Take 2 1/2 to 3 inch cuttings from the branch tips and gently strip away the lower leaves . Be careful not to tear parts of the stem. You can dip the cut end in rooting hormone, which is helpful but not essential, and stick it in sterile sand in a warm sunny location. Roots should form in about 4 weeks, 6 weeks tops.
Sage grows well and has a symbiotic relationship with cabbage, carrots, strawberries and tomatoes it is believed to enhance their growth. It attracts pollinators such honeybees, and helps to repel slugs and snails, some flea beetles , cabbage looper, cabbage maggot. [See: Companion Planting]
Diseases and pest problems generally arenít a big issue with sage. Adequate drainage will usually curtail problems such as root rot, and mildew , diseases encouraged by excess moisture.
Under humid, and poorly ventilated conditions, downy and powdery mildews sometimes rear their ugly heads.
Here again, prevention is the best control; Plant sage where it gets plenty of air circulation, and leave ample space between plants. In cases where mildew does appear, horticultural oil or a sulfur based fungicide will generally suffice.
Thrips, Spider mites, and spittlebugs are common insect pests of sage. Organic insecticides such as pyrethrum or horticultural oil will help keep these pests in check.
To prevent rots and mildews in sage ,be sure your plants are properly spaced, thin plants regularly and be sure of good air circulation.
During hot humid summer days mulching with stones or pebbles is sometimes done, moisture from stone evaporates very rapidly- this is only recommended in hotter areas where summer weather is longer and more extreme. Proper garden sanitation is also advisable, keep the area free of natural waste and leaves, periodic tilling.
Harvest And Storage
In its initial - first season, harvest very lightly. After the first season, you can harvest as much sage as needed all year long. Your main harvest is best just before bud break as flavor is optimal at this point. The highest quality leaves come from the last 3 -4 inches of a branch.
To allow newer leaves time to completely mature, leave about 5 - 6 weeks between your last major harvest and the first frost. You can cut off entire stems , or just a few leaves at a time, as needed.
Sage is dried in much the same way as other spices by hanging bunches of stems upside-down. Strip the well dried crumbly leaves from the stem and store in airtight containers. It holds its flavor well when dried.
The flowers can also be dried to create pods that work well in potpourri or dried herb arrangements. Drying trays or a food dehydrator will also work. Once the leaves are completely and absolutely dry, hand pick them from the stems and store in a jar or air tight storage bag until ready to use.