Of Mint, Rosemary and Basil - A New Approach! | Green Patches - Mediterranean Gardening

Friday, May 10, 2013

Of Mint, Rosemary and Basil - A New Approach!

The other day my better half went grocery shopping, and came back with three pots of rosemary, basil, and mint.  Since we were not going to use the herbs for another few days, and most probably not all at once, I decided to place them in bigger pots in the yard.

I have tried to grow basil and rosemary before with some success.  The basil was always grown up on the roof in full sun, and it was always a success, but we had to make sure that we watered it almost every day.  Rosemary was not as successful, believe it or not, the summer sun was a little too much for it, and despite watering it regularly, it died pretty quickly.

I have come to realize over the years that when you read, 'requires full sun' on plant instructions, there is a big difference between say, full sun in England (sorry guys :) ), and full sun in Malta.  Our sun can be a bit too much, and normally all plants here can live with bright conditions in bright places away from direct sunlight.  Imports that come from European countries further north from us especially.

When it comes to herbs, I have always shied away, thinking I don't have enough space in the yard, and it was too inconvenient on our roof top.  This time however, I have decided to give it a try.  

 So here we start with Mint:

I have actually read that Mint can grow everywhere so I will be pretty disappointed if this plant dies on me.  Apparently it requires partial shade and soil kept moist, not too soggy and not too dry.  I should be able to enjoy this plant all year round in our climate since we do not have any frost, and our winters are quite mild.  The rain might be an issue, but the plant can be taken indoors during Winter.

Next on the list is Rosemary:

I placed the Rosemary in a hanging pot because it is a spot that gets the most sun.  This plant should require little watering, and no fertilizer.  I read that if you cut sprigs regularly it should keep growing happily without any problems.  I did not manage to save my plant past a few months last year, it was however planted together with Sage.  I have a feeling that here may have been some competition for resources there.  Let's see how well it does in its own container this time around.

And finally, back by popular demand, Basil:

This plant should also require lots of direct sunlight and as long as the soil is kept moist there should be no problems.  We did have success growing basil in full sunlight in the past, let's see how well it does in its current location where it only gets some morning sun.

So there they are the three contenders this Spring.  Now for the new approach.  We have decided to ignore all the instructions, and planted all of them in compost.  We have placed the Mint in a shady spot where it gets bright light, but no sunlight.  The basil and rosemary do get some direct sunlight in the morning, but for the rest of the day they only get bright light till evening.  We can keep an eye on them, and water them only when necessary (when the soil is almost dry).  

We will also take sprigs and leaves when needed. Basil is always in high demand in our household as it goes well with most Mediterranean meals. It is also easy to freeze. We usually use rosemary in Winter with a good leg of lamb or chicken.  It does wonders with fish though, so I will definitely use it in Summer.  Mint is not a favorite of mine, however it is also great with fish, and to make sauces and dressing, plus who can say no to a refreshing Mojito in summer?


  1. Mint does grow anywhere and it is best potted up. I have Rosemary and Basil also in pots where I can monitor water. Too much and they are toast.

  2. Hi Donna, thanks for stopping by. I have over watered Basil quite a few times over the years, this time I should be a bit more confident with the correct level of water :\