Of the 6 Lovage starts, I still had 5 in their initial Jiffy seed starters. Today I potted them up into 3 inch pots. These little guys will likely live in my back bedroom under lights until the rainy season.
They sprouted before I had lights up so are etoliated, a/k/a gangly. I still find seed starting miraculous and even though these seeds were very tiny, they will make a 5-8 foot perennial.
My goal is 1 to 3 plants. So far, I’m good. I will put these in full shade and avoid burnout when I have a high altitude sunburn day. I had a strong sun yesterday and it sunburned my strawberry leaves before my last frost date.
Although one Lovage is plenty for salads, teas, and spices, its essential oil is also used in perfumes. If I keep all 5, I will find places for them all and distill essential oil.
This butterfly host plant is beloved of swallowtail butterflies, my favorites.
I never grow celery because Lovage is a wonderful perennial substitute. I use Lovage in any recipe that needs celery flavor, and in salads, and all parts are edible.
Lovage was a medicinal herb garden staple back in the days of wise women and home remedies. Also well known in monastery herbals as well. All parts of the plant are also used medicinally.
This plant can treat urinary tract infections, and treat kidney and bladder stones. Another common use is for digestive problems, including upset stomach, flatulence, colic, and poor appetite. It has been used for bronchitis.
As a medicinal, it has a number of other uses, many using leaves or roots. Roots are harvested from 3 year old plants and I have a way to go before considering root harvest, and will surely need all 5 plants for that experiment. I have, however, harvested leaves and dried them for winter use as spice and teas. The seeds also make a good winter spice.
Lovage is primo rabbit food and one of many things I want to grow for sharing with my proposed livestock. I am not a fan of pellets and such and little by little, I am adding plants that not only feed me, but will feed livestock as well. Lovage is one especially for rabbits. That said, Lovage will be eaten to the ground by wild rabbits! Hence, 24 inch high beds. Not that raised beds will deter mule deer, but Lovage is deer resistant. The trick with deer is that they will eat anything if they are hungry enough. I plant away from the house for them and use deterrents.
At any rate, these little seedlings will go in their permanent spot about the time I am harvesting annual vegetables.
I finally got some rain today, it has gotten dry. The weather rreport says an inch of snow tonight, another inch tomorrow night, and rain on Monday. Goodness, I am having trouble moving forward on my garden, the warm season plants are safe inside.
Lovage is awesome, I hope it can live at my mountain home.