Winter Savory

How to grow Winter Savory                                                                                  (Satureja montana)

There are two main types of Savory which can be grown in Gardens – Summer Savory which is an annual – and Winter Savory which is a perennial and we can grow both of these herbs quite happily in our gardens.  Winter savory can be grown even if we get quite a lot of frost and snow so making it a really useful herb.


satureja-montana-flowerIf you want to grow Savory the best way to think about it is if you grow Rosemary then Winter Savory will grow just as easily.


Growing conditions

Savory needs well-drained soil and I always prefer to incorporate about a third Sharp Sand when preparing the soil.  If you have spent growing compost that’s fine and leaf mould is even better as it improves soil structure but doesn’t increase fertility

Winter Savory prefers rich well-drained and alkaline soil like a lot of herbs coming from the Mediterranean, but as its other name is Mountain Savory you can tell that it will quite happily cope with cold weather if it has that great drainage. You can add some calcified seaweed to the growing mix to help the PH to remain Alkaline

When fully grown it reaches about 25 cm in height by about 25 cm spread  so not a large plant. There are references to it being grown as an edging plant to Tudor knot gardens but in my own experience it gets slightly more untidy than you’d want it to for that, but it does make an attractive low edging to a herb bed

I normally cut back my Savory in the Autumn and take cuttings from which it roots very easily and replace the whole plant about every 4 to 5 years.


It’s been used as a herb for centuries and is in fact one of our oldest flavouring herbs it has a real peppery spiceiness to it and I much prefer the stronger flavour of winter savory to summer savory

1Winter savory dries easily and can then be stored in airtight jar

Great in cooking

one of its main reasons that it is a great accompaniment to dried beans and Jerusalem artichokes is its ability to counteract the side affects some people experience when eating these.

As you probably know when you’re cooking beans if you add salt to the water it hardens up the shell of the beans by adding a good handful of Savory you get the same effect as adding salt to the water but it doesn’t harden them up in any way

It also fantastic in salt free dietsas its add the savory note that salt brings to your dishes  and you can use it in stuffing and stews and it will combine brilliantly in a variety of dishes, Savory adding beautiful piquancy to the flavor.

Commercially Savory is often used to flavour vinegars and this was a favourite way the Romans  used it.

Most of us would have come across it use in flavouring salami.

It is quite peppery and although Winter Savory is related to Mint its best used in dishes as a substitute for Thyme.


In conclusion

it’s easy to grow, it’s a fantastic at attracting beneficial pollinators and bees to the garden can happily flower fron June till November  and it’s more or less carefree.

Winter Savory adds fantastic flavours to your dishes, it’s a terrific herb to grow and it is also nearly impossible to buy from shops or supermarkets!

Why not give it a try?

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