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How to Grow Sage

by on January 29, 2012

Sage

Can you imagine Thanksgiving without sage in the dressing? It is one of the most memorable flavors on a holiday that is full of memorable flavors, but there is no reason to relegate such a versatile culinary herb to a single use when it can be used year round.
From a purely aesthetic standpoint, sage is a beautiful plant that thrives in a variety of soil conditions and environments.
AT A GLANCE: SAGE
Temp Range: 50 – 70 degrees F
Seed to Plate: 2nd year
Light Needs: min. 4-6 hours of full sun, partial shade in hotter climates per day
How Much to Grow: 1 plant per household
Average Space Needs: 1 plant / square foot
Water Needs: well drained soil
Soil pH: slightly acid, 6.0 –6.5

How to Start Sage

Sage can be easily started in any of several ways:

  • seed: a plant is started from a germinated seed.
  • root cuttings: a small segment of root is cut from an established plant and replanted, or
  • layering:  the stem of an established plant is pressed down to the soil and allowed to take root.

Of these options, layering and root cuttings are the easiest to manage as starting sage from seed can be unreliable even for the most experienced urban gardener.

Sage grows well in the ground and it is an excellent double-duty addition to container gardens as it is as beautiful as it is useful.

 

How to Harvest Sage

It is not recommended that you harvest sage on a large scale the first year, in order to allow the plant plenty of time to establish itself. Picking a few leaves here and there should not negatively impact its growth, though. After that, sage can be clipped and used fresh in poultry and beef dishes as well as for arts and crafts uses.

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