Sage is popular all over the world, especially in the States. The green leaf is pretty and known as mint family. Growing sage is the best option if you have a veggies garden. There are some benefits such as protecting other plants from pests and enhancing its flavor. Here are everything about sage.
1. What is sage?
Sage is mainly found in States, especially Florida. You’ll find many people are growing sage because it can intense the dish. The herb is also easy to grow, that’s why many people are growing sage in containers. It’s practical, economical, yet can save your garden from unwanted pests.
Sage is a kind of herb that has green leaves. The aroma is pine-like. That’s why some pests hate it. When you plant some vegetables or fruit in basket, it’s suggested to grow the sage. The aroma will enhance the flavor of its neighbor plants and drive the pests away.
2. Is sage evergreen?
Yes. Whether it’s tropical or subtropical, sage is able to cope well. Sometimes. It’s called as hardy plant because of high tolerant of drought. Even though it’s in winter, the growing sage still copes and won’t die easily like other herbs. It stays green as well.
3. How many species of sage?
Sage has more than 900 species. The popular ones are garden sage, berggarten, golden sage and grape-scented sage. Besides its usage for cuisine, sometimes this herb is just companion plant to prevent the harmful pests.
4. Is caring sage easy?
Don’t worry. Growing sage doesn’t need ton of care. You only need to make sure that the soil stays moist and prune it in spring. Once the leaves develop, you can immediately harvest it. A plant can be harvested many times until the next five years. After that, the flavor isn’t that strong anymore.
5. Where is it planted?
It can be grown everywhere. You have some beds of vegetables in your garden? You can grown it besides them as companion plants. You have some pots? It also grows well as long as you care about its soil and watering it once in two weeks. Growing sage indoors or outdoors isn’t a problem at all.
6. How long does this herb last?
As getting older, this plant becomes more woody. The leaf is old green yet the flavor isn’t as strong as before. Sometimes, it dies after three or five years. So, you need to take the benefit in the first three years. As long as it’s cared properly, the flavor is strong and great as companion plant.
1. In Pots
- Prepare a pot with 300mm diameter at least, loamy soil, sage seed, and compost.
- Mix the soil and compost outside the pot. If the compost is too dry, you might add some water to the soil to make it moist.
- Put the mixed-soil into the pot.
- Put the seeds and cover them lightly with the soil.
- Place the pot in a full-sun location. If you’re growing sage indoors, put it near the window to get the daylight every day.
- Water the pot in considerate amount when you find the soil is dry.
- Add some water soluble fertilizer to increase the growth.
2. In Containers
- Choose the best containers. Since it’s a herb plant, you might need light containers such as clay pots or plastic pots. You can use the unused appliance in your kitchen like a mini basket. Don’t try aluminum since it causes the plant to burn during the day.
- Prepare the sage seed or newly transplanted sage, compost, and soil. For the soil, it’s better to buy it at the shop. The soil is free from the fungus and bacteria.
- Mix the soil and compost with ratio 75:25. Put the mixed into the container. Place it in full-sun location to get the daylight.
- Place the seeds or newly transplanted sage at the top of the soil.
- If the soil’s dry, water it in considerable amount. If you use the unused item as the container, make some small holes under the container to flow the water.
- To make the growth excellence, give it little amount of fertilizer. Growing sage doesn’t need the extra dose. Do it once in 6-8 weeks.
3. From Seed
- Prepare the seed, bio-sponge, and seed flats.
- Before you put the sage on the bed and all you have is sage seeds, then start it on seed flats first. Sow the seeds on the bio-sponge, after that cover them.
- You need to wait about 14-21 days to see the seeds have germinated. The sign is they have two true leaves and the height is about 4 inches.
- In those 21 days, you just have to make sure that the bio-sponge isn’t dry. Don’t give any fertilizer. Place the tray under the shade but outdoors.
- The mini growing sage is ready to be planted in the bed or containers.
4. From Cuttings
- Prepare the cut, pot, water, and rooting hormones.
- Choose the sage that will be cut/ it must be non-flowering and healthy. Cut the branches about 4-6 inches long. If you don’t have sage, look for it in the market. Choose the fresh ones.
- Dip the stem in the rooting hormone. It enhances the growth of the healthy root. You need to wait about 3-4 weeks until you see the root system grows well.
- Put the cuttings into the soil, it can be in the bed or containers. You’ll see the full-growth growing sage in containers in 6 weeks. Treat them like other young plant.
5. In Water
- Prepare the cutting stem of growing sage, a jar or opaque glass, and water.
- Fill the jar or glass with the water. Make sure that it isn’t distilled one because it has lost some essential minerals.
- Put the stem in the jar, but remove the leaves part. The length of stem is about 15 cm. Learn more about plants that grow in Water.
- In every two days, the water must be changed to prevent the algae. Algae always come when the herb is grownhidroponically.
- Place the jar at the spot where it can receive the sunlight. The exposure is at least 6 hours a day. Make a window garden is a great idea.
- In month, the sage will grow bigger. It produces more leaves to be used in your kitchen.
Growing Sage Tips
1. Time to plant
The best time to grow the best herbs to grow is in spring. The warm and sunny climate will help sage grows well. Meanwhile in winter, sage’s leaves turn smaller to prevent the evaporation. If you grow it in spring, you can enjoy the sage at the end of summer. It tastes best as well.
2. Give the organic boost
Instead of other fertilizers, you might choose organic boost matter as the replacement. This herb will grow better and safer when it’s harvested. Mix the organic matter or compost with the soil before you plant them, whether in bed or in a pot.
3. Keep the soil moist
The evaporation might be higher in summer. Growing sage will always take your attention to the moisture of the soil. If you find out that the surface is dry, you need to pour the amount of water. Do it at least once in a day. However, don’t pour the water if the soil is moist naturally.
4. Plant them apart
Even though sage is a kind of herb, you need to grow them like how to grow basil. Planting them must be at least 24 inches apart or you can do growing sage in containers. The plant spreads naturally and will cover the soil. If they’re planted to close, sage will be competitive and grow in lack of nutrients.
You might think that sage is just herb and don’t need some extra care. But, feeding is always be a must. Growing sage needs water-soluble nutrition. They’re easy to be found and inexpensive. This kind of food will help sage grow healthily and safe to eat.
6. Soil for planting
Make sure that the soil is well-drained. So, it’s better to choose the sandy and loamy soil. You also need to measure the pH. The best range is between 6.0-7.0. the higher or lower pH will affect the flavor of sage. If you’re growing sage in containers, the soil is much controllable than in bed.
7. The light
Sage always needs full-sun, but the temperature is medium. In Hawaii, sage spreads easily because of its medium temperature. If you’re growing this herb in Florida or Texas, you might need to consider creating the artificial climate indoor. Place it near the window when the spring is too cold.
8. The water
Though it’s drought tolerant, but you can’t ignore the moisture of its soil. Watering the growing sage on daily basis is a must-do since the dry soil will change the leaves to look wilted. However, consider the amount of the water. Too much water likely rots the plant.
Companion and Pests
1. Companion plants
Sage is a good companion for many plants. It can have some flowers and attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Another role of sage is becoming a bush. Your veggie garden might never need smudge sticksbecause sage is a great border and repel some insects as well.
The best plants for sage are brassica, carrots, strawberries, tomatoes and strawberry. Growing sage indoors or outdoors will keep away your plant from some issue such as beetles, spider mites, and hornworm. Especially strawberry, the flavor will be better if you have sage around the plant.
Growing sage can invite some pests if the soil isn’t that good at the first place. There are some sucking insects such as aphids, mites, and thrips. However, giving them the conventional pesticides won’t be good at home. Consider the insecticidal soap to spray on the leaves.
Other pests that might come to the sage are slugs and caterpillars. They are destructive since they’ll chew the leaves and leave nothing. The first treatment is picking them by hand. But if it’s uncontrollable, you need to prepare the small board as trap. Check the board every morning.
Harvesting and Storage
1. Harvesting the sage
Once the leaves of growing sage are more than five, it’s likely to be harvested. The best time to harvest is before the plant is 5 years old. After five, the flavor can’t be enjoyable. It’s not great for smudging as well. Here are the ways to harvest it.
- Prepare the cut and also a mini basket. The better time to harvest is in the morning. Fresh sage tastes best, especially if you put them immediately in the cuisine.
- The leaves can be pinched off or cut/ don’t cut the stem part. The stem will grown other leaves. And each stem can rejuvenate and harvested three times.
- Put the leaves in your basket.
- Avoid harvesting in the winter. They need to prepare themselves to face the cold weather.
2. How to store the sage
Dry herbs vs fresh herbs, which one is better for sage? The fresh sage tastes better, but it could be stored as dry herbs. Though the flavor isn’t as strong as the fresh ones, but it’s more practical. Here are the steps to store the harvested growing sage.
- Make the leaves dry. Hang the leaves in well-ventilated and shady area/ the air will crumble the leaves.
- After it’s dry, put them in the jar. Close the jar tightly.
- If you want to put the sage in the freezer, put the dry sage in a container or a zipper bag.
- The dry or frozen sage can be used until the next three months.
- Or you can also dry it in the oven. learn more how to drying herbs in oven.
This versatile plant can be your option if you think the herb will help your garden. The shape is pretty either, so it can beautify the space. As many benefits of it and without extra care, growing sage will ease your gardening activity since it protects your other plants.