Gardening: Monty Don shares how to grow sage herbs from a ‘knackered’ plant

Gardeners' World: Monty Don advises on reviving herbs

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Monty Don will return to Gardeners’ World tonight after being absent from last week’s show. This week, Monty will be planting out tomatoes and showing viewers what to feed plants. Arit Anderson will be looking into using peat and Sue Kent will share her allotment progress.

If you’re looking for some garden tips before the show, in an episode of the show from last year Monty shared how to grow sage from a “knackered”, old plant.

Monty chose to use lavender-leafed sage which is a small, woody herbaceous perennial that is usually found in Spain and southern France.

He said: “This is a narrow leaf sage. Salvia lavandulifolia.

“If I just pick a piece off compare the size and shape of the leaves.

“Although the leaves are smaller, they have perfect taste.”

Monty showed viewers how the sage plant had seen “better days” so he wanted to grow more of it.

To do this, he decided to take some cuttings.

He continued: “It doesn’t matter if a plant is old and quite frankly knackered, it can still give you really healthy cuttings that will become lovely fresh, vigorous new plants.”

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He cut around three inches off the top of the stems and put them in a sandwich bag.

He added: “Put that in a bag, close it up and that means that it is losing less moisture.

“But it’s still really important that I treat this as something that can’t be put off. I’ll deal with it right now.”

Next, he showed viewers how to prepare the cuttings for being planted in a pot.

He said: “Just remove the lower leaves and pop that in down to there and then we’ll work around the edge.”

He put the cuttings around the edge of a terracotta pot of compost.

Monty said you should cut the leaves off if there’s risk of tearing any soft stems.

The gardening expert advised putting some grit over the top of the compost once they had been planted.

He continued: “That needs watering but because they’re softwood cuttings and therefore will die very quickly unless they grow roots, they need to be kept moist.

“That doesn’t mean to say the soil kept moist but the air.

“So I’m going to put them in the greenhouse.”

Monty said if you don’t have a mother plant to take cuttings from, you can always grow sage from seeds.

Gardeners’ World airs tonight at 9pm on BBC Two

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