Forums
Search

When to harvest sage for drying?

When is the best time to harvest sage for drying? My plant is so full and beautiful. I like having some dried for the winter. Should I pick it before it flowers? after?
Thanks
 
Making a splash on The Kings River www.etsy.com/shop/ArtCrazy4u
I'de be interested to know how others do it too.
I love to use the fresh leaves, stuffing them under the skin of ckn or on the bottom of fish.
I love to use the blossoms. I use it fresh until autumn when I trim a few stems and dry them upside down for use during the winter. For this winter I've started a small pot so that I will have fresh indoors.
 
Like (0 likes)
With all (or most) herbs, leaf production & flavor is best before flowering. With Common Sage though, I really like the purple flowers, so I allow it to flower, but am then DILIGENT in snipping the blooms before they turn to seed. This seems to keep leaf production going, & you can clip & preserve to your heart's content. Just make sure not to cut more than 1/3 of the plant at a time to allow it enough support to survive the winter.
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia

Like (0 likes)
That's great. My plant is huge now, so I guess I could harvest a bunch now and leave a few stems for flowers. I love them, too.

Thanks
 
Making a splash on The Kings River www.etsy.com/shop/ArtCrazy4u
Like (0 likes)
In addition, Sage is such a strong-flavored herb, that frankly I don't even notice a difference between using it during flowering, before, or after. Smiler
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia

Like (0 likes)
I'm with Breezy...don't notice much difference and usually let it flower to enjoy the view. Besides drying in the fall and crushing to put into a jar, I hang some in the kitchen and let is dry there to use as I want. ALSO: great hint from my now famous OG MIL...Lori. She (and now I) always take in fresh herbs (any/all of them) wash really well and put them in freezer bags. They last through the winter and are like using fresh. Even basil, although it darkens, still good for sauces!
 
Take me home Country Roads to the place I belong...
Like (0 likes)
I do it differently than most people. Instead of snipping the stems, I pinch off only the leaves. I prefer the largest ones. This way it doesn't seem to affect the plant nearly as much and it produces lots more leaves on that same stem!
But mine are also bigger around than an old wash tub!
 

___________________________________________________

"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence."  David Ben-Gurion

 

S.W. Ga., zone 8b but acts more like zone 9

Like (0 likes)
I cut the stems, tie in a bundle and hang upside down to dry.
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Everything that blooms and grows, the garden angel scatters and sows...in the land of corn and pigs...Iowa Zone 4-5

Like (0 likes)
Mine goes in my cheap little Ronco dehydrator! It makes the house smell soooooo good.
Did basil & rosemary last week....better than any room freshener!!! Big Grin
 

___________________________________________________

"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence."  David Ben-Gurion

 

S.W. Ga., zone 8b but acts more like zone 9

Like (0 likes)
I was worried about letting my sage flower this year and possibly losing some of the flavor when it came to drying some. I'm so glad I let it flower...it went on for weeks and was literaly covered in bees the whole time (they seem to like the sage and lavender the best of what's blooming out in my garden).

The plant was looking all sprawl-y and a little tired after blooming but has perked right back up after a little trim and is now full of new growth.
 

~~~To plant is to believe in tomorrow~~~

Mobile, Alabama   Zone 8b

Like (0 likes)
My favorite way of preserving sage is salting it! It tastes more like fresh, and looses less flavor (think of all that aroma going all over the house - that has to come from somewhere!). Sage's flavor is composed mainly of two aromatic compounds, and when it is dried one is greatly reduced, while the other is only slightly reduced, which is why the dried tastes so different; good, but different.

Simply place a 1/8" layer of salt in the bottom of a jar, then place a layer of leaves, sprinkle a thin layer of salt, and repeat this, pressing down on it, as you go. Then, sprinkle a thicker layer over the top when you are done (it is amazing how much will fit into a small jar!), and refrigerate. I also do this with epazote and tarragon, which also keep their flavors well using this method.
 

Dave    in Woodbury, NJ  zone 6B

Like (0 likes)
One quick off-topic question Dave - what does epazote taste like? I've never grown it, but do cook a LOT of Mexican dishes so am thinking about it (although I've read that it can get/be very weedy & invasive).

I bought some dried once from the supermarket, & frankly it just smelled/tasted like dried grass, but perhaps it was just past its prime.
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia

Like (0 likes)
quote:
Originally posted by pepperhead212:
My favorite way of preserving sage is salting it! It tastes more like fresh, and looses less flavor (think of all that aroma going all over the house - that has to come from somewhere!). Sage's flavor is composed mainly of two aromatic compounds, and when it is dried one is greatly reduced, while the other is only slightly reduced, which is why the dried tastes so different; good, but different.

Simply place a 1/8" layer of salt in the bottom of a jar, then place a layer of leaves, sprinkle a thin layer of salt, and repeat this, pressing down on it, as you go. Then, sprinkle a thicker layer over the top when you are done (it is amazing how much will fit into a small jar!), and refrigerate. I also do this with epazote and tarragon, which also keep their flavors well using this method.


Dave, do you use table salt or something else? Rinse/dry before using?
 

~~~To plant is to believe in tomorrow~~~

Mobile, Alabama   Zone 8b

Like (0 likes)
Harvest time is determined by the growing condition of the herb, rather than by a specific date or month. Most herbs are ready to be harvested just as the flower buds first appear but before they are fully open. The leaves contain the maximum amount of volatile oils at this stage of growth, giving the greatest flavor and fragrance to the finished product. It is important to harvest herbs at the proper time of day. Gather them early in the morning, just after the dew has evaporated and before the sun is hot. This is also a very pleasant and fragrant time to be in the garden, so the task at hand can be an enjoyable one.
 
Like (0 likes)
quote:
Originally posted by BreezyGardener:
One quick off-topic question Dave - what does epazote taste like? I've never grown it, but do cook a LOT of Mexican dishes so am thinking about it (although I've read that it can get/be very weedy & invasive).

I bought some dried once from the supermarket, & frankly it just smelled/tasted like dried grass, but perhaps it was just past its prime.


Dave? Or anyone who's tried fresh epazote?
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia

Like (0 likes)
quote:
Originally posted by BreezyGardener:
quote:
Originally posted by BreezyGardener:
One quick off-topic question Dave - what does epazote taste like? I've never grown it, but do cook a LOT of Mexican dishes so am thinking about it (although I've read that it can get/be very weedy & invasive).

I bought some dried once from the supermarket, & frankly it just smelled/tasted like dried grass, but perhaps it was just past its prime.


Dave? Or anyone who's tried fresh epazote?



epazote is a bit on the strong side; it can overwhelm more delicate flavors and, again like cilantro, is a love-it-or-hate-it taste. Interestlingly, I'm not a cilantro person but I love epazote, which to me tastes a bit like citrus and mint (I've also heard the taste described as petroleum or turpentine). The taste is strong as well, slightly bitter with hints of lemon. It is often compared to cilantro as both are acquired tastes. Epazote has no comparable substitute but we have found using Mexican oregano in its place provides pleasing results. Simply omitting it from a recipe is another option. In large doses, far more than you'd ever use for cooking, epazote is poisonous for pregnant, use sparingly or not at all.
 
Like (0 likes)
Thanks!!!

I cook LOTS of Mexican dishes (including LOTS of Mexican bean dishes), so may try growing some fresh this coming season. If I'm lucky, perhaps someone will have it at our farmers market this year so I can taste-test.

Like I said, the dried I bought tasted like nothing. And I do LOVE Cilantro, so chances are fairly good I'll like Epazote.

Again - thanks for the taste description. Smiler
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia

Like (0 likes)
You can grow epazote on your own, instead of getting from market. Epazote is an unfussy plant that will grow in even poor soils. Grow in full sun for best results, in a warm spot in the garden. Gather the leaves so that you have 2tbsp of chopped fresh leaves available to add to 5 cups of cooked beans. It is important to add in the last 15 minutes of cooking. The leaves can be dried, but fresh are better.

In significant quantities, Epazote is poisonous. While it is safe to use as a culinary herb in small quantities, overuse can cause deafness, vertigo, paralysis, incontinence, sweating, jaundice, and even death. It is to be avoided by pregnant women and small children.
 
Like (0 likes)
Oh, I know that I'll be able to grow it. It's like a weed.

I'd like to buy a bunch from the farmers market to taste it first.
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia

Like (0 likes)
 
Post Reply
 
 
 


OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image