22 June 2013

Saturday Spotlight - Sorrel (Part Two)

A while ago I linked in with Liz at Suburban Tomato to do a Saturday Spotlight on Sorrel.

Yesterday I decided to relocate some of the sorrel plants in the Country Garden as they will be in the way for the potato crop that will be planted in a month or so, as soon as the freezing clear nights and frosty mornings are over (which might take a while, given it was -4 degrees for the past couple of mornings!).  In doing that I learnt something important about sorrel that I didn't realise when I did the original post, so here's Part Two:

In the original post I wrote that I was treating Sorrel just like spinach or silverbeet, so had planted it within one of the rotation beds, on the assumption that it would last a season or so, then finish up and be ready to be pulled out for the next crop.  I think I also noted that I was surprised how well it was doing, and that I'd heard it was considered a bit weedy in Europe.  You can see what's coming, can't you...?

Yesterday I went to dig out a few of the plants to relocate them out of the rotation bed, as they are still going strong and show no sign of quitting, which is good because we and the chickens all love eating it.  What I then encountered however was a 30 minute tussle to dig out four plants, that resulted in all the leaves coming off in my hand as soon as I tried to pull them out, and ultimately huge chunks of roots and suckers with one massive tap root (about 30cm long) on each one... and a very sore back today!

So what I now know about Sorrel is that it should be grown somewhere that you're happy for it to settle in for the long haul, and don't bother trying to save the seeds, dividing the root ball looks like a much quicker way to get it growing.  In fact, given how strong it is proving, in future I'll be cutting off the flowers the minute it goes to seed to prevent it from establishing in other places that it's not wanted.

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