Fresh Cut Sage
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Nancy Roberts
Posted on: June 22, 1999

Our sage, which is in its second year, has now gotten ahead of us and is flowering, buds almost all the way open. It is planted in 4-ft wide, 50 ft beds for fresh, culinary herb use in restaurants. Would you suggest cutting it off, maybe 4-6 inches(10 to 15 centimeters) above the ground, even though it is late, so that it will re-grow? What is the best way to cut sage, please?

If you want non-flowering plants for the future, you may wish to buy the Holts Mammoth cultivar. Richters offers it under catalogue number P5171-500.

Even though flowers are just as good for flavouring as the leaves, most people are convinced the flowers can’t be eaten and must be picked off before using the herb. Therefore to make your product more saleable it would be a good idea to cut off enough of the plants in the cutting bed to remove the flowers. You could then cut again leaving at least 15 centimeters (6 inches) at the base. If you cut off too much, the plants will be weakened and then may winterkill. It is usually best to cut when you will cut off one third of the height of the plants to leave the recommended 15 centimeters minimum.

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