Growing Lovage

This page talks about growing lovage and its benefits.

Lovage is perennial plant native to Europe and southwestern Asia that grows 4 to 6 feet tall that tastes and smells a little like celery.  Heirloom plants can grow even taller.  It was very popular during the Middle Ages and could be found in most home gardens.  Different parts of the plant are great for flavoring food or for use as a vegetable.  Due to its height, lovage makes a wonderful background plant for any garden, and its green-yellow flowers attract beneficial insects and pollinators.  Lovage makes a good companion plant to potatoes.

Lovage prefers rich, moist soil, so before planting, mix soil with compost.  You can plant lovage outside in spring once the soil has warmed to at least 60 degrees, or you can start lovage indoors 6 to 8 weeks prior to the final frost in spring.  Due to its long growth cycle, indoor seeding is recommended. 

Plant seeds only ¼ inch in soil.  Keep the soil moist.  The seeds should germinate within 10 to 21 days of planting.  You can transplant lovage to its final home onside the plants are 3 to 4 inches tall.

Plant lovage seedlings in an area with full sun or minimal shade.  Space plants 10 to 20 inches apart.  Apply your favorite all-purpose organic fertilizer periodically to keep the soil rich.  Lovage matures within 90 days of planting.

More on Growing Lovage

After lovage reaches maturity, you can harvest at any time.  Cut off desired quantity of leaves in the morning after the dew has dried.  As with most herbs, lovage is at its peak fresh, but you can freeze or dry lovage for later use.  To freeze, chop leaves and separate into individual portions in an ice cube try with a minimal amount of water.  To dry, tie leaves into bunches and hang dry in a place without direct sunlight.  Once dry, chop leaves and store in an airtight container out of sunlight.

Lovage seeds can be collect in late summer or early fall.  Wait until the seeds are fully ripe and have dried on the plant.  The dried seeds are somewhat fragile, so be careful when collecting.  It is recommended that you use a bowl or bag for collection.

All parts of the lovage plant are useful.  The leaves can be made into a tea to help alleviate gas as well as used in soups and salads or as seasoning in broths, while the roots can be used as a vegetable or grated into salads.  Even the seeds can be used to season foods.

Lovage Soup:

2 tablespoons butter

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 quarts chicken broth

3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 bunch (1 oz) fresh lovage, finely chopped

heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in pot over medium-high heat.  Reduce to medium heat and add both onions.  Cook five minutes.  Pour in chicken broth and potatoes.  Stir well.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Stir in lovage.  Cook five minutes.  Remove from heat and purée in a blender until smooth.  Season as desired with salt and pepper.  Stir a spoonful of heavy cream.

Go to Herb Seeds from Growing Lovage

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