Growing and harvesting Skirret

Skirret is a forgotten rooted vegetable. It was grown in Victorian and Tudor times. However over the years it became a forgotten vegetable as it’s not available in supermarkets at all. This post is about growing and harvesting skirret. Also known as Sium sisarium. They love damp soil so sometimes one might come across them along river banks.


I got the slips or roots from ebay back last year in autumn. this year it has grown to quite a tall size. It is quite easy to grow and it is relatively disease free. They are slightly vulnerable to carrot fly. I wouldn’t recommend growing them from seed as it’s hard to sow them. I have tried sowing them early this year and not one seed germinated. Many have reported that it is hard to sow from seeds.

Trying to get hold of slips it is not easy and it’t not cheap. As they are hard to come by. Possibly because it is not known and not made popular. I found out about this as I have been reading James Wong’s gardening books. James Wong is a UK based experimental gardener whom grew different variety of unusual homegrown edibles. A great read I must say. I grew them with some compost manure and grow like crazy the summer season.

Come late autumn the leaves and stems starts to die back. The skirret roots are ready for harvesting. Although they have grown quite tall over the summer. I didn’t have much root and I decided to leave them on the ground this year.I have also split the skirret into two and more in spring. this so as to encourage more plants to grow.

Eating them
I have tasted them and they have sweetness in them. That is why they such a popular rooted vegetable in Tudor times. As sugar is very expensive them. They are great in salads use them like radish and spring onions. I have eaten raw and they aste good. No nned to peel the roots just clean them throughly. I have not tried making them into a gratin. Apprently they are good in gratin. I will try them next year when I have more crops.
growing and harvesting skirret

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