Purple sage thrives in an herb garden
image by mrmac04/morguefile.com
Although sage is somewhat slow to establish, it grows readily in most garden environments. Some gardeners choose to start sage seeds indoors in the spring. A gardener who wants to harvest sage the first growing season, however, will plant sage seedlings directly outside once the soil has warmed and all threat of frost has passed.
Prepare a sunny growing area in the spring after the last frost of the season. Work the soil with the spade down at least 3 inches and add 1 inch of compost to the top of the soil. Use the spade to incorporate the compost fully into the soil. Sprinkle a light dusting of bonemeal over the soil and work this in as well.
Space the sage seedlings 2 to 3 feet apart in the growing area. Insert a stake at each spot you will plant a sage plant and pound it into the ground at least 8 inches with the hammer. Plant each sage seedling near the stake at the same depth it was growing in the temporary pot. Cover the plants with soil and water well.
Tie each sage plant to its stake as the plants grow tall. This will give the plants support during summer breezes and storms.
Watch for blossoms in midsummer and trim the sage plants back by approximately one-half after the blossoms fade.
Give water to sage plants sparingly. They prefer to grow in a dry soil.
Harvest leaves by trimming leaves with a garden shears or by pinching the leaves with your fingers.
Add approximately 1/2-cup of bonemeal as a side dressing around the edges of the sage plants at the end of the growing season and work this into the soil well.