Do you know how to grow sage?
Sage is a perennial herb that belongs to the mint family. It’s native to the Mediterranean region and has been used for thousands of years in cooking, medicine, and spiritual practices. It can be grown indoors or outdoors – just make sure it gets plenty of sunlight! If you live in zones 5-8, your sage will be a hardy perennial.
Growing your own herbs is an amazing way to get fresh ingredients for all kinds of recipes at home. You’ll have access to fresh basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and more without ever having to go out shopping! Plus it makes a great gift idea too!
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
When is the best time of the year to plant Sage
The best time of year to plant sage is during the cool days of spring or fall. This fragrant culinary herb is a great option to grow in containers or out in your garden bed. Space sage plants 18 to 24 inches apart in an area that gets plenty of sunlight and has rich, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0.
If planting sage in containers, make sure to use well-drained potting soil and select an area that gets plenty of sunlight. Sage plants need full sun in order to produce the most flavorful leaves. If you can’t provide this much light, then you will need to supplement with grow lights (more on that below).
Where in the Garden Should You Plant Sage
When it comes to gardening, most people will agree that sage is a vital part of the garden. If you’re looking for inspiration on where to place your sage, here are a few different options:
-The front yard: This is the best place for sage because of its beautiful fragrance and color. You can also use it as a focal point.
-The backyard: This is another good choice and can be used as a hedgerow with vines and other plants if your yard isn’t too big.
-Your kitchen window: The window sill or tray will provide a perfect spot for growing sage which you can then keep in your kitchen as fresh herbs.
-In a pot: You can grow it in a small pot, but be sure that you replenish the soil with fresh nutrients frequently to keep it growing.
-Near your door: In order to add some color and convenience to your home, put sage near your front or back doors to enjoy its fragrance when you come and go!
-Around your rooftop: This is a perfect way to add some color to the top of your house. It will also keep it fresh!
How Often Should I Watering Sage
There is no definitive answer to this question as to the frequency with which you should water your sage plant will depend on a variety of factors, such as the type of soil it is planted in, the climate, and the time of year. In general, though, you should try to water your sage plant whenever the top inch or so of soil feels dry to the touch.
If your sage plant is outdoors, you will need to water it more often than if it is indoors. When outdoors the conditions are harsher and the ground will likely receive less moisture from precipitation. It also doesn’t hurt to increase watering frequency during dry spells even if there isn’t any noticeable wilting. Using this method, your sage plant should be just fine with almost no maintenance involved.
If your sage plant is indoors, you will need to water it less often than if it is outdoors. When indoors the conditions are milder and the chances of over-watering are lower. Under these conditions, watering every week or two with a loose schedule in between should cause no problems for your plant.
When and How to Harvest Sage
Sage can be harvested at any time of the year, but it is best to harvest it in the morning. Cut the stems, not cutting too low on the stem, so that you leave enough leaves to continue growing. The more mature stalks generally have a tougher texture than softer, younger ones. If you will be using fresh sage for cooking right away after harvesting, cut off no more than 2-3 inches of your desired harvest length. Otherwise, cutting the whole stem at once to dry out and preserve is fine.
Once you have harvested your choice of sage, wash it and place it in a jar with an airtight lid to prevent further drying while storing. Store the jar in a dark area that stays at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. You should expect your sage to last about one year after harvesting, and up to two years if properly stored.
Remember: make sure you check the sage every week or so for mold growth on the stems. If you see any signs of mold growing on your sage, cut off those pieces completely and discard them, as they will affect the overall flavor and freshness of your harvest. Be sure to replace the jar in an appropriate location to allow for continued growth.
Different Ways to Store Sage
Sage is a wonderful herb to have in your kitchen. It has a host of benefits, both medicinal and culinary. Here are a few different ways to store sage:
1. Fresh sage can be stored in the refrigerator. Just put it in a plastic bag and into the fridge. It will last for about a week.
2. Dried sage can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. It will last for about six months.
3. Sage can also be frozen. Just put it in an airtight container and freeze it for up to six months.
You can also add sage to your long-term food storage. Just put it in a vacuum-sealed bag and freeze it until you need it.
4. You can make a preservative for your sage in a mason jar by mixing undiluted white vinegar with a bit of salt, sugar, and water. Put the sage fronds in the jar and cover them with the vinegar mix. Put on the lid, label it and keep it in a dark place for at least two weeks to fully draw out the sage flavor.
5. You can also make your own homemade storage containers by cutting off the base of a plastic lid (like you would use on a mayonnaise jar). Wash and dry the lid, but make sure it is clean. Then take some fresh sage and put it into a piece of cheesecloth or into a muslin bag. Tie up the ends with some twine to secure them and then push them down into the plastic lid so that they can’t fall out. Put this on your shelf and it will keep for about six months.
6. You can make your own long-term storage container by getting a glass jar that has a top with holes in it like some nut butter jars have. Just put some sage into the container and cover it with vinegar or apple cider. To remove the fragrance once you are ready to use it, just put some of the vinegar or juice into a pan with water and bring it to a boil. Keep using this boiling liquid until your sage is at the desired flavor, then discard the rest.
7. Sage can also be dried in an oven. It will take about 30 minutes at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for the leaves to dry out completely. Then put the leaves in an airtight container and store them.
Other things of interest about Sage
- Sage is a lovely herb with many culinary and medicinal uses.
- Sage contains large amounts of antioxidants.
- The ancient Greeks used it to help increase their memory, and the Romans used it to get rid of headaches. It is also known that the Egyptians used sage oil in many different ways, one being to put around their heads for migraines.
- Sage can be used in soups, stews, bread, and tea.
- A tea made from sage leaves is considered a diuretic, which is known to help with water retention and bloating. It also has been shown in studies to increase memory function in people who use it on a daily basis.
- In pre-Roman times, the Gauls used sage to heal wounds and strengthen muscles.
- In Celtic lands, it was thought that burning bundles of sage and other herbs would keep evil spirits away and drive out disease. It has also been said that if a man wants to dream of his future bride he should sleep with a sprig of sage next to his pillow.
- Pregnant women in the Middle Ages believed that sage would help ease pain and stimulate them to have stronger contractions when they were ready to give birth. Worn around the neck it was thought to facilitate wisdom and health.
- Sage is a powerful anti-oxidant and is often used as a preventative for many conditions.
Conclusion: Now you have a better idea of how to grow sage you can add it to your garden this year. The plant will add a wonderful aroma to your spice cabinet and look great in the garden!