The domestic savory, which is also called by the name of summer savory, is part of the Labiate family, the genus Satureja and the species hortensis.
It is a herbaceous annual plant, which can reach a height of 30-40 centimeters and a maximum width of 15 cm.
The posture of this plant is particularly erect, with extremely branched stems which are very rich in hair and with a dark green color.
The roots of the plant savory they are fibrous and do not develop very deeply, while the leaves are opposite, with a characteristic lanceolate shape, covered with hair and briefly petiolate, with an intense green color.
The flowers are hermaphroditic, with a white-pink color and characterized by rather small dimensions, characterized by an aggregation inside inflorescences at the axil of the leaves.
The seeds have an extremely rounded shape, small and with an extremely dark color, which in many cases also tends to black.
Parts of the plant of savory which are essentially used are represented by the leaves, which are characterized by having an extremely intense aroma, which is very similar to that of thyme; moreover, inflorescences are also often used.
Climate and terrain
Savory has the particular characteristic of preferring temperate climates, while it proves not to withstand particularly low temperatures, but it is not cultivated during the winter seasons.
The most suitable exposures are those represented by environments that are in full sun or slightly in the shade.
Savory is characterized by having a particular preference for loose, dry, calcareous, fertile soils with a good level of drainage.
Furthermore, it is characterized by growing very well in poor soils, while it does not tolerate extremely compact ones, given that there is the danger of the formation of possible water stagnations, which can very quickly lead to the death of the plant itself.
It is a species that comes from the Balkan countries and, subsequently, spread throughout the Mediterranean; savory is characterized by developing spontaneously from the plain to those areas with a maximum altitude of about 1000-1200 meters and in Italy it can only be found in the central-northern regions.
Savory can be multiplied by seed or by direct sowing in the open ground or in seedbeds.
In the latter case, during the winter season, the seeds of the savory plant are kept inside containers with a light and fertile substrate that must be moistened and subsequently must be stored in total darkness to allow an excellent germination stage.
During the spring season the seedlings have the particular characteristic of being able to be transplanted. Direct sowing in the ground is carried out during the spring season (about halfway) and undoubtedly represents the technique that is most used, given that the germination capacity is excellent and is also much cheaper compared to sowing in a seedbed.
The planting distances that must be maintained between the rows are about 40 centimeters and on the row of 15-20 centimeters, with a density level that reaches 12-16 plants per square meter.
Savory is grown in vegetable gardens and in family gardens, in open fields and also in open pots.
In the event that you intend to resort to sowing in the ground, once the seedlings have reached a height of about 10-15 centimeters, they must be thinned in order to maintain the correct planting distances.
It is also necessary to pay attention to weeds, by carrying out manual weeding, while inside the cultivations in open field it is possible to resort to weeding between the rows.
The advice is to adopt the technique of large alternations, trying not to sow the savory or another plant that belongs to the same family of origin on the same ground.
Although this plant is characterized by tolerating drought periods very well, during the summer season it is better to irrigate in order to increase the production of leaves, waiting for the soil to dry between one irrigation and the next.
The leaves of the savory plant must be harvested during the summer season and during the autumn if they are used fresh, while if they are dried they must be harvested in the period between the end of the spring season and the beginning. of the summer season, before flowering occurs, so that the maximum aroma content can be obtained.
The inflorescences, on the other hand, are taken in the period between July and August, during the full bloom and from these it will be possible to extract the essential oil.