I use a lot of bay leaf in cooking and was wondering if you could grow a bay leaf plant???
Sure, I have one on my kitchen counter. They are very slow growers though. You can get bay leaves in quantity for a decent price at Costco though.
Bogey's right, bay leaves are probably more economical to buy than to grow.
The bay plant is not quite hardy in this region (it might make it through a mild winter), so would have to be overwintered indoors or in a greenhouse.
I bought a small one last year, which I intend to train into a topiary for the herb garden, and it has overwintered very nicely in the greenhouse.
They're hardier than you may think. Try to plant against your house for added warmth and protection (especially in zone 6b). I don't grow them in the house because they have died there for me in the past but usually make it outside (based on my own experience mind you in zone 7). Also, they used to grow slowly for me as containerized plants until I discovered that they grow faster in bigger pots (remember they want to be TREES, not cute little herbs). If you doubt their winter hardiness, plant one in a container (for overwintering indoor) and another in the ground (they are inexpenisive enough). Good luck!
Thanks for all the info! I guess I'll keep to growing my tomatoes and cucs and just buy the bay leaves.
I lived in Staten Island for a year and my roommate had a lovely bay plant in her little backyard. I thought the taste was incomparably better than dried bay leaves, and now that I've moved to Jersey with a garden of my own, I'd love to grow one. I imagine the climate is pretty similar, depending on where you are in Jersey.
She didn't do anything special to it. Just had it in a big pot on the patio, which was very small and enclosed by the wall of the house/tall fence. She did not even bring it inside in the winter and it lived just fine.
Once we get to mid may I put my bay out on my patio wall for the summer then bring it in once October gets here. It works out fairly well enough. You just have to watch them as spider mites love these plants.