Harvesting salsify: How to do it successfully

black salsify and potatoes
black salsify and potatoes

Black salsify is in season in fall and winter. Here is how to harvest and store the healthy vegetable correctly.

Black salsify is ready for harvesting from October. When harvesting, you should pay attention to a few things so that you get the roots out of the ground undamaged. In the following, you will find out the best way to harvest salsify and how to store this winter vegetable properly.

When are salsifies in season?

The season for salsify begins in October and then lasts all winter. In order to harvest long and strong roots, you should start sowing in the garden as early as the end of February. This will give the plants enough time to grow until the harvest in the fall. You can sow the seeds directly into the vegetable patch. You always harvest the roots fresh, because that’s how they taste best. The hardy salsify contains many vitamins and minerals, has a similar high nutritional value as beans, but at the same time is low in calories.

How to harvest salsify?

Since even slight injuries to the long taproots cause the milky juice they contain to leak out, you have to be careful when harvesting. It is best to dig a small trench directly next to the row in the bed and then loosen the roots sideways with the digging fork into this furrow. The roots tilt and are thus easy to get out of the ground without breaking.


Injured roots of salsify lose large amounts of milky juice, become dry and bitter, and can no longer be stored. Therefore, it is advisable to always harvest only as needed and leave the remaining plants on the bed for the time being. The vegetables are hardy, so they can even stay in the ground through the winter. In harsh winters, it can be helpful to protect the salsify with a light covering of leaves or straw. Depending on the variety, you can harvest salsify until March or even April.

Can you store salsify?

If you do not damage the taproots, you can also store them during the winter. Like carrots, salsify can be stored in the cellar in earth-moist sand. To store them, turn off the foliage. This way, the taproots will keep for five to six months.

How to use salsify in the kitchen?

The winter vegetable is extremely healthy, it contains vitamins, minerals and inulin and is therefore recommended for diabetics. Fresh spears from your own garden taste aromatic-nutty to almondy. If you want to prepare salsify, you have to peel the vegetable like asparagus and then blanch or boil it so that it still has some bite.

Wear gloves when peeling, the escaping milky juice can leave discoloration. Already cooked salsify you can portion and then freeze.

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