Yesterday I went to a dinner jazz club and got there early enough to have to sit in my car in front until they opened. Directly in front of me on the front lawn were two 4x8' raised beds. As I stared, I thought I recognized a Rosemary plant.
So, I get out to explore, and, sure enough, both beds were herb gardens. I wondered if the cook used them in the meals. When I got in and went to the bar, I spied the owner, and asked if they did. He told me he had just negotiated with the property owner to tear out those herb gardens and put in flowers, so I could take anything I wanted within the next week, cause after that it would all be gone!
There are two huge stands of Rosemary, at least 3-4 different types of mint, and several other herbs I can't name right offhand (I'll be posting pics for identification, LOL!).
I've been trying for over a year to get some Rosemary going in my yard, and it's just not happening. What I've brought home has stayed in containers, but I want to bring this stand home and put it in a raised bed.
My question is, "what is the best way to dig up, and relocate, these herbs to a spot in my yard? I already have a spot designated for the raised bed herb garden. It would be located along a brick wall, on the back (west-facing) side of my house. There are currently three large Nandinas growing there that would have to be dug out. Could I hold the herbs in large (15-25 gallon) containers until the bed and the spot is ready, do ya'll think? Also, what type of soil/growing medium should I fill the bed with? I've been learning that Rosemary thrives with total neglect and doesn't need a whole bunch of fertile soil (most herbs don't, yes?) Would regular garden soil be ok?
Please lmk soonest. I only have the next two weekends to get the stuff dug out.
The four things rosemary needs are sun, drainage, sun and drainage. Don't feed them or water them -- herbs that have to fight a little produce more the oils we like them for.
I'd fill the bed with plain old cheap dirt. Maybe a little garden soil mixed in to loosening things up if the soil is really heavy there.
If they are large plants, I'd probably root prune and top prune them before planting. They'll be fine in containers as long as you don't dehydrate them but do be sure to let the soil dry out before watering again.
Hmmm... the easiest way to root prune since you are transplanting would probably be to go ahead and top prune by no more than 20%, then take your shovel and make a circle at the new drip line with sharp strokes. Lift the plant out and transfer to your container.
I would save any top cuttings, both for eating and also pot some of them up as insurance (or gifts). The potted ones need to stay moist but not wet. You can use rooting hormone if you want, but rosemary tends to root pretty easily. Some of the branches laying on the ground may have air layered roots anyway. Those are the best candidates to pot up.
Gymgirl - as you know, keeping as much of a root ball in place when transplanting is crucial to a plants success. You may find the large Rosemary plant too heavy to move.
I would look for some stems that have self-rooted, and remove several of them as carefully as possible. Wrap the roots in damp paper towels, take them home, plant them in regular garden soil, and water them in.
The other herbs could be transferred in regular pots, and treated as you would any other potted plant.
It has been my experience, that herbs grow like weeds.
We had to transplant a rosemary bush in mid flower last year. We did no pruning.
The original plant had spread about three feet and was very heavy, so we ended up putting it on a tarp and towing it across the yard. Part of the root ball broke away and we transplanted that, too. Both plants survived but we have both the hot dry weather and the alkaline, free draining soil that rosemary loves.
If your soil is on the acid side, you might want to mix some lime into your future planting spot, and some bark, to help with drainage. As a new transplant, your rosemary will need more frequent deep watering the first year than it ever will in the future. Although with Houston's gully washer rains, that may not be a problem for you!
Oh, Thank you guys so much for all the tips and encouragement!
I have a girl crew meeting me tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. so the relocation can begin! It was either the wee hours before the supper club opened, or waaaaaaaay after dark to get this deed done, LOL! I am truly excited, and will be racing to get a couple more spots ready to receive some of the Rosemary. Nicole, thanks for your tip about the sunlight. I've located some sunnier spots.
I have a small rose bush that I cut down last fall, which has since grown back. It's about 3 ft. tall, and not unmanageable, so, I'm gonna take to it with a vengeance today, getting as much of it out as I can so I can put the Rosemary in the small bed it occupies. It's on the west side along my fence line, in full sun.
Also, I've been thinking of making a couple mounds for the Rosemary in the grass strip down my side yard entry. If I'm truly into reducing the grass footprint, this is certainly a way to do it! I'm thinking to space the mounds about 18" apart down this strip, which sits in full sun on a chain link fence between my neighbor's and my yard. It would be unobtrusive, yet serve a very necessary purpose there -- to grow into a nice neat little hedge and give me all the Rosemary I'll need!
Would you believe all this is because of some Rosemary Orange Marmalade a co-worker's wife makes? He brought me a small Ball jar of it last winter, and, after I got over the initial flavor of Rosemary (having NOT grown up with this herb in my life...), I TOTALLY fell in love with this stuff. Before that small jar was gone, I was smearing it on scrambled eggs, pork chops, steaks, a spoon, fingers, whatever!!!
The best part is that she gave me the RECIPE!!! I wanna make batches of this to give away during the holidays, hence the need for the Rosemary, LOL! Well, maybe not as much as I'm gonna collect, but, there's still that "reduce the grass footprint thing"..., LOL!!
P.S. I'll remember to post pics of the dig!!
P.S.S. Soon as I get good at making the marmalade, I'll send each one of you a jar as a "thank you!" Hopefully, by this winter!
Can't wait to see pics. You also could take a couple of coffee cans or buckets of wet vermiculite to stick plants in for transfer to reduce dehydration in transit. Congrats on your wonderful find! Can't wait to see pics.
Have fun digging! And be sure to reward your girl crew with tomatoes or other goodies. (Or at least beer.)
If at all possible, plant a rosemary bush where you will brush by it on the way to the front door, or along a regular pathway. I love catching a whiff when I come home or am just hauling the trash out.
A rosemary hedge is a good idea. You get to eat the trimmings and the bees will thank you for the winter blooming forage.
I'm not familiar with fennel and your post with the two pics very well may be fennel, but dill was my first reaction. They kinda remind me of my dill plants after they were at the end of their productive life. Good score!
Fennel, that one drthor grows, seperate it from most stuff like they have it... It doesn't like company. Not dill, tho the larger var do resemble it, they aren't NEARLY as delicate seeming of stem. 2&3, Oregano, yes, var unknown but that white bloom style is one I also have-is used to maintain and control slopes because the root mass gets wicked tangled thick. Am lookin at other pix, but some rosemarys don't resemble a Rosemary- there are several.
Rosemary-Treat them like weeds, like basils they need DEEP root room, mine do fine wherever we put them, but better under the edge of the dogwood, (or in my monarda,) oregano, all it needs is enough to root in and it doesn't care how shallow, but cant handle cold.
The taproot would seem to indicate dill; I thought I saw the beginnings of a bulb there. If fennel, the foliage will have an anise flavor. If dill, it will have a bitter flavor. Dill reseeds itself; fennel is a perennial unless you eat it. I can't quite bring myself to like fennel bulbs, which I suppose it good because they are a little tough to get a good fat bulb out of.
The black swallowtail caterpillars will eat both down to a nub. Here, the caterpillars don't show up until after the dill has seeded itself, so I let them have it. And the parsley... it always comes back.
I will agree on the IDs but do believe your unknown is fennel not dill. I grow both and the clue should be in your nose. Break off a bit, crush it and sniff. Dill is unmistakable but fennel should smell like licorice.
And on the oregano, crush, sniff and smell to be sure.
Your rosemary needs to have dry feet so be sure to provide good drainage. A raised bed will help also for those Houston deluges.
P.S. good score but I don't want a jar of your Rosemary Orange marmalade. I just want your recipe. lol
Ugh, i was thinkin with a split brain. drat. I meant dill, and you may lose it with the move, There are 3 types and that one isn't fern leaf, so it leaves one of the taller var. It was planned as a kitchen garden, so has the plants that you would grab when cooking...
Thanks for the "dry feet" tip on that Rosemary. I've been watering it regularly since I put it in that pot, 'cause I didn't want to lose it. I may need to back off on the watering, now.
As to the plant mystery. Ok. Maybe there was a bulb developing on our mystery plant, now that you mention it, Nicole. I sniffed and, at first, it seemed to be light citrusy, like dill. But, I'm gonna, literally, chew on it. I'd know licorice in a heartbeat!
I think I brought home some lavender! The fuzzy little leaves with little blue flowers? Total score, I think!
And, I believe oregano and tarragon are in the mix, too. Will explore further!
P.S. I ate Eggplant (with shrimp) every day last week. A "Spicy Eggplant" recipe off of Allrecipes.com. (Recipe #1, with a few adjustments -- actually just reduced the amount of salty Soy Sauce waaaaaaaaaaaay down)...
I was using my white Gretel eggplants before I lost them, slicing them on the diagonal for the dish. Yesterday, I had to use my Black Beauty cannon balls, and I cubed them for the dish. Only a very, very subtle difference in the taste of the two eggplants in the dishes. Either one, it's still good enough to eat every day, LOL! Also, I almost cubed up some rotisserie chicken instead of the shrimp, but, eggplant just screams to be paired with seafood!
While I have a moment...
DILL - Anatheum graveolus, biennial, subject to Alternaria blight and Aster yellows, var: Bouquet, Mammoth, Dukat, and Super Dukat- hybrid. attracts tje parsley worm. Doesnt like transplanting. I will return, got togo
Forgot fern leaf dill in the list. am still rushing...
Lavenders smell soapy to me- every single one I ever put my nose to...
Fennel: foeniculum vulgare perennial, biennial. var, azoricum, purpureum, nigr. Florence fennel, finocchio has the bulbing stem. Do not confuse with Nigella sativa, nor Ferula communis... also dont fret if you lose this one in the move...It doesmt like being disturbed either.
Oregano; organum vulgare is easy to confuse with marjoram, origanum majorana. I havent figured out how to do so yet...
Hyssop smells devine. Tarragon, A dracunculus var sativa, French tarragom doesn't make seeds. Russian tarragon is supposedly inferior flavor and does make seeds.
Dill and fennel are both of the carrot family by the way, and that is what I taste when chewing them. carrots. MORE PIX when poss? I am still collecting my herbs...
To me, Marjoram is a full, rich sweet oregano taste and smell. Oregano is sharp and reminds me of Italian cooking. Like 'em both though.
JohnCrichton75 ~ for me dill is a winter grower. Although it is a biennual, mine only lasts one season. Thinking the heat is the culprit. For having started mine in winter, it is now developing seed just as the crop of cucumbers is producing. That may be the ticket for dill pickles.
On the tarragon, it is unlikely it is French tarragon. French tarragon malingers and suffers in this heat. Would like to see your photos of that one Linda.
Pods- I was wondering about the life cycle of dill. I had not the time to research just yet, but your comments seem consistent with what I have observed this season. I planted two 7" dill transplants in March and each grew 16" wide and maybe just as tall, if I recall. Very robust and if you brushed the plants you got an immediate whiff of that great dill smell. Funny thing is that I never really harvested anything as I never could find a use in my mundane culinary repertoire. But as the cukes began to arrive, we began to make cucumber sandwiches and of course pickles. That was at the beginning of the month or late May, and I was thinking at the time: man, I thought I had more dill than this, lol. The plants look sparse now and have not regrown any fronds or leaves or whatever they are called. What foliage remains is bolting, and I will leave them in hopes that they attract butterflies as Stephanie mentioned.
Too much water- too much heat. grab some cuttings abt 6 to 8" long and root them in a deep pot, they like it cooler weather to transplant and you guys HEAT is awful. 2nd SHADE EM. 3rd, trim the big plant back. Too much plant for the roots. I am goin to want some starts. that or bury everybit of the dead parts deep and willow water em a bit.
Cuttings. You mean the branches? Strip some of the rosemary from the rooting end and sink in a deep pot?
Ok. working on your starts!!!
Ok. I found a tutorial on how EZ it is to root the cuttings. My problem is going to be finding some part of the plant that's still viable from which to take the cuttings. Much of it has dried up...I should've taken the cuttings the next day...shoot!
There's not a lot of roots on that picture you showed of the rosemary, so I agree with kitt it's drying out.
The cadmium layer (inner bark) of willow contains a rooting hormone, salicylic acid. (And no, your bottle of aspirin isn't quite the same.) If no fresh willow is available, "Root Tone" or whatever will do the job.
If it were me, I'd make the willow water (pour boiling water over 4" bits of stem and leaves of willow and let set 24 hours) over the plant, watering it with the willow water, and give it a little every day (maybe twice a day if it's hot and dry) and wait and see. Keep watering it like it was alive. It might come back after the roots have nourishment and a chance to expand. I would trim it way down, though, so it wouldn't lose any more water through respiration. I never give up on anything lol.
Linda, those dry branches had green tips on them. There is still life in them, but tthey didnt get pruned back and tended as they grew. Like Mexican Heather the plant can appear dead and come back to life in seemingly dead branches.The wilted drying appearance is actually the plant pulling its energy back to the roots to wait til weather is more kind. The plant since uprooted may still die, but trim back and pot the roots in a medium that is a lot less rich than your veggies, and call it summer dormancy- in a dark cool spot. Dont let it mold up, and let the root part rest. That rosemary probably needed heavier trims than some of the o
Than some other varieties do. Like Solace said. One of these days I need to copy the whole of that willow water recipe... use the green and yellow new growth willow tips -at least a cup- cut into 1" strips, enough water to cover plus a cup, or more.Strongest potency is at least 2weeks. Most of the rosemarys I have grew the hardest and fastest tween Feb and June. They are slow, slow holding now.
I agree with the following from above. Cut the plant way back. I dont think the roots could have died in such a short period of time. Keep it in a pot, in the shade and water when top 2" of soil are dry. I bet it will come back from the root and next year it will look as good or better than it did in the beginning. I doubt the dill or fennel will transplant. Just grow them from seed.To make sure the root ball is really getting watered, the first time let it soak in a saucer until it takes up all it will.
I had overlooked that post. Wow! They look gorgeous. Are you going to used them for fall plant out? I had some from that batch that I planted out and they made heads and side shoots and I ate them all. I think there may be one plant that I have not pulled that still making side shoots. My new favorite way to eat broccoli is to dip it in salsa con queso raw!!. YUMMM.
Having just severely pruned a Rosemary bush or tree that grew from a small plant to 6 feet tall and 4' wide since Spring of 2011, I believe Rosemary likes more water than some people think. Mine is on an automatic drip line that serves a variety of plants along a fence, So it gets about 25 minutes of water every day, and loves it.
And i think Honeybee's suggestion of taking either root cuttings or pieces of rooted cuttings may have been the best method, but since the stump is already planted, i would look for small branches near the stump that show life, and cut off completely all the other branches that are showing stress, and water it frequently enough to keep the soil moist.
Lynda has more humidity than the Otay area, it causes quicker fungal buildups. She dug it in a bad time for transplanting such a large plant, once it stabilizes and comes back, it will take water or dry spells equally as well. They are a fairly forgiving plant, but if the rootball doesnt pull thru, she will have the cuttings she took. She is also great at knowing what she has to do to boost the plants' ability to survive. chuckle...
You are correct about the geography, but where i live is much more moist than the Otay Mesa, too. I live in a canyon 8 miles from the ocean and cool moist air is sucked in as the inland foothills warm up. I fight fungus all the time. as well as high humidty in the mornings. It must have been close to 100% this morning.
Transplanting is pretty simple, logistically. She lost a lot of the hair roots that absorb the moisture, so the more she can reduce the growth that releases moisture, the better supply the remaining top growth will have for surviving.
And i am sure you are right about the Rosemary surviving either way. I have seen them doing well in AZ on just a fraction of the water mine receives, so they do have a wide tolerance for water.
FWIW, I believe I have heard or read somewhere that plants with needle like leaves benefit from misting. I don't know if that's true, but I give my rosemary a regular spray, in between the deep waterings and it seems to like it. But then again, it's hard to OVERwater anything here in the summer and perhaps it's not the misting of the leaves, but the dropping of water to the root ball that it likes.
My dad is in Escondido, beautiful place to retire, I know those brisk winds, welcome to me after fighting thru the Indio area! and grows so many things there! Remember she took it from a probably neglected area as an overgrown speciman... with her talents I know something will survive! Yup on the misting-have wondered if they are closer to aloes or sedums than we know...
While i have had to treat for Downy Mildew, Gray Mold, Coryneum Blight, Black Spot, Fire Blight, etc., the Rosemary has not been bothered by any of them, so the misting should not be a problem even in a humid area.
Micro climates vary more rapidly in this area than anywhere i have ever lived. I am almost one Zone colder here than the map shows, and frost several times a year in what is supposed to be a Frost Free Zone. On the opposite end, when the offshore Santa Ana winds blow and reverse the direction of the air flow, I am several degrees warmer than Ray Der Phan is, just 8 miles away,and cooler than Escondido, 8 miles the other way.
I agree that if anyone can make the plant grow, it is Linda.
Once Rosemary is established, it thrives on neglect. Our bush in South Florida grew taller than me, and about four foot wide in dreadful grey sand they (laughingly) call "soil". It was never cared for.
Great score and great thread. I am proof that Rosemary thrives on neglect. The only time mine gets watered is when it rains. It has been in the same spot for over 15 yrs but it has never bloomed! The plants next to it bloom.
I wish mine would bloom. It is growing like crazy, but maybe needs a bit more sun.
I am trying the grapefruit rosemary marmalade recipe today. I will be spending the morning 'supreming' the grapefruits.
I took ya'lls advice and cut the browning Rosemary branches away yesterday. I left about 10" of stems on the plant, and will treat it as a shrub.
As I cleared the branches and brown nettles (btw, can they be used for anything, cause I haven't bagged them up yet...) I saw one lone branch way down in the middle, with green nettles on it, so I believe there is still life in the plant, and I fully expect to grow it out again!
Hugs and Crosses for all your help, encouragement, and advice!