Week of September 30 / October 1

Rosemary

grow rosemary, natural cat repellant, natural insect repellant
Rosemary is a gorgeous plant in a garden and an extremely aromatic herb for cooking. Bake a rosemary bread at home and the house will smell wonderfully warm and inviting.
Rosemary is a drought tolerant plant and is a good choice for El Paso’s climate. It also tolerates our winters but plant may not have the same luster and density as in summer. Young small plants will need to be covered with frost cover at night during winter. Once the root system is well developed and bush is large it generally tolerates our winter quite well.
It has light blue flowers and and attracts many beneficial insects and small birds like wrens. Rosemary comes in trailing and upright varieties. Both are beautiful in landscape. This herb is quite resistant to most insects but sometimes may be a host to the spittlebugs or spider mites.

Rosemary is rich in antioxidants and has some anti-inflammatory properties.
It is a wonderful herb in cooking and is a commonly used in mediterranean cuisine. It can be used to flavor soups, salads, breads and pasta. Try it with other foods which you may otherwise find bland. The enticing aroma will make any food hard to resist.
Rosemary can also be dried for various uses. Dried rosemary sachets can be used in clothes drawers as insect repellant or in pillows to give gentle aroma. Rosemary is also used for aroma therapy as natural aid for relaxation.
It can be used as a natural repellant for cats that may be digging your plant beds. After pruning the rosemary bush, do not throw away the branches. Instead use them to cover your flower beds and the smell of rosemary will keep the cats away. Few drops of rosemary oil on your patio furniture, every 3-4 days, can keep the stray or feral cats from using your furniture at night.
Rosemary oil also has other uses. Instead of using the chemical cleaning agents for sweeping floors try a few drops of rosemary oil in water. It will create a gentle relaxing environment in the house as well as act as a mild insect repellant on the floor to keep the bugs outdoors.

Best time to plant rosemary is spring after the last frost. Rosemary seeds may be difficult to start but certainly a choice for those who want to try. Transplants are available in most nurseries during spring. It should be planted in full sun. It can also be grown easily in a container.

Rosemary is such an easy to grow plant with multiple uses there is no reason not to grow it for your garden and home.