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I used to grow salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius) in the veg garden, but now grow it more for its flowers. I love the tall, stately, purple ray blooms, like an elegant, showy form of chicory flower.
One of my favourite flowers for right at the front of the oast garden beds, flowering from late spring most of the way through the summer.
This winter vegetable is fashionable among chefs and makes one of the best winter dishes, steamed and then fried in breadcrumbs to eat with an anchovy mayonnaise. It has an unusual fragrant taste which I'm addicted to.
These can be introduced to your flowerbeds and borders, as well as planting amongst your grass to create a wild flower meadow.
|Variety||porrifolious (Salsify)||Type:||Biennial (This depends on whether you grow these for the root or the flowers)|
|Sowing:||Sow March and/or August.||Site:||Full sun in well-drained soil||Height:||40-100cm (16-39in)||Spacing:||Plant 15-20cm apart||Hardiness:||Hardy||Care tips:||The roots are edible - to be pulled in late September. Treat the earth as you would do for carrots or parsnips, well tilled and stone free.||Flowers:||❀ June - September, 1 year from sowing seed||For the vase:||Strip the bottom leaves. The flowers close in the afternoon.||Cooking Notes:||For a delicious salsify recipe, follow the instructions for making Marni's salsify - boiled root with garlic butter and parsley, served sizzling hot.|