Q. When is the best time to plant ginger and garlic? Does rosemary grow during the summer? What are natural weed and pest deterrents?
You may plant garlic in the spring as soon as the ground can be worked, but fall planting is really best. Plant in the fall and you'll find that your bulbs are bigger and more flavorful when you harvest the next summer. But since you already have the garlic ready, go ahead. Right now would be a good time to get the garlic into the ground.
You may also plant ginger in the spring, but before planting, it’s worth knowing a little bit about how it grows. Ginger, a rhizome, is an easy plant. It doesn’t need gobs of sunlight, and once it starts, it mostly takes care of itself. It likes moist soil with good drainage, so the rhizome doesn’t rot. Mulch it to keep the moisture from evaporating. It is a tropical plant and enjoys the heat, but in our climate, it feels right at home in a pot in your home. In fact, it likes the more humid spots, like steamy bathrooms or kitchens. It’s relatively small—a couple of rhizomes will work in a twelve inch pot—and it gets to be around two or three feet tall. Plant with the eye facing upward about three inches deep in good soil. It takes some waiting, though, for the leaves to die off until it is ready for harvest. You can keep replanting from what you harvest.
Rosemary does grow in the summer. It is a wonderful container plant here in our area. Some species are perennial, but check when you buy. If you keep it in a container during the summer, you can bring the container in when the weather gets cool. Or, if you plant the rosemary in the ground, plant it in a sunny location. You can take a cutting from it to grow indoors during the winter.
There are many natural solutions to weeds and pests, but depending on what weeds and pests they are, the approach may differ. Washing the plants with a solution of mild soap and water, and watching for pests is a good practice. Trim off parts of plants that are showing pest damage. One pesticide that I use is Safer Soap, widely available in garden centers, and often in supermarkets. Some plants such as sunflowers have herbicidal effects. Check with a garden center. Of course, the best way to keep weeds under control is to pull them up as soon as they show up to keep them from going to seed, keep the plants healthy, keep the soil clean, and mulch.
Hope this helps. Good luck with everything.