How to grow lovage – six top tips for this delicious herb

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Lovage is a perennial herb which makes a great addition to salads, soups, stews and potato dishes. It can be eaten in many different ways or used as ornamental decoration atop other meals. Express.co.uk has compiled a foolproof guide to help you grow lovage.

Lovage is a herbaceous perennial plant which grows to reach up to 2.5m tall.

The leaves are used as a herb while the roots are used as a vegetable.

Lovage seeds can also be used as a space, particularly within southern European dishes.

In the UK, traditionally lovage is used as part of an alcoholic cordial which is added to brandy as a winter drink.

This beverage was popular in Cornwall where it was originally added to slightly spoiled smuggled brandy in a bid to mask the taste of salt.

How to grow lovage

You can grow lovage from seed or buy ready grown plants and simply plant them in your garden.

Try to plant lovage in an area where they have plenty of space to grow.

Lovage plants like fertile soil in the ground or a large pot.

They also like to be watered well during dry periods and pruned often to encourage new growth.

Lovage can grow to be more than two metres tall and a metre across so it is important to bear this in mind when you plant it.

Lovage is a hardy perennial and can be planted at any time of the year.

Autumn or spring seasons are the best time to plant it though – so try to keep it at that time of the year where possible.

Water your plant well until it is well-established.

Aside from watering, you should try to trim it regularly to encourage a new growth of harvesting.

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After your lovage plant flowers, you should allow the seed heads to mature fully and then ripen if the seeds are required for harvest.

If not you should cut off the faded flower heads as the plant can self-seed prolifically.

Once the growth has died back in the autumn season, cut it back to ground level ahead of the spring growing season.

June is typically the time to plant and harvest your lovage plants – so make sure to plant it outside and prune established plants.

What problems should you watch out for?

Lovage is mainly free from any big gardening problems.

However, you must ensure it is planted into rich and deeply cultivated soil from the beginning.

Otherwise, your plant may need more frequent watering.

Lovage growing in pots also needs regular watering to ensure the compost does not dry out.

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