|Satureja hortensis subsp. var.||Summer savory|
Summer savory (Satureja hortensis) is the better known of the Savory species. It is an annual, but otherwise is similar in use and flavor to the perennial Winter savory. It is used more often than winter savory, as winter savory is thought to have a slightly more bitter flavor.
This herb has lilac tubular flowers which bloom from July to September.
It grows to around 30 to 60 cm in height and has very slender bronze green leaves.
Gardeners wishing to grow this plant should sow in early spring 1.5-mm (1/16 in) deep in good seed compost (it is said that the herb needs exposure to light to germinate). Germination usually takes 14 to 21 days at 18 - 20 C. It should then be transplanted when large enough to handle into 7.5-cm (3-in) pots. Later harden off and plant out 38 cm in apart into ordinary well drained soil in full sun. Or, plant directly into soil in early spring. Savory does not need additional fertilizing, but does appreciate light, loose soil with a goodly amount of added organic matter.wp
It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.pf
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
A very easily grown plant when given suitable conditions, it prefers a rich light soil with plenty of moisture[1, 4, 14, 27] and succeeds in a hot dry sunny position. It prefers growing in an alkaline soil but is not too fussy. It is very intolerant of soils that remain damp and dislikes shade. Summer savory is often grown as a culinary herb. It is a good companion plant in the garden, where it helps to repel insect pests and grows especially well with onions and beans[14, 18, 20]. A fast-growing plant, it can be harvested within 2 months of sowing the seed. If cut back as the flower buds appear, it will produce a fresh flush of leaves. Summer savory seeds can prevent the germination of nearby seeds. The leaves have an aromatic fragrance. The flowers are very attractive to bees[7, 14]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Seed - sow April in situ and only just cover. Germinates in about 2 weeks. The plant strongly resents root disturbance so do not transplant it. In areas with mild winters an autumn sowing will provide an earlier supply of leaves.
Pests and diseases
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