Gardening

Salsify: a fine and subtle taste


The cultivation of salsify is practiced from the month of May while the harvest can take place in the fall and winter.

In summary, what you need to know:

Last name : Tragopogon porrifolius
Family : Asteraceae
Type : Vegetable

Height
: 30 to 90 cm
Exposure : Sunny
Ground : Light, rich and well-drained

Harvest : from October to March

Whether by seed or by planting, you will find that it will be quite easy for you to obtain superb salsify.

Sowing and planting salsify

The cultivation of salsify is done either by sowing or by planting young plants. In all cases, make sure you have a deep, rich and well-drained soil with addition of fertilizer or compost.

If your earth is heavy you owe itlighten with sand and avoid the presence of stones.

The salsify sowing:

This method of sowing salsify can be practiced by anyone, even beginners.

  • You will start at the end of winter, around March-April, directly in the ground
  • Dig furrows 2 cm deep and space each row approximately 20 to 30 cm
  • Cover the seeds with a layer of potting soil of about 1 to 2 cm to facilitate emergence
  • As soon as the first leaves appear, thin out to about 10 cm

Planting salsify:

If you are buying young salsify plants directly, plan to plant them in the spring.

  • Dig 20 cm deep, adding fertilizer because salsify is greedy.
  • Loosen the earth well
  • Respect a distance of 20 to 30 cm between each plant and of 15 cm between each row so that they have room to develop.
  • The situation must be sunny

Cultivation and maintenance of salsify

Salsify is a bi-annual that requires little maintenance, if not to be watered regularly in case of strong heat.

  • At thearrival of winter, cover the plants with mulching of dried leaves in order to facilitate lifting and protect from frost
  • In spring, turn over the soil, weed and then addcompost at the foot

To have bigger salsify, don't hesitate to remove the flower stems as soon as they appear because, by allowing them to develop, you will limit the development of the root.

Diseases and parasites of salsify:

Salsify is a fairly easy to grow vegetable that in the end not afraid of diseases.

However, you may suffer from invasions of slugs or caterpillars

Harvesting and conservation of salsify

Salsify stems are frost hardy and can be harvested as early as fall, winter and even into spring.

Be careful, when harvesting, use gloves because salsify can stain a lot.

Salsify is a bi-annual plant which flowers normally in spring but is normally harvested from the 2nd year of cultivation.

Salsify is harvested from October to April by simply pulling out the roots as needed.

  • Before the plant comes into bloom, cut the flower stalk

Store the salsify well:

Once harvested, cut the leaves of the salsify and keep the roots away from light.

  • Salsify will be particularly popular in a cool place like a cellar.
  • If necessary, protect them with sand in crates.
  • Salsify will keep for a few days in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.

Good to know about salsify

Whether the variety "Improved white", "Big root mammoth" or "Giant White of Russia", salsify is a vegetable with a fine and subtle taste reminiscent of artichoke.

Of Mediterranean origin, it is often confused with scorsonere or black salsify, they are nevertheless 2 different plants. If their taste is very similar, salsify has white roots with some purple flowers while they are black with yellow flowers for the scorsonera.

We appreciate salsify for its light almond taste while its flowers offer a subtle chocolate scent.

Salsify has good nutritional qualities with, in particular, a moderate caloric intake, a good intake of protein, in calcium, in iron, in phosphorus and in Vitamin E.

Salsify is also rich in proteins with 1.5 g per 100g, but above all in carbohydrates with 5 g per 100G and relatively low in calories with 30 kCal

Smart tip

It is desirable to enrich the soil with compost before cultivation and to loosen the soil well.

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