In areas where soil conditions and rainfall lead to poor drainage, conditions for growing sage can be improved by planting in raised beds with better drainage than the surrounding soil. Good drainage keeps roots from freezing during cold winters. The soil for the raised beds should contain a combination of nutrient-rich loam, gritty material like coarse sand and fine gravel, and organic matter such as compost. Don’t overdo the compost, because similar to other perennial herbs, Salvias prefer soil that isn’t well fertilized. Raised beds usually are framed and no more than 4 feet wide so you can weed and work the soil without stepping on it. This helps maintain aeration.