Salsify is hardy and tolerates cold. Like its prolific cousin the dandelion, it's easy to grow anywhere in the United States.
Prepare rich soil by removing all stones and lumps. Plant salsify from seed two or three weeks before the average date of last frost. Plant the seeds 1/2 inch deep. When seedlings are large enough to handle, thin them to stand 2 to 4 inches apart. Don't overfertilize; it will cause the roots to fork and split. Keep the plants evenly moist to prevent the roots from getting stringy.
Harvesting Salsify, Oyster Plant
The time from planting to harvest is about 120 days. Salsify roots can tolerate freezing, so leave them in the ground until you want them. The longer they're out of the ground, the less they taste like oysters. To harvest, dig up the whole root.
Types of Salsify, Oyster Plant
- Sandwich Island Mammoth, 120 days, is the most widely available variety.
- Fiore Blue, 115 days, has delicate flavors.