Easy and Useful

Summer Savory herb imageGrowing Summer Savory is one of the must-to-do’s in the herb garden as this very popular herb is both easy and useful. Savory is native to warm regions of southern Europe. Ancient herbalists commonly mention two savories: Summer (Satureja hortensis) and Winter (Satureja montana). Both kinds of savories are from the mint family but are not invasive like many other mint herbs. These two aromatic herbs are small, widely cultivated garden plants with narrow leaves and pale lavender, pink, or white flowers.

Summer savory, which is more highly prized as a spice and as a folk medicine, is an annual; Winter savory is a perennial. For hundreds of years, they both have enjoyed a reputation as sex herbs. Summer savory was believed to increase desire (act as an aphrodisiac), and winter savory was believed to decrease the sex drive (anaphrodisiac). It is easy to see why Summer savory became the more popular herb.

Culture

Pot Size                     6 inch wide, 10 inch deep container.

Seed Spacing             Savory seeds should be spaced 1/2 " apart at 1/8" depth.

Seed Germination       10 to 18 days.

Plant Spacing              Savory plants should be spaced 3 to 5 inches (7- 12cm) apart.

Soil Requirements        Well drained and moderately fertile.

Growing Mix                 Use a mix of about two parts potting soil to one part coarse sand or perlite.

Fertilizer                        Feed with fish/seaweed liquid fertilizer every 3-1/2 weeks.Less fertilizing is needed in the late winter.

Sun & Lighting              Savory prefer full sun. It needs at least 5 hours of direct sunlight a day.

Water Requirements      Water on a regular schedule, taking care to not overwater.
Uses

Summer savory photoSummer savory is a traditional popular herb in Atlantic Canada, where it is used in the same way Sage is elsewhere. Savory gives an excellent flavor to beans and other legumes. In fact, its German name is Bohnenkraut or bean herb. Both savories, as well as the aromatic volatile oils obtained from them, are much used in flavoring various kinds of sausages. Also used very often with a lighter meats such as chicken or turkey and can be used in stuffing.

It has a strong flavour while uncooked but loses much of its flavour under prolonged cooking.

Savory also has marked medicinal benefits, especially upon the whole digestive system, it settles gas and stimulates the digestion. Taken internally, it is said to be a remedy for colic and a cure for flatulence. Savory is belived to be effectual, when combined with hot water in the form of a herbal tea, for minor throat irritations. A sprig of the plant, rubbed onto bee or wasp stings, brings instant relief.


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