Rosemary and Thyme – Grow Cooking Staples
Hey Y’all! Its gardening season and I couldn’t be more excited! This past winter in Tulsa we’ve been under drought conditions and it’s really taken a toll on my Rosemary and Thyme. I seriously don’t know of any herb grower that has surviving Rosemary this year. Have you ever tried watering thirsty, parched plants in a 20 mile an hour wind and its 40 degrees? Talk about fun…I’m telling ya, it’s not! The only benefits are your daily steps are met by going inside every 5 mins heading to the bathroom; running water, not to mention cold, is not fun when you’re over 50 and you’ve born kids! Ok, TMI:)
Getting on with it, I think I lost all of my herbs this winter! The drought and the few days it got down to 0o at night really did a number on the garden. We mulched the “you know what” out of them with cedar chips and hay but it still didn’t do the trick. They turned out brown and brittle and just dead looking. Basically we’re starting over with a new plan and a backup to my new plan.
The two main anchor herbs in any herb garden are usually Thyme and Rosemary. The woody, evergreen type that in the south can be massive bushes. I’d love to have Rosemary bushes instead of the boring old boxwoods like they do in …Rosemary Beach, FL but I don’t think it’s possible in Oklahoma; Oh well, maybe one day when our climate changes from zone 7B to 9 (that’s a whole n’other topic!). My plan entails planting 2 plants of each; one in a container on my patio and the others in my herb garden. They both thrive in full sun and suggest choosing a location closest to the kitchen for easy snipping.
Why would I do this?
1) With the Oklahoma winters you never know when a killing freeze is going to happen. I would like to be able to move the containers into our shed at a moment’s notice.
2) Sometimes we can have scorching summers; if they’re in pots I can move them in the shade.
3) And because these two herbs are my favorites and I’d like to use them ALL the thyme and year round:)
Uses and Benefits for Rosemary and Thyme:
Rosemary is absolutely wonderful used on grilled meats. I usually rub poultry or meat with the leaves before I salt and pepper. You can also use it for smoking as well. Rub the meat with the leaves and then lay them on top of your charcoal or hardwood while it smokes. Also throwing it in the cavity of a turkey or chicken is Yummeee! Hey and it’s also really good in marinate…but don’t use too much ’cause it can become bitter.
Miss Rosemary makes a great addition to a bouquet of flowers or if you have a bunch they can be a standalone centerpiece. Your house will smell divine.
Medicinally it has been known to help in headache relief. Also, some research has linked it to help with brain circulation and preventing Alzheimer’s.
Thyme is one of my best friends in the kitchen. It’s not as potent as rosemary and it reminds me of Thanksgiving. Who wouldn’t want to have Thanksgiving all year round? You can use it in the same way as Rosemary or in conjunction with. Besides grilling, fresh Thyme really adds a lot of flavor to soups, stews, and sauces. But if burned it can also be bitter.
Health wise it aids in heart health, improves circulation, and is an immune booster. It’s rich in anti-oxidants and Vit. C.
It’s not as widely used in decorating as Rosemary but its aroma alone makes up for any kind of aesthetics is lacks!
Remember when planting or transplanting any herb it’s always a good idea to use good quality organic potting soil and fertilizer. A medium to large container instead of a smallish size is a must if your intention is to keep these evergreen herbs year round.
A lot depends on the quality of plants your buy. I either buy mine local from a plant nursery that grows their own starts or at a local farmers market or spring herb fest.
Herbs are among the easiest plants to grow, especially the woody evergreen type. They don’t require a lot of water and really can live in most any soil type. Bugs and fungi really don’t bother them much either. All they’re really looking for is a home that will occasionally water them and keep them protected from the bitter cold. So what are you waiting for? Start growing Yumminess!