Re: [gardeners] skirret

Margaret Lauterbach (
Thu, 09 Apr 1998 07:16:31 -0600

At 07:25 PM 4/8/98, you wrote:
>At 06:44 PM 4/8/98 -0600, you wrote:
>>Okay, I have seeds for skirret, a garden perennial root veggie.  To call
>>them seeds is an exaggeration.  They look like a pinch of soot.  I know
>>you're supposed to mix fine seeds with sand for sowing, but I think these
>>skirret seeds could all cling to one grain of sand.  Does anyone have an
>>alternative method of sowing such fine seeds?  thanks very much, Margaret
>How about just shaking them out over the area you want to plant and then
>transplant when they get larger? Or don't they transplant well? And what
>the heck is skirret and what nation is it from?
>By the way, how long does it take for Chinese Yam to come up? I'm getting
>worried that the blankety-blank squirrels might have gotten them when
>Sleepy Dawg wasn't on duty.
It takes quite a while, George.  Stop watching the pot, and they'll come up

Shake the skirret seeds?  A pinch of soot will shake?  It dumps, George.  I
don't think they transplant well.  It's a root vegetable, imported from
China a few centuries ago according to Vilmorin-Andrieux, and widely grown
in Europe a few centuries ago.  It grows like dahlia roots, clustered and
growing down.  The roots have a woody core that should be removed, but the
roots are supposedly sweet, and you can start new plants from cuttings.
they're used in the same ways as salsify and scorzonera.  I just read the
complete Vilmorin report, though, and think I'll try to start them in the
greenhouse.  Still don't know how to avoid dumping the seeds.  Margaret