Sage: An Herb Of Many Varieties
With almost 750 to 800 varieties, the flavors sage can lend to your favorite dishes are very diverse. It is a gray-green culinary herb that has rich, earthy aroma resembling a subtle floral scent with slightly bitter taste.
Some say sage has a very dominant peppery smell. Sage is great for sausages and other cheese dishes. It seasons poultry stuffing perfectly and can be strewn in any savory dish.
Sage blossomed in Europe but it originated from Egypt. Its aromatic and evergreen appearance makes for a very suitable garden plant. During the 17th century, the status of sage plants in the household was said to indicate financial capacity. The more the sage flourished, the better financial stability and capacity. During the Roman Empire, women used sage tea to make their hair look darker.
Sage has medicinal properties as well, with the digestive system being said to greatly benefit from it. Infuse sage and make a tea for a relaxing feeling. Sage oil is also full of nutrients that the body needs. Mouth, throat and tonsil inflammation and infection is said to be eased with sage. Menopausal women may find comfort in sage as it relieves hot flashes and night sweats. Even royalty like Charlemagne and the Carolingians encouraged the cultivation of sage due to its medicinal and culinary properties.
Growing sage yourself can be a rewarding experience. Read on for our full guide on how to grow sage in your own garden.
To start growing sage, prepare a light and well-drained soil. Generally, sage can be planted in a wide range of soil types and conditions. However, the ideal soil type is acidic to mildly alkaline with pH of about 5.6 to 7.8. A soil pH of 6.0 and 6.5 is mostly preferred. Additionally, a rich clay loam with an ample amount of nitrogen will also do wonders for the development of sage.
Sage can be grown from seeds or cuttings. Rooting it will not be hard as it can be done in sand or other rooting soil. It is best to plant seeds at least three feet apart as sage can grow from 2 to 3 feet high, and may spread out as wide as two feet. Root rot may occur if the soil is too heavy, so dig shallow or deep enough to prevent this from happening.
Sage can grow moderately slow hence take some time to plot when to start. It is ideal to start before winter so it can adjust to the cold weather. It takes 10 to 21 days for sage to germinate. From plugs to maturation, it can take 4 to 6 weeks. Then the duration from seed to maturation is about 12 to 14 weeks.
The flowers are very appealing and come in different shades of white, pink or purple. The color of the leaves vary depending on the variety. The most common is grey-green but it can be white with soft, short hairs. Rosemary, cabbage, tomato and carrots are better planted with Sage due to the fact that it attracts pollinators.
It can also attract whitefly, spider mites and aphids. Use fertilizer sparingly to combat the pests. Other threats are powdery mildew and damping which are caused by humidity. A proper circulation of air is needed to prevent such.