About Mammoth Sandwich Island Salsify: Salsify in its modern form comes from 16th century Italy, and later made its way to the rest of Europe. European cooks traditionally served this white parsnip-like root steamed or boiled with cream. Mammoth Sandwich Island salsify, developed in the 1860s in the United States, has been the preeminent salsify variety ever since.
Mammoth Sandwich Island Salsify Germination: Salsify takes 4-5 months to mature, and should be planted immeditely after the last spring frost for a fall crop. After soaking the seeds overnight, direct sow in deeply worked soil 1/2" deep and 1" apart in rows 12-24" apart. When the seedlings emerge, thin them to 2-4" apart.
Growing Mammoth Sandwich Island Salsify Seeds: Apply mulch to conserve moisture and control weeds, which tend to slow the growth of salsify.
Harvesting Mammoth Sandwich Island Salsify: Harvest salsify as needed as soon as it reaches its mature length of 8". Since the roots keep well in the ground but not in the refrigerator, harvest salsify only for fresh use. Salsify can be left in the ground until spring, if covered by mulch; this gives it a deeper flavor.
Saving Mammoth Sandwich Island Salsify Seeds: Salsify must overwinter before producing seed. In warmer climates, a layer of mulch will be sufficient for protection. In colder climates, dig up the roots; cut the tops to 2" and store them in damp sand at 33-40 degrees F until replanting in spring. The roots will send up flowering stalks with seed heads that resemble those of a dandelion. Since they fly away very easily in the wind, gather them as soon as they mature. Remove the fluff and spread the seed to dry for several weeks out of the sunlight. When the seeds have dried completely, they will break easily in half. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.
Detailed Mammoth Sandwich Island Salsify Info: Tragopogon porrifolius. Also known as Vegetable Oyster Plant, Wild Quinine, Goat's Beard. Biennial. 120 days. 2600 seeds per oz. 24-36" height. 12-15" spacing. Produces 8-9" carrot shaped roots with white flesh.