Gardening Tips Aug 25, 2020
- Sage, (Salvia officinalis), also called common sage or garden sage.
- Sage is aromatic herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae) cultivated for its pungent leaves.
- Sage is a perennial plant and grows about 60 cm (2 feet) tall. The oval leaves are rough or wrinkled and usually downy; the color ranges from gray-green to whitish green, and some varieties are variegated.
- The flowers are borne in spikes and feature tubular two-lipped corollas that are attractive to a variety of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The flowers can be purple, pink, white, or red and produce nutlet fruits.
HOW TO PLANT SAGE:
- Plant sage in full sun.
- Sage should be planted in well-drained soil.
- For best growth, the soil should be porous in nature.
- The easiest and best way to start sage is from a small plant. Set the plants 2 feet apart.
- In the garden, plant near rosemary, cabbage, and carrots, but keep sage away from cucumbers
HOW TO GROW SAGE:
- Be sure to water the young plants regularly until they are fully grown so that they don’t dry out. They need a consistent moisture supply until they start growing quickly.
- Prune the heavier, woody stems every spring.
- It’s best to replace the plants every few years so they remain productive.
HOW TO HARVEST SAGE:
- Pinch off leaves or snip off small sprigs from the plant.
- During the first year, harvest lightly to ensure that the plant grows fully.
- After the first year, be sure to leave a few stalks so that the plant can rejuvenate in the future.
- If fully established, one plant can be harvested up to three times in one season.
- Stop harvesting in the fall so the plant can prepare for winter.
HOW TO STORE SAGE:
- Sage’s flavor is best when fresh, but it can be stored frozen or dried.
- To dry, hang sprigs in a shady, well-ventilated area and allow them to air dry, waiting until the leaves crumble easily to store in tightly lidded jars.
- Sage keeps its flavor better if stored in the freezer. Freeze leaves or stalks on a tray, then move the leaves into a zippered bag or container. Some cooks blend the leaves with oil, pack the ground mixture into ice cube trays to freeze, and then transfer the cubes to a container.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF SAGE:
Consumption of sage improves memory and enhances over all brain function.
• It strengthens immune system
• It is rich in antioxidants
• It improves skin health
• It supports digestive health.
• Brew fresh leaves for tea
• Sprinkle as a garnish for dishes
• Inhale essential oil
This plant is a popular ingredient for several dishes and beauty products, so you can easily reap the benefits of sage in a multitude of ways.
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