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Video: Growing Lovage
We love grass
Lovage - Levisticum officinale Koch - (perennial celery, dawn, we love grass, piper) is a perennial plant of the Celery family (Umbrella). It is a valuable vegetable and medicinal plant.
The specific taste and smell is given to it by essential oil, the content of which in the leaves reaches 1.27%, in young shoots - 1, in fruits - 2.47, in the roots - 0.52%. All parts contain ascorbic acid, carotene, mineral salts and organic acids - malic, folic, etc. Rutin is found in the leaves.
All parts of the plant are used for food - the same as celery, but in smaller quantities. Lovage is a favorite spice of Ukrainian and German cuisine. The leaves are added to sauces, salads, meat, fish and vegetable dishes. Young stems are boiled with sugar and get candied fruits. The rhizome is used fresh, stewed, boiled, fried, baked and stuffed, added to salads, mashed potatoes, casseroles. The decoction of the roots is used in the fish canning industry. The greens and roots of lovage can be prepared for future use.
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Even in ancient times, people paid attention to the medicinal properties of lovage. For medicinal purposes, rhizome and roots are used. In Russia, lovage preparations have long been used for tumors of the oral cavity and larynx. The decoction of the roots has a diuretic, sedative, analgesic and expectorant effect, increases appetite, stomach and intestinal activity, regulates the heart and reduces shortness of breath. Crushed fresh leaves are applied to wounds, and dry, crushed into powder, are taken against nervous disorders.
Lovage originates from Southern Europe and Western Asia. Since the 9th century, it has been cultivated in Central Europe. Now it is cultivated in most countries of Western Europe and North America, in many regions of the European part of the CIS, especially in the Caucasus. In the Russian Federation, lovage is poorly distributed.
It is similar in appearance to celery. The root system is fibrous. The main roots are light brown, highly branched, 30-40 cm long. The rhizome is many-headed. The number of buds increases annually, which is why the bush grows. Stem erect, glabrous, furrowed, hollow, branched at the top, at the base with numerous scales. The height of the bush is 2-2.5 m. The leaves are glabrous, glossy, broadly triangular in outline, twice and three times pinnately dissected; basal - long-petiolate, stem - smaller, on short petioles, upper - sessile, vaginal - with a small plate. Flowers are whitish-yellowish, small, collected in a complex 10-20-ray umbel with numerous wrappers and envelopes. The fruit is a yellow-brown, slightly compressed two-seed, splitting into two elliptical halves.Each half-carp has five ribs, the outer ones are winged, twice as long as the dorsal ones.
The development of this plant follows a two-year cycle. In the first year, a rosette of seven to nine leaves is formed. The length of the largest plants reaches 50 cm. Starting from the second year of life, depending on the growing conditions, 80-100% of the plants bloom and bear fruit. Flowering begins in late June - early July and lasts 20-30 days. The central umbrella has 100-700 flowers, the umbrellas of the subsequent orders - 70-400. From the beginning of flowering to the ripening of the first fruits, an average of 40 days pass. Lovage bears fruit regularly. Mass ripening occurs in August-September. The stems dry up after fruiting.
Lovage is a frost-hardy plant that can hibernate in the open field. Seeds germinate at a temperature of 3 … 4 ° C, but this period lasts up to 20 days. At a temperature of 18 … 20 ° C, the germination period lasts 10-12 days. Seedlings tolerate short-term frosts down to -3 … -8 ° С. The optimum temperature for the growth and development of lovage is 15 … 20 ° С, its increase has a depressing effect on the plant.
This culture prefers humus-rich soils. Demanding to light in the initial period, when seedlings appear from the seeds. It can grow both in open areas and in shade. In drought, it loses the aerial part, but with the onset of rains it gives a new growth. Excess moisture leads to the complete death of the root system and the death of the plant. Uneven distribution of rainfall during the growing season reduces the yield of leaves.
To get a good harvest of lovage roots, you should limit the application of manure and nitrogen fertilizers. Large doses of nitrogen promote rapid root growth, but their flesh becomes loose and darkens when cooked. When grown on greens, after cutting the leaves, nitrogen fertilizers are applied.
Lovage is propagated by sowing seeds in the ground and seedlings, less often by dividing the bush and root cuttings.
There are few varieties of lovage. In the "State Register … 2004" 6 varieties: Cupid, Hercules, Don Juan, Leader, Preobrazhensky Semko. In 2002, the POISK agricultural company introduced a new variety - Udalets.
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For lovage, it is desirable to set aside off-turn areas. It is usually placed in a separate bed together with other perennials. For an average family, an area of 1 m² is enough.
Seeds of lovage are sown in early spring or before winter. Seeds and soil are prepared as for celery. It is preferable to grow it through seedlings. To obtain seedlings, seeds are sown at home or in greenhouses, hotbeds or under small-sized shelters with a nutritional area of 5x5 or 6x6 cm for one plant. Until the emergence of seedlings, the temperature is maintained at 20 … 25 ° C, then for one week it is reduced to 12 … 15 ° C, and in the future, it should be at the level of 15 … 20 ° С. Two weeks after germination, the plants are fed with a solution of mineral fertilizers. It is better to use fertilizers with microelements such as Solvent, Kemira-Lux. After 15 days, feeding is repeated. The optimum seedling age is 40-50 days. The best time for her to disembark is early spring.
In gardens, lovage is placed with row spacing of 70 cm at a consumption of 0.3 g of seeds per 1 m². In the first year of cultivation, the plants are thinned out twice: first by 10, then by 20 cm in a row. The next year, 50 cm is left between the plants. This area is enough for long-term cultivation of this crop.
Plant care consists of regular loosening and weeding. With a lack of moisture, watering gives good results. In subsequent years, in addition to the listed works, attention is paid to feeding. They start as soon as the snow melts.
You can harvest lovage in the first year in the fall, but at this time celery gives the same products, so it is better to postpone the harvest to early spring of next year. During overwintering, no death of plants from low temperatures was observed. The aboveground mass grows very early, sometimes through melted snow, and in the conditions of the Leningrad region, by the end of the first decade of May, the height of the leaves reaches 40-45 cm. Cutting is repeated 2-3 times during the summer. They finish it 1.5 months before stable frosts. In one place, lovage can grow for 10-15 years. The last time it is harvested in early spring, summer or autumn, along with the roots.
Greens of lovage can be driven out in winter in room conditions from roots weighing 80-100 g with intact apical buds.
Sort carefully, rinse and finely chop 1 kg of lovage leaves, add 200 g of salt, mix. Place tightly in a container, close with a circle, put the load and put in a cold place. Used in winter as a seasoning for various dishes. Lovage salad with mayonnaise. Chop the washed and peeled lovage roots (65 g) and carrot roots (40 g) into thin strips, sprinkle with citric acid or vinegar, salt, season with mayonnaise, put in a salad bowl, decorate with parsley and onions. Lovage and carrots can be boiled beforehand.
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