Questions? Write Me at

Questions? Write me at fullcirclegardener @ cableone . net.

Plant of the Week: Sage

Common Sage (Salvia officinalis ) photo credit
'Sage' is a common name for a wide variety of aromatic shrubs, but only a few are used for culinary purposes.  Kitchen or Common Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a member of the Mint Family (Lamiaceae) as are basil, oregano, mint, and rosemary.  The aromatic leaves have fine hairs (tricombs) on both the top and the bottom giving them a whitish or grey appearance.  These hairs release the pungent, savory scent, that is trademark to the species, when rubbed.  While sage is used in a wide variety of ways around the world, in the United States it is predominately used to flavor poultry or bread stuffing or dressing.

Common (Kitchen) Sage can be started from seed or from cuttings, but some recent varieties must be started from cuttings.  Sage prefers well drained soils, full sun and should be planted about 2 ft apart.  Young plants need steady moisture the first year while getting established.  Harvest lightly the first year but after that trim back the woody stems every year to encourage fresh growth and the best flavor.  The National Gardening Association recommends replacing the plants entirely every 4-5 years as well if the plant is intended for kitchen use.

Happy Herb Gardening! :)

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