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Growing Salsify, also Vegetable oyster

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
      P P              

(Best months for growing Salsify in USA - Zone 5a regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 10°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 15 - 20 cm apart
  • Harvest in 14-21 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Beans, Brassicas, Carrots, Celeriac, Endive, Kohl-rabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Alliums, Spinach
  • Harvested salsify roots
    Harvested salsify roots

This root vegetable is not seen in supermarkets but is as easy to grow as carrots or parsnips.

It is a fairly slow growing vegetable but can be harvested in small amounts as required. The ground can be loosened with a fork and a few roots lifted for use.

Scorzonera is a variety of salsify which has black skin on the root.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Salsify

Wash and scrape the roots then boil before frying or roasting. They can also be used to make a creamed soup.

Your comments and tips

01 Dec 17, Heather (Australia - temperate climate)
I've sown some Salsify seeds from Eden Seeds, but can't find a picture anywhere of what the seed leaves look like. I know the plant has grass-like leaves, but generally the seed leaves are completely different. I'm not game to weed the patch until I can identify which are the salsify seedlings. Can someone please describe them for me? I don't think we can post pictures here, unfortunately.
03 Dec 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Google "salsify seedlings" - plenty of photos of the young plants. You may have to wait until they grow a bit.
24 Apr 17, Donna Townsend (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I just purchased seeds from Seeds2freedom great service froo postage
26 Mar 17, Jo (Australia - temperate climate)
I just purchased salsify seeds produced by Bairnsdale seed company, Goodman Seeds. I picked them up in the local IGA supermarket!
27 Mar 17, Jo (Australia - temperate climate)
Goodman's is a good seed supplier to deal with. Their seeds are available from many outlets in Victoria and they are an independent, family owned company that has been going for about 125 years. If you are in other areas they do sell online.
09 Aug 16, Heather (Australia - temperate climate)
I have just purchased a white and black root of this plant at my vegie shop in Chirnside Park. I am going to plant both as they have nodes on top which will be leaves! I live in Launching Place, which is near Warburton in Vic. But not as cold! On hill, otherside of Yarra River. Any advice for growing here? I have grown horseradish from this shop, just cut top off and plant! Hopefully, it will work with these too!
21 Oct 16, Tina (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Heather, I am in Gembrook. I planted Salsify from seed and it looks great. This is the first time I have grown it, so haven't had a harvest. If it grows here, it will grow in Launching Place. -Tina
30 Jun 16, Kerry (Australia - temperate climate)
Good morning Hanna, May I ask please if you have some salsify seeds for purchase? I love watching River Cottage and saw Hugh with the vegetable and would love to plant my own to enjoy the vegetable like he did. I wish you a lovely day, I look forward to hearing from you. kind regards Kerry
10 Mar 16, Christine Rivière-Anderson (Canada - Zone 4b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
I would love to plant black salsify in my area ( Muskoka, 225 kms north of Toronto) . I grew up in France where salsify is a common vegetable and I really miss it here. I realize that I live in a colder zone than is probably possible for growing salsify and that the harvesting is normally done in the winter but would it be possible to wait for Spring to harvest ? And if not, do I need to grow it in a greenhouse ? Thanks for your suggestions!!
23 Jan 16, Elisa Turner (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I remember eating black salsify (Schwarz- Wurzel in Germany.) They tasted very much like Asparagus. Very nice! Why can I not buy this vegetable in Australian vegetable shops? I may try and grow black salsify in my garden in subtropical region of Australia. Should I best wait for winter's colder weather?
Showing 1 - 10 of 63 comments

Salsify sold in certain vegetables and fruit shops, it costs as much as $90.00 a kilo, The best way get the seeds is to buy a piece of Salsify cut the bottom part off and cook it enjoy yourself, the top part, you can plant it in the garden, wait for it to grow to flowers, harvest the seeds when the flowers dry. The best time to grow is in late August early September.

- Asn

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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