Whether you want to learn how to grow sage to warn off evil spirits or make dishes tastier, this guide is the one for you!
Sage is an aromatic herb that comes from the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is also known as common sage or garden sage. It is used for flavouring in many foods, particularly in stuffing for poultry and in sausages.
Growing sage can be very beneficial as it can be used in traditional medicine for pain relief. Sage contains over 160 distinct polyphenols, which are plant-based chemical compounds that act as antioxidants in your body.
Let’s take a deep dive on how to grow sage at home, along with our top tips on caring for and harvesting your sage plants.
How To Plant Sage
One of the easiest ways is to grow your sage in pots. Firstly, get the fresh sage seeds from the garden centre or use the cuttings of an established sage plant. You should plant sage seeds/cuttings in well-drained soil 1-2 weeks before the last of the spring frost. Sage growing conditions require soil temperatures to be between 15ºC and 20ºC.
Make sure you plant sage in well-draining soil, as it won’t tolerate sitting in wet soil, along with this, sage prefers a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0. If you are using clay soil, make a mixture of sand and organic matter to lighten the soil.
You need to plant sage in a sunny location. It should ideally receive medium to full sunlight. If you are growing sage indoors, make sure you place your pots near the window to receive the proper amount of sunlight.
How To Care For Sage
Make sure you water your young sage plants regularly as they dry out quickly and these plants will need a consistent moisture supply until they are fully grown.
You should do your sage pruning process in early spring as the danger of freezing is past. Make sure to cut the woody, thick stems for next seasons growth to be more fresh and flavourful.
Sage is quite a drought-tolerant herb, but a little water perks the entire plant right up. Make sure you keep on watering thoroughly when the soil feels dry.
These plants grow in bush-like spacing, and individual plants need to be spaced 24 to 36 inches apart. Plant height should grow up to 30 inches tall.
Harvesting sage is quite an easy task. It can be harvested as per your needs, it would be best if you pinch off leaves from the plants.
Harvest your sage in the morning, after the dew has dried. Make sure you harvest lightly during the first year to ensure full growth in the future.
When the plant is fully established, it can be harvested up to three times in a single season. Now, use your sage fresh to enjoy the more fragrant and intense flavour.
We all need a little recipe inspiration sometimes so take a look at some of these if you want to use up your crop yield.
Tips & Common Problems
You can plant sage near rosemary, carrots, strawberry, tomatoes, and cabbage. But keep your sage away from cucumbers as sage will stunt their growth.
While you are growing sage, you might have to deal with the problem of mildew. You need to be careful during hot and humid environments and avoid mildew by thinning the plans regularly to increase the circulation of air in plants.
You can try mulching the earth with pebbles to help evaporate excess moisture quickly. If you notice any other pests, try using an organic pesticide to control them.