~Sage~ may Sage
They saying ‘thyme is a great healer’, but actually it was sage that was used traditionally. Its latin name salvia comes from ‘salveo’ which means ‘to heal’, since some of the types of sage were used as medicines. Apparently the Greeks used it as a remedy for ulcers and consumption.

Seedlings in Pot

~ Growing from seed~ may Growing from seed
Sage can be propagated from the new growth in June but it’s relatively easy to grow from seed, so I do this every so often. Common Sage ( salvia officianalis) will grow if scattered in a 15cm pot filled with compost & grit and then picked out when small individual pots using the pointed end of a plastic label. In this instance the big potful of compost may be reused in the smaller ones.

Flowering Sage

~ Flowering Sage ~ may Moving and splitting plants.
When I moved the sage to the brassica bed in spring the scent was so pungent that Dave picked it up two plots away. I cut it back to about 15cm and chopped it down the middle into a few smaller clumps. One of the plants was impregnated with couchgrass. After an unsuccessful attempt to remove it last year I decided against throwing the sage away, opting for a root and branch approach to the problem, to make sure. I’m pleased to say the ruthless method worked a treat and the couch grass is no more.

Sage with Brassica

~ with brassica~ may Companions
The reason I move it each year to be with the brassicas is that it is reputed to repel the cabbage white butterfly, but so many other pests seem to arrive it’s hard to maintain the effort. I wish I could find something to repel whitefly, because the poor sage gets infected too. It is advisable to keep sage away from concurbits because the roots of cucumbers and courgettes are adversely affected by a chemical produced by the roots of the herb. We don’t use it much in the kitchen, although it is a main ingredient in stuffings, but if ever there is any doubt about the worth of growing it, just seeing the flush of purple when it in flower is more than enough reason.

updated december2008 Herb Guide

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©april 2007