Salsify is a root vegetable that has been around for centuries. This versatile veggie can be used in a variety of dishes, and it is relatively easy to grow. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about salsify plants, including how to grow and harvest them.
Salsify Plant Overview.
Salsify, also known as the oyster plant or Tragopogon porrifolius, is a root vegetable that resembles a long, thin carrot. It’s part of the Asteraceae family, which also includes sunflowers and daisies. This biennial plant grows best in cooler climates and can be found in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Salsify has been cultivated since ancient times and was mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History written in the first century AD. It was once used as a medicinal herb to treat scorpion stings and snake bites. The root was also eaten cooked or raw as a food source.
Today, salsify is still eaten as a root vegetable but it’s mostly found in gourmet dishes due to its slightly nutty flavor that has been described as similar to an oyster. It can be boiled, roasted, mashed, or made into soups and stews.
Salsify Nutritional Information.
Salsify is a good source of fiber, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. It also contains vitamins C and B6.
How to Grow Salsify.
Salsify is a cool weather crop, so it is best to start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep in seed starting mix and keep the soil moist. Seeds will germinate in 7-14 days.
When seedlings are 4 inches tall, transplant them into pots or your garden. Space plants 12 inches apart in rows that are 18 inches apart.
To direct seed, sow seeds 1/4 inch deep after the last frost date. Thin seedlings to 12 inches apart once they emerge.
Salsify Soil Requirements.
Salsify grows best in loose, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. Amend heavy clay soils with organic matter prior to planting to improve drainage.
Salsify Sunlight Requirements.
Salsify needs full sun to partial shade to grow well. Plants grown in too much shade will be leggy and produce fewer roots.
How to Harvest Salsify.
Salsify can be harvested anytime from 60 to 120 days after planting, depending on the variety. The roots are long and tapered, and can grow up to 18 inches in length. To harvest, loosen the soil around the plant with a spade or fork, then carefully pull the root out of the ground.
Salsify Storage Instructions.
To store, trim off the leaves and roots, then wash the salsify well. Pat dry, then wrap in a damp paper towel or place in a plastic baggie before storing in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
If you’re looking for a unique and interesting vegetable to grow in your garden, salsify is a great option. This unusual root vegetable has a long history, and is packed with nutrients. Growing salsify is not difficult, but there are a few things to keep in mind in terms of soil and sunlight requirements. And when it comes time to harvest, be sure to follow the instructions carefully so that you can enjoy this tasty vegetable all winter long.