Sage can be reproduced by layering, by division, or by using stem cuttings. You can also start it from seed. Sage thrives in poor soil as long as the drainage Is good, and it's not normally necessary to fertilize—if the soil is too rich the flavo rwill be poorer. If you're planting sage as a perennial, fertilize the first year only with a low-nitrogen fertilizer. When you're preparing the soil for planting, work a 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil at the rate of half a pound per 100 square feet. Plant sage seeds or divisions on your average date of last frost. Plant seeds a quarter inch deep in rows 18 to 24 inches apart, and thin to 12 inches apart. Plant divisions or cuttings 12 inches apart in rows 18 to 24 inches apart. They should be in full sun; the plant will tolerate partial shade, but the flavor will be impaired.
Fertilizing and watering
Don't fertilize at midseason. Detailed information on fertilizing is given in "Spadework: The Essential Soil" in Parti.
Keep sage plants on the dry side.
Sage has no serious pest problems. Like most herbs. It does well in the organic garden.
Sage has no serious disease problems. If the area is too damp or shady rot may occur. Avoid this by planting sage in a dry, sunny location. Detailed information on disease prevention is given in "Keeping Your Garden Healthy" in Parti.
Sage takes 75 days from planting to harvest, and a few plants will supply you and a lot of other people, too. At least twice during the growing season, cut six to eight inches from the top of the plants. Pick the leaves as desired as long as you don't cut back more
than half the plant—if you do it will stop producing.
Storing and preserving
Store dried sage leaves in an airtight container. Detailed information on storing and preserving is given in Part 3.
Sage and onion make a good combination and are traditionally used together in stuffings for pork, turkey, or duck. Sage can overwhelm other seasonings, so handle it with care. Some people steep dried sage leaves to make a herb tea.
Common names: summer savory, winter savory Botanical names: Satureja hortensis (summer savory); Satureja montana (winter savory) Origin: Mediterranean, Southern Europe
Few varieties are available; grow the variety available in your area.
Both types of savory belong to the mint family. Summer savory is a bushy annual with needle-shaped leaves and stems that are square when the plant is young and become woody later. The flowers are light purple to pink, and the plant grows to a height of about 18
inches. Winter savory is a bushy hardy perennial that grows about a foot tall. The small flowers are white or purple and, like the summer variety, winter savory has needle-shaped leaves and square stems that become woody as they develop. The winter variety has sharper-flavored leaves than the summer kind.
Where and when to grow
Both varieties grow anywhere in the United States from seeds planted two to three weeks after the average date of last frost.
Summer savory can be grown in almost any soil; winter savory prefers soil that is sandy and well-drained. Both need full sun. Before planting, work a complete, well-balanced fertilizer into the ground at the rate of one pound to 100 square feet. Plant seeds of both summer and winter varieties half an inch deep in rows 12 to 18 inches apart. When the seedlings are four to six weeks old thin summer savory plants to stand three to four inches apart. Winter savory needs more room;
thin the plants to 12 to 18 inches apart.
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