How to Grow Unusual
Artichokes, Fennel, Salsify, Endive, Chicory
For most of us, we see
these unusual vegetables at the grocer but don't
know too much about them. Learn how to grow and cook these vegetables.
If you need information on how to grow
in general we have that too.
How to Grow Fennel
, for example,
also called finnocchio in Italy are fleshy leaf stalks that after
blanching are delicious cooked in stock in a casserole and served with
a creamy sauce, or they can be boiled in water and covered with a
The tender, inner sections may
be sliced thinly and added
Fennel needs rich soil and
plenty of water in drought, but given this and a sunny position, the
plants come readily from seed sown outdoors in drills 18
from April - August if you live in the northern hemisphere, for
succession, the seedlings being thinned to 9 inches apart.
Blanching is not difficult. When the base of the stems swell they
should be partially covered with soil 3-4 weeks before required for use.
How to Grow Kohl Rabi
unusual vegetable which is popular on the
Continent is the purple or pale green
which is similar in flavor to that of the turnip with and
It is, however, hardier and more drought-resistant
than the turnip, and plants thrive in almost any garden soil sown from
April - June in rows 18 inches apart, spacing the seedlings 9 inches
The edible root which grows above the surface should be used when the
size of cricket balls.
Roots from late sowings can be left in the
ground during the winter and pulled when required.
Other unusual vegetables are Salisfy
How to Grow
do best in deep, medium to light soil, preferably manured for a
previous crop. They are interelated with the root variety
being called chicory and the leaf variety called endive.
A curled variety of
(shown left and sometimes mistakenly called chicory
United States) should be sown in July in rows 15 inches
apart for autumn and winter salads, thinning the plants to 12 inches
apart. In August, the hardier, broad-leaved Batavian variety may be
sown for later use.
When nearly fully grown the hearts must be blanched. The simplest
method of doing this is to cover the plants when dry with white-washed
cloches or with inverted flower pots, placing a stone over the drainage
hole of the pot to prevent light from getting through.
plants should remain covered varies with the season, but, roughly,
plants blanched in autumn are normally ready for cutting in 10 - 14
days. Those blanched during winter take a little longer.
How to Grow Chicory
another usual vegetable used in salads and cooking. As mentioned
above, people often confuse chicory and endives. This is the root
Chicory is sown in May
and June in drills 12 inches apart, thinned to 9 inches. In November
when the leaves die down, the roots are lifted, and the remaining
leaves and side shoots trimmed back to within an inch of the crown,
before storing in sand in a cool, frost-proof shed.
leaf growth for salads takes approximately four weeks in a temperature
between 50 - 55 degrees.
To ensure a regular supply from November to
May the roots acan be planted in large pots of damp soil (crown above
soil level) and covered with an inverted flower pot, at weekly
The roots are also used. When dried they can be ground and used as a
How to Grow Salsify
As for Salsify
or the "vegetable oyster" as it is sometimes called as it tastes like
oysters. Although this looks like an unusual vegetable it has been used
as such in Europe for the last 500 odd years.
For those who enjoy something different this is well worth growing for
the roots are excellent as a winter vegetable, or left in the ground
until spring, the stems may then be blanched and cooked like asparagus.
Just don't overcook this delicate vegetable as it can turn to mush very
Light, sandy soil, manured for a previous crop, is most suitable; or a
complete fertilizer may be added before sowing the seed 1 inch deep in
April, in drills 15 inches apart, thinning the seedlings to 6 inches
There is both white and black salsify. The picture shows the black
variety which looks like a long, untapered black carrot. White salsify
is shorter in length and the roots are forked with small hairs.
Hopefully we have inspired you to think about planting some of these
more unusual vegetables for your own vegetable gardens this season.
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vegetables you would like to talk about here? Tell us what they are,
how you plant them and how you use then. Or perhaps you would like to
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