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Salsify

Trogopogon porrifolius. AKA the Oyster Plant, the Vegetable Oyster. Popular in the U.S. in the 1700s, this ancient Mediterranean native is coming back into favor now. Looking like a whiskered, tan-white forked Carrot, it tastes like a cross between Artichoke hearts and oysters. Direct sow in a deeply dug bed in full sun as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. Water well until the sprouts emerge. Harvest in late fall (although it may overwinter in milder climates).

Average seed life: 1 year.

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Gardening Tips

Salsify Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/2”-3/4”
Row Spacing:4”-5”
Seed Spacing:1”
Days to Germination:14-21 days
Germination Temperature:45°-85°F

Tragopogon porrifolius, the Oyster Plant. Salsify can be slow to sprout, so order fresh seed each year. As soon as the ground can be worked in the spring, soak the seeds for 24 hours in lukewarm water to assist germination. Sow directly into a well-draining, deeply dug bed in full to partial sunlight. Sow thickly and evenly, cover well and tamp down firmly. Keep the seed bed evenly moist until germination. Once the seedlings are 2" tall, thin them out to 4" apart. Mulch to deter weeds and retain ground moisture. Salsify produces flat, narrow green leaves and pale-skinned thin roots, often forked, with scraggly little rootlets. After the first hard frost, gently work them free of the soil and store in a cool, dry spot until use. You may also leave them in the ground to harvest up until the ground freezes, or overwinter them for an early spring treat.

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