemary is susceptible to waterlogged soil.
The use of fertilizers to feed rosemary is not a prerequisite for proper growth, but the use of specialized products helps to strengthen the root system and positively affect the appearance of the plant.
Once a month, you can use a complex mineral and organic dressing, which contains nitrogen and phosphorus.
Nitrogen fertilizers are useful for perennials in spring, phosphorus fertilizers in autumn. When the plant is overwintered in containers or a greenhouse and then transplanted into open soil, fertilizers are not required if fertile soil is used in the planting site. Growing in the open field requires periodic feeding with complex fertilizers.
Diseases and pests
Despite the high resistance of rosemary to diseases, under unfavorable conditions there is a risk of damage to perennials. A common pest is the spider mite, which leaves an inconspicuous cobweb on the leaves, leading to wilting. To combat insects and the consequences of its appearance, you need to wash the foliage with soapy water.
In case of severe damage to the bushes, it is worth using insecticidal fertilizers.
Among the diseases, powdery mildew is considered the most dangerous for rosemary. The cause of the disease is a sharp change in temperature conditions. Signs of culture damage are the formation of white bloom on the leaves and stems. A solution of potassium permanganate or a mixture of baking soda and soap helps to eliminate the disease. As an additional measure, you can replace the topsoil in which infectious agents accumulate.
How to cover rosemary for the winter?
When the air temperature drops below 10 degrees, overwintering the rosemary outdoors can negatively affect the plant. Even covering the bushes for the winter and protecting them from blowing and low temperatures, the soil can freeze. To prevent the cold from destroying the root system, it is better to cover the rosemary in a separate room for the winter.
Before the start of frost, the plant must be carefully dug up and placed in a flowerpot or barrel. Good lighting is an important condition for the room where rosemary will winter. The ideal option is a greenhouse or summer cottage.
Harvesting and storage
Rosemary leaves, shoots and inflorescences have useful properties. Foliage is of the greatest value in terms of practical application. It is necessary to collect shoots before flowering, since during this period the leaves contain the most useful components. Having chosen the youngest shoots, you need to cut off the branches of the bushes 15–20 cm long.
The collected green mass should be laid out on paper sheets and left to dry for 2 weeks, periodically turning over. You can dry the plant with separate leaves or branches. To speed up the process, you can dry the rosemary in the oven or electric dryer. You can store the plant in a cool dark room by hanging bunches of 5-7 branches. If you need to use perennials in cooking, you can leave the dried herbs in fabric bags or containers for seasoning.