The Q&A Archives: When To Plant Herbs

Question: When can I start my herb garden here in Raleigh, NC? I plan on purchasing seedlings to start my herb garden. Also, during the fall, I transplanted some 3' rosemary plants from last years garden to a place they would have more room to grow. (my herb garden is 6'x 8') Unfortunately, we had one of our worst winters in a while. About half of each plant turned brown and dried out. I have vigorously cut them back this week (from 20-75% depending on the plant). Is there anything I should do to encourage them back to the healthy plants they were? In addition, last year they were in spot too small for them and they grew only in one directions. What is the best way to train them to grow more uniformly?

Answer: Rosemary naturally grows in only a relatively uniform shape, and some of the lumpiness can be smoothed out in early spring when winter damage is removed and again at harvest. In a full sun location they should even out somehwat in the course of the season. These plants are not heavy feeders so the best thing to do at this point is wait and see what the better location can do for them. Keep in mind that some rosemaries are more winter hardy than others, so it may be a matter of selecting a different variety if you lose them repeatedly. Hardiness is also improved by growing them in a sheltered location out of strong winds and by ensuring they have excellent drainage.

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