- Sometimes referred to as laurel bay, they can be really expensive as they make great ornamental trees. You may have seen lots of different growing techniques in the garden centres, but the prices can be eye watering.
- Bay is semi-hardy and will tolerate light frosts. In our garden we have three bay trees. The large developed one can handle most frosts the UK has to offer. The smaller ones are okay left out in light frosts, but we have left them in pots giving us the ability to move them into the greenhouse when needed.
- Bay trees can be quite large when fully grown so make sure to plant somewhere where they have space to grow and will not cause too much shade.
- Bay will always grow best in moist, fertile soil with partial shade, away from strong wind which can cause it to topple.
- Bay will appreciate it if you plant in the spring.
- While the plant is establishing in the first few years try not to harvest too many leaves.
- You can easily propagate by taking semi ripe cuttings from your tree in summer and simply potting them on in a good potting mix until the root.
- As Bay is so easy to propagate I wouldn’t recommend starting from seed. However, if you would like to sow from seed sow in propagators in autumn, but growing from a cutting is so much easier.
- As mentioned Bay will handle light frosts, but be ready with a fleece if hard frosts are forecast.
- Make sure to monitor Bay closely as they are susceptible to a wide range of pests and diseases.
- Fresh leaves will have a much stronger flavour than dried ones.
- If you want to dry your leaves, pick in the summer months and hang in a warm, dry spot.
- Bay has often been used to prevent weevils from flour.
- They can grow to 40ft tall and 30ft wide so make sure your final planting position is okay.