Lovage is quite undemanding and easy to care for. So you don't have to pay much attention when watering, fertilizing, cutting and overwintering.© juefraphoto - Fotolia.com
The aroma of the lovage (Levisticum officinale) is reminiscent of the famous brown seasoning sauce, which gives the maggika herb its nickname. In the garden bed, lovage is quite undemanding and is extremely growth-friendly. If you let your maggot herb run wild, you will soon find out how dominant lovage can be. When it comes to species-appropriate care, it is often not primarily a question of ensuring growth and prosperity, but the hobby gardener should occasionally put the dominant soup herb in its place. With the help of the following information, you can live carefree with the growth-loving lovage in your home garden.
Water the lovage properly
Maggi herb loves a humid environment. Especially on hot summer days, you should not neglect irrigation. The floor should not dry out completely. If you water too little, the plant removes moisture from the leaves. The spice herb is affected in taste and effect.
Sufficient moisture should not be confused with moisture. The plant also does not tolerate waterlogging. Therefore, you should pay attention to a permeable floor. You can achieve this by adding coarse gravel. On the other hand, a sandy soil is not advantageous for lovage. If you mulch the soil regularly, you can also improve the permeability and there is less waterlogging.
Lovage is preferably watered with rainwater. The robust plants also tolerate a certain amount of lime in the soil. Therefore, you can occasionally switch to tap water. The better alternative is stale tap water.
How to properly water lovage:
- The floor must not dry out
- Soil should be damp, but not wet
- Avoid waterlogging
- Water more on hot days
Fertilize lovage properly
Lovage not only takes up a lot of space, but as a heavy feeder it also extracts a lot of nutrients from the soil. You should already consider this when planting and upgrade the substrate accordingly. By adding compost, the plant is well supplied with nutrients for a few months. If you plant the maggi herb in spring, it should be given another fertilizer in late summer.
Liebstöckel needs about three liters of organic fertilizer per square meter per year. During the growth phase, you can also administer conventional liquid fertilizer, nettle slurry (instructions for nettle slurry) or grass clippings.
Properly fertilize lovage:
- mulch regularly
- Provide soil with compost twice a year
- Administer liquid fertilizer or vegetable slurry during the growth phase
How to cut lovage properly
Lovage is one of the first plants to sprout in the herb garden and soon the maggot herb will no longer be overlooked. A few weeks are enough and growth heights of one meter and more have been reached.
You can cut maggika regularly. So that the plant does not branch too intensely, you can remove the secondary shoots. You can also adjust the height to suit your needs by cutting back.
Some hobby gardeners preferred the man-sized growth of lovage and at the same time use the crop as a privacy screen. Recommended reading: Plant lovage - This is how the cultivation in the bed and pots is successful.
In addition to the leaves, you can also use the seeds in the kitchen. If you do not aim for this and do not want to multiply the maggot herb, you can cut back the buds before they develop into flowers. The flower of the lovage is, by the way, quite inconspicuous and resembles caraway plants.
The above-ground part of the plant dies before winter in order to sprout again in early spring. Cutting measures in late autumn should only be done shortly before winter, otherwise it can happen that the plants sprout sparingly in spring. Alternatively, you can cut back the remaining parts of the plant in early spring.
This is how lovage is wintered properly
Lovage is not a plant that is naturally adapted to a rather harsh climate. The herb probably originated in Persia. Nevertheless, the plants in our latitudes can easily be hibernated outdoors. Maggi herb defies even severe frosts. If there is enough snow, the plants do not need any additional protection.
It becomes more problematic with so-called bald frosts. In this weather, the temperatures are freezing and there is no snow. The lack of snow cover makes the ground more vulnerable and the roots can freeze to death. A layer of compost, mulch or brushwood helps here. Compost not only warms the soil, but also provides the nutrients that are so important for maggot herb in spring.