No need to store Spanish salsify (Scorzonera hispanica) in your basement

black root

All gardening guides will advise you to do this – dig up Spanish salsify before the first frosts hit and store it in a box filled with sand in the basement. But you might be happy to hear that you may be wasting your time —unless you live in foothills, where the ground is frozen for weeks.
Recent winters have not brought many freezing or snowy days, and if this continues to be the case, then why not take advantage of it? Spanish salsify so you can literally harvest the root for the entire year without having worrying about its storage in the cellar. When the autumn comes, dig only the roots that you will use up quickly and leave the rest in the ground.

White fabric is necessary

There is only one thing you need to do – at the end of October or the beginning of November cover your veggie bed with white non-woven fabric and weigh it down well, so it will not get blown away. If you need to dig, just move it away and harvest the roots as needed. When digging try to do it very carefully because you cannot break the other roots in the soil. Of course, this may only be done on warmer, frost-free days, ideally when there is not much snow. But as we said, there have not been many freezing days in recent years, so it should not be a problem.
To avoid bringing dirt in your home, first rinse the roots outside and then use a brush to remove even the finest dirt in the sink or wash basin. Then you can pour hot water over the roots and scrape everything off. And voila – now the roots are ready for cooking!

black root

Black root: Photo Pixabay

Black root and its benefits

Spanish salsify taste similar to asparagus and can be cooked in similar way. You can bake it, add it to sauces, stew it, place it under meat, etc. It contains inulin carbohydrate, so it is naturally sweet, but it does not elevate blood sugar levels, and that is good news for diabetics.
Our advice: Do not grow Spanish salsify in one spot for more than two years, because after two years the yield will decrease. After the end of the second winter, harvest everything and plant another crop there.

Black root: Photo Pixabay 

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.

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