Savory: The Herb That Improves Flavor and Increases Digestion

Savory is a hardy easy-to-grow annual with attractive lightly colored flowers.

The leaves are sweet-scented and tangy flavored and can be used fresh or dried to flavor meats, green beans, and sauces.

It is also used in salads, salad dressings, soups, sauces, stuffings, eggs dishes, and vinegars.

The plant grows well inside to a height of 12-18"/30-46cm.

Sow seeds shallowly (1/4" deep) in light soil that is rich in organic matter in small pots or starter trays.

Keep plants in moist clean soil and place in a warm, well-lit area of the kitchen.

Seeds should germinate in 14-21 days and mature in 60 days. You can buy prepackaged herb kits with everything you need to start by seed.

You can make a quick start with transplants from the garden center; then repot the transplants into a larger pot that is at least 6" - preferably terracotta/clay. You must repot them within a week to prevent plants from becoming root-bound, resulting in stunted growth. Trim the tips of branches often to encourage bushy growth.

How to Grow Savory Indoors

Soil: You must use a well-drained soil mixture that contains equal parts soil, sand, and peat moss. Always use a commercial potting mix that is sterilized and not yard dirt.

Watering: Water by thoroughly drenching plants, let water drain out and empty, then allow soil to become moderately dry between waterings. Never leave plants standing in water because this will cause the roots to rot.

Lighting: Give the plant good light, a sunny south or west-facing window that gets a minimum of six hours of sun a day, or supplement with 12 hours of artificial light.

Fertilizer: Apply monthly with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer or fish emulsion. keep at a temperature around 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and a little cooler at night.

Containers: Terra-cotta pots are ideal for this annual herb, but you can use any kind of container you like. Containers should be 8 to 10 inches deep and have several holes in the bottom for drainage.

Harvesting: Cut back and use the tops of stems and then the whole plant when it flowers.

Leaves may be hung in a shady, well ventilated place and dried; however, freezing is a lot easier. Mix clean chopped leaves with light vegetable, canola or grapeseed oil and fill ice cube trays two-thirds full with mixture and freeze. Store frozen cubes in freezer-safe bags. Frozen herbs will retain flavor up to one year.

Once you have a supply of savory herb, you can add this herb to reduce the strong odors of vegetables such as cabbages, turnips, and brussels sprouts. Plus, your beans and lentil dishes will be more delicious and digestible.

Click on this link to find books with detailed information on herbs concerning the origin, care, use, and storage. Plus mouth-watering recipes that bring the herbs from the garden to the table.