This herb that belongs to the mint family delivers a pungent fragrance which actually attracts cats – thus the name. Expect this plant to grow to at least three to four feet in height and may feature downy and light green foliage and may also have small lavender flowers.
Catnip grows and thrives on almost any soil type, but the plant is friendly to moderately rich loam soil that is well-draining. If you want better aroma, sandy soil is the best type of soil where catnip can grow. Catnip is versatile, growing in the shade or in the sunny parts of your property.
Growing catnip in the backyard is easy since this plant can easily be propagated thru the use of its seed, the stem cuttings or even the root-ball division. It is suggested to start the planting of the catnip seeds late in fall or early spring and have the seeds lightly covered. When catnip seeds are planted in fall, you can expect a denser crop in the end.
When planting and maintaining catnip, make sure that the plants are spaced between 15 to 18 inches apart. The pH level of the soil is not a problem since this herb can grow in a range between mildly acidic to mildly alkaline. If space is limited then remember that the seeds can be grown using different media as well.
You can also grow catnip in soil-less potting mixes, perlite, vermiculite, rockwool, coco peat and even on oasis foam. This plant doesn’t require steady sunlight as it can also thrive in shady areas.
So you want to grow sage? The only problem is that you haven’t got the knowledge or the experience to help you proceed successfully with your desired project. Well, that’s what you have the Internet for – so you can find articles like this one to give you the information and advice you so badly need. The first thing you need to know is that growing sage is perhaps one of the easiest gardening endeavors there are, so there’s don’t fret if this is your first foray into the world of gardening. Get your tools ready and you’ll have this precious herb thriving in your garden in no time.
Naturally, you need to start somewhere and in growing sage, you begin by collecting seeds or cuttings. The germinating period is nine days. Sage is known to grow slowly, so you can choose to seed indoors and transfer the plants in the garden when they are already three inches tall. It is best to seed in early spring and transplant late into the season; this way, your plants will get a lot of the sunshine that summer, the new season, brings. It is also recommended that you harvest lightly during the first year and always before September, or autumn, starts. With time, the plants will become woody. After the second year, the leaves should be picked before or during the blooming period, which is set to happen in the middle of summer. Sages should be renewed after ever three or four years.
Growing sage has its many advantages. This particular plant is known to be a kitchen must-have, an essential ingredient in a number of delicious recipes primarily because of the high levels of Vitamins A and C it contains and its rich flavor and aroma. There are different kinds of sage and their culinary values are delegated according to their colors. The gray sage, which is the kind most often used in culinary adventures, is known to offer the best flavor among all sages. The golden, purple, and tricolor sages, meanwhile, are less flavorful but still useful. The dark-colored sage relatively carries a much stronger flavor. The bright-colored sages – pineapple, peach, and honeydew melon sages – carry a light flavor that tends to disappear entirely when they are dried. The clear sage has a very strong aroma that the modern kitchen usually ignores it, save for its leaves that are usually dipped in a batter and fried.
You really should have your heart set on growing sage because this mint family member is perfect for a variety of meals. There is no question as to the highly aromatic quality of sage. When used fresh, it gives off a unique flavor likened to a mix or citrus, pine, and rosemary. When dried, its flavor becomes more camphor-like. You can grow sage in many places and climates. For crisper results when used as a fresh culinary ingredient, you can store sage in a zip-lock bag and keep it in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. On the other hand, you can dry sage by hanging sprigs of the plant or placing its leaves on a screen and store them in dry, warm place. Leaves should be stored whole and should be crushed only when they are about to be used.