As a gingerbread plant, savory has been known since ancient times; it is one of the most beloved spicy plants in the Middle East and Transcaucasia, where it is widely used to make the famous adjika and hop-suneli.
In culture, two species are known - garden savory (annual) and mountain (perennial).
The annual savory belongs to the family of the labiate, or lamb. This nondescript-looking plant is loved for its subtle aroma. It is not for nothing that the people call it fragrant savory or pepper grass.
It is a branchy, low-growing plant 25–50 cm high with a lignified stem below. The stem is pigmented, covered with short hairs. Its root system is very poorly developed and is located mainly in the surface layer of the soil.
Leaves are lanceolate, pointed, gray-green, 1.5-2.5 cm long, dotted with pinpoint glands. The flowers are small, white and pink, 2-3 pieces in inflorescences, located in the leaf axils. Long-term flowering and maturation of seeds. Seeds remain viable for 2 years.
The compact globular savory bushes are very decorative, so many gardeners use them as curb plants, planting along the paths. They are also beautiful for growing in a pot culture on a balcony or loggia and even on a windowsill in winter.
Savory is thermophilic, its seedlings do not tolerate frost at all. He is picky about light and prefers open, bright places, protected from cold northerly winds. It is undemanding to soils, but it grows especially well on light, cultivated and abundantly fertilized soils, especially after vegetable crops, under which organic fertilization has been applied.
Cultivation and reproduction of savory
During the autumn soil preparation, it is necessary to add 1 sq. m 0.5 buckets of rotted compost or humus, 1 tbsp. a spoonful of superphosphate and 1 teaspoon of potassium sulfate, and on heavy soils, an additional 1 bucket of coarse river sand and peat chips and a liter jar of stale sawdust. And in the spring you need to add an additional 1 teaspoon of urea.
Sowing seeds... Savory is propagated by seeds and seedlings. Savory seeds are sown in early May in open ground, after soaking in warm water for 18 hours.
Seeds are sown into grooves to a depth of only 0.5 cm with row spacing of 20–25 cm. Since savory seeds are very small, it is better to pre-mix them with fine sifted sand or not even embed them in the soil, but only lightly dust them with humus on top. Then the bed must be immediately covered with a film stretched along the wire arcs. Seedlings appear 10-15 days after sowing.
For early production of greens and seeds, savory is bred with seedlings. Sowing seeds for seedlings is carried out in March 60–70 days before planting in open ground. The seeds are sown in seed boxes. After the formation of two true leaves, the seedlings dive into cubes or pots.
In the cotyledon phase, seedlings dive into pots or thin out every 3-4 cm. And in early June, young plants are planted in the ground at a distance of 5 cm in a row and the same amount between rows.
Care... Further care comes down to thinning plants, weeding weeds, watering and feeding. To get a good harvest of greens, savory must be thinned twice. The first time this is done when 3-4 leaves are formed after 7-8 cm, and the second time - after 15-20 cm.
Watering... Water the plants 1-2 times a week, if the weather is dry, without waterlogging the soil. Young plants should be fed with ammonium nitrate (1 teaspoon per bucket of water per 1 sq. M), bringing it into the aisles.
Greenery cleaning... In normal weather, savory usually blooms 65–75 days after germination. Cutting of greens is carried out as needed, and the mass harvesting of greens is started at the beginning of flowering.Plants are cut at the height of the branching stem, tied in bunches and dried in the shade under a canopy or in a well-ventilated area. Dried plants are placed in glass jars and covered tightly with lids.
Seed collection... Savory is sown on seeds before winter or grown through seedlings. The testes are harvested with massive browning of the seeds in the lower part of the bush. To do this, the plants are pulled out by the root, tied in bunches and ripened in a ventilated room, and then threshed.
Savory on the windowsill
Savory can also be grown on the windowsill without much difficulty. To do this, you need to select low-growing plants with a compact bush: Filevsky, Semko, Gribovsky 23, Breeze, Charlie. In late autumn, their rhizomes are cut into pieces and planted in small pots.
In the fall, you can dig a few savory bushes with a clod of earth and transplant them into a box or flower pots, and they will give fragrant greens all winter.
And with spring sowing, seeds are sown in March in small bowls or boxes filled with light soil. The seeds in the soil are compacted. As the plants grow, they are thinned out so that 5 cm remain between them. After 4 weeks, they are transplanted into pots with a lump of earth.
Read more in the article Spicy herbs on the windowsill.
Savory plants found among gardeners are mainly of Transcaucasian origin. They vary greatly in the shape of the bush and the height of the plants; at present, savory varieties have appeared on sale:
- Fragrant - mid-season savory variety, 45–48 days pass from germination to flowering. The plant is up to 50 cm high. The flowers are light purple. The greens are very aromatic.
- Breeze - mid-season variety, technical ripeness occurs in 50–55 days. The plant has a branched stem up to 45 cm high, well leafy. Leaves with a weak waxy bloom, blue-violet flowers. The plant has a strong aroma.
- Gribovsky 23 - mid-season variety, blooms 50–55 days after the emergence of mass shoots. Plant up to 40 cm high, densely leafy. The leaves are dark green, with a bluish tinge and a strong aroma.
- Satyr - early ripening variety. The plant is up to 35 cm high, compact, non-leaning. The aroma is very strong and retains well in dried herbs.
- Sprint - early ripening variety, blooms 45 days after the emergence of mass shoots. The plant is compact, up to 35 cm high, up to 20 cm in diameter, highly branched. The flowers are light purple. Differs in a high content of thymol and other components.
- Filevsky Semko - mid-season variety, 60–65 days pass from mass shoots to flowering. Bushes up to 50 cm in height, the stem is not lying, lignified at the base. The flowers are pink.
- Charlie - an early ripe savory variety, 50–55 days pass from germination to the beginning of flowering. Plants of medium height, slightly branched, well leafy. The leaves are small, the flowers are light lilac, the aroma is very strong. Greenery yield - up to 1.7 kg per 1 sq. meters.
Savory in the kitchen and in the medicine cabinet
Savory is widely used as a medicinal and gingerbread herb. Savory greens contain a lot of essential oil with a special aroma; it contains tannins, resin, mucus, a lot of carotene. Plants have distinct properties and are widely used for herbal baths, mouthwashes and throat rinses.
Savory is not for nothing that it is respectfully called an appetite helper. In cooking, young savory greens are used, very pleasant to the taste and reminiscent of hot peppers.
Young leaves and stalk of savory are used in small quantities as a seasoning for sauerkraut, in salads, meat, fish, mushroom dishes. It gives flavor to salty liver and croutons. Savory goes especially well with dishes of beans and peas, for which it was nicknamed "bean grass".
Since savory has a strong aroma and a pungent spicy taste, it must be used carefully as a spice so that it does not dominate everything else. Fresh and dried leaves and stems are used.Leaves are used only whole, otherwise they give a bitter taste.
Savory's ability to kill bacteria is widely used in pickling, canning, and salting vegetables.
Savory does not tolerate prolonged heating, therefore, it is added to soups, boiled and stewed dishes no earlier than 5 minutes before the end of heat treatment, otherwise unpleasant bitterness may appear, which disappears when the dish is cooled.
- Homemade marinated carrots with mustard
- Chicken breast in the sleeve with apples and banana "Festive"
- Chicken with spices and nuts "Guruli"
- Salad with vegetables and chickpeas with a spicy dressing
- Whole tomatoes "Fragrant"
- Roasted piglet with aromatic herbs
- Herb Puff Pie Pies
- Couscous salad with cherry tomatoes and French herbs
Like all spicy aromatic herbs, savory has a wide range of medicinal effects. It is based on essential oil, which is found most of all in flowering shoots. To some extent, savory can even be attributed to natural antiseptics.
Savory is widely used in folk medicine as a disinfectant, for gastrointestinal diseases as an analgesic and fixative, is a good remedy against worms. Spicy savory greens improve appetite, soothes pain from insect bites, and in case of toothache, savory leaves are applied to a sore tooth and chewed.
An aqueous infusion of savory leaves is used for rinsing the mouth with angina and with lesions of the mucous membrane. And for rheumatism, poultices or medicinal baths are made from dried savory.
But savory has one more valuable property - having drunk 1-2 glasses of tea with savory, a person feels a surge of energy, victory over fatigue. And if you use savory regularly, then it will help fight fatigue.
Read more in the article Savory garden: useful properties.
"Ural gardener", No. 33, 2018