Young leaves taste like celery and are used in spring salads and with potato, rice, and poultry dishes. Roots and young stems are also edible. Young stems can be cut, peeled, and used in salads. Stems are smooth, hollow, and thick.
• Attracts Beneficial Insects: If allowed to flower, provides pollen and nectar for beneficial insects such as bees, hoverflies, lacewing larva, lady beetles, parasitic wasps, and tachinid flies.
SOWING: Transplant (recommended): Start 6-8 weeks before the last spring frost. Sow seeds thickly about 1/4" deep in flats. Transplant to individual containers when seedlings have 4 true leaves. Transplant outdoors in spring or early summer 18-24" apart in rows 3' apart. Direct seed: Lovage may be directed seeded in the spring or in early fall for germination in the spring. Sow 1-2 seeds per inch in rows 3' apart. When 3-4" tall, thin to stand 6" apart. Lovage dies back in the winter, but comes back quickly in early spring. In the spring, it can be further thinned to stand 18-24" inches apart.
LIGHT PREFERENCE: Sun/Part Shade. Lovage grows best in full sun, but will tolerate part shade. SOIL REQUIREMENTS: Performs best in moist, fertile soil, but will grow in most soils.
PLANT HEIGHT: 48-78".
PLANT SPACING: 18-24".
HARDINESS ZONES: Zones 4-8.
HARVEST: Harvest leaves the first year once the plants have become established. Entire branches may be cut the second year.
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Days To Maturity
Average number of days from seeding date to harvest, within a specific crop group. If a transplanted crop: average number of days from transplant date. Not sure if crop is direct-seeded or transplanted? Check the Growing Information box for details. If crop can be both direct-seeded or transplanted, days to maturity refers to direct seeding. Days to maturity for all flowers and herbs is calculated from seeding date.
Plants can be Annuals (single growing season), Perennials (grow year after year), Tender Perennials (grow year after year in warmer climates; and in some cases when given special protection in colder climates), or Biennials (require two years to mature).
Hybrid: The offspring of a cross between two or more distinct parent lines, usually of same species, and selected for improved traits. Open-pollinated: A non-hybrid variety that can reproduce itself in kind, demonstrating relatively stable traits from one generation to the next.
Organic Seeds, Plants, and Supplies
Plants, or seeds harvested from plants, that have been grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, strictly adhering to the USDA's National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) organic gardening practices are designated as Organic.
Supplies that meet the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) rules according to a third-party authority such as OMRI, WSDA, and/or a local authority such as MOFGA or NOFA.
Attracts Beneficial Insects
Variety attracts and supports pollinators and/or insects that prey on garden pests.