• Sage in the garden and on the windowsill

    In the central part of Russia, many-year-old sage is grown most often as a two-three-year culture( carefully concealed for the winter), less often - as an annual one. Propagation by sowing seeds in early spring directly into the soil. Blossoms of sage in the second year of life in May, the harvesting of the leaves begin already at the end of the first season, in September. Sage is light and thermophilic, drought-resistant, can not tolerate water stagnation. It is not necessary to place it in the neighborhood with roadways: on wrinkled, slightly hummocky leaves dust settles, which then it is difficult to remove.

    To grow a sage medicinal it is possible and on a garden site, and on a balcony, and houses on a window sill. The plant is quite unpretentious. It is important only to ensure that it is well lit and not too acidic. To get quality medicinal raw materials, take the sage in its apothecary garden a sunny area with a loose, fertile, humus rich soil. Preliminarily, liming can be carried out;Fresh manure is introduced as a precursor culture.

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    You can propagate sage and seeds, and seedlings, as well as dividing the bush and cuttings. Seeds are sown in late autumn( in the first half of November, so that before the winter they did not have time to germinate) or in early spring( late April - early May).Sow to a depth of 3-5 cm, between rows make a width of 50-60 cm. When sowing, you can make an organomineral fertilizer in each well - 0.5-1 kg of overgrown manure or humus from 3-5 years of complex mineral fertilizer. The optimum temperature for germination of seeds is 20-25 ° C, then the germination capacity will be maximum - up to 75%.At lower temperatures and germination will be low - for example, at 5 ° C only 15% of seeds will ascend. They usually sprout in 15-30 days. Crops need to be protected from the wind. Seeds of sage are planted on seedlings for 40-50 days before planting it in open ground.

    Seedlings develop rather slowly. In the first summer the plant gives only a rosette of basal leaves;and the harvest of medicinal raw materials should be removed after a year - then the bush will reach a height of 30-60 cm. As it grows, the plant forms many new shoots, at the bottom they begin to grow lignified. Therefore, to stimulate the formation of green mass, the bushes "rejuvenate" every year. For this, lignified parts are cut at a height of 5 cm from the ground. With such trimming, one plant can develop up to 100 well-leafy shoots. The bushes bloom in June and bloom for a long time - about 2 months.

    Sage care is simple: regular weeding, loosening of rows. Top dressing is given 2 times during the summer - at the beginning of the shoot growth and during the budding period. Use diluted slurry( 1:10) or combined mineral fertilizers at a rate of 15-20 g / m2.m.

    With its comparative unpretentiousness, the sage is still a thermophilic plant. The plants must be sheltered for the winter. Seeds mature only in the southern regions( for example, in the Krasnodar Territory);in the middle belt - only in very hot summer conditions or when growing in a very sunny place. Seeds of experienced plant growers are advised to stock up for future use.

    Many kinds of sage are very decorative, because they differ in different shades of leaves and coloring of flowers. Now you can find varieties with dark red, yellow-green leaves or with a beautiful golden fringe along the edge of the leaf blade. They will perfectly decorate your garden - in the form of separate compositions, in the so-called "mix-border" or as a border in planting with other medicinal plants. But to grow in one place sage is recommended no more than 6 years.

    Decorative low and compact forms of sage are recommended for growing in pots and vases. They are perfect for decorating balconies. Muscatine sage and medicinal sage in the winter are grown in room conditions for cutting - the techniques are the same as for cultivation of other spicy and aromatic plants in enclosed spaces, for example peppermint or lemon balm.

    Collection and storage of medicinal raw materials

    Salvia is harvested and harvested during flowering, preferably in the morning hours. Leaves are harvested 2-3 times during the summer, from the moment of blossoming to autumn, but not later than September. In the first years of plant life, only the lower leaves are recommended to be plucked, and in the future all leaves and tops of shoots are recommended.

    Before drying, the raw material is scanned, randomly dropped lower coarse stems, browned leaves are removed.

    Dry the raw materials in air, in the shade, in well-ventilated places;you can do it in the oven or in the oven at a temperature of no more than 50-60 ° C.Store medicinal leaves in glass jars in a cool dry place;Shelf life - 2 years.