For year, I planted rows of the same vegetables in my garden. Rows of green beans, tomatoes, and peppers. Not only did I change my practice of in ground gardens to raised beds, but after reading about intercropping various vegetables, herbs and flowers in the garden, I changed that too. Growing a lot of the same vegetables in your raised bed vegetable garden is not a good idea for a number of reasons.
- You’ve just created a “buffet line” for pests.
- You’ll need to worry about rotating your vegetables each year to prevent pests.
- You won’t have anything to attract beneficial insects or pollinators to your garden.
- and……your garden is boring.
Interplanting herbs and flowers will not only create a pretty and diverse garden, but it fosters a healthier and productive garden by creating a balanced ecosystem where each plant contributes to the overall well-being of the others. Some herbs such as basil serve a dual purpose. Not only does it deter tomato hornworms, it improves the flavor of your tomatoes. Intercropping between your vegetables uses space that would otherwise remain bare and be a great place for weeds to grow.
Rosemary is one herb I wanted to include in my raised bed since I find it difficult to grow in my rocky, clay soil. But since it may grow as high as 3 feet and stretch 5 foot wide if you don’t keep it trimmed, it wasn’t a good choice. But I found a solution. Prostrate or creeping rosemary.
Prostrate rosemary prefers well-drained soil and full sun. My raised beds were a perfect place for it, since vegetables prefer the same. It is less drought-tolerant compared to regular rosemary, so it may require more consistent watering. It will be easy to water when I water my vegetables. Due to it’s spreading nature, I planted it in the corners of two of my raised beds.
And yes, you can use prostrate rosemary in cooking. It has the same aromatic and flavorful qualities as regular rosemary but is often used as ground cover or for landscaping due to its appearance.
In cooking, you can use prostrate rosemary in the same way as regular rosemary. It has a strong, earthy flavor that pairs well with a variety of dishes, especially those with roasted meats, poultry, and vegetables. Here are some common uses for prostrate rosemary in cooking:
- Roasted meats: Sprinkle chopped prostrate rosemary leaves over roasts, chicken, or lamb before cooking to add a savory aroma and flavor.
- Vegetables: Toss vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, or tomatoes with prostrate rosemary and olive oil before roasting.
- Breads and focaccia: Add prostrate rosemary to bread dough or use it as a topping for focaccia.
- Marinades and dressings: Infuse the flavor of prostrate rosemary into marinades, salad dressings, or vinaigrettes.
- Soups and stews: Tie prostrate rosemary sprigs together with kitchen twine and add them to soups or stews for a subtle herbal flavor.
- Herb butter: Mix chopped prostrate rosemary into softened butter and use it as a spread for bread or to finish dishes like steaks and fish.
Remember that prostrate rosemary can be quite strong, so it’s best to use it sparingly, especially if you’re not accustomed to its flavor. Start with a small amount and adjust to taste. The leaves can be finely chopped or used as whole sprigs depending on your preference.
This year when planning your vegetable garden, be sure and consider prostrate rosemary.
You may also enjoy these posts:
Do you garden in raised beds and wonder how many of each plant you can add to your bed? Grab this plant spacing chart here: