This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol4", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
This European biennial belongs to the Dandelion and Chicory family, and is valued for its fleshy tapering tap roots (fig. 514). The leaves are long, straight, and narrow, greyish-green, with a whitish midrib. The flower heads are violet.
The soil should be deeply dug or trenched, and contain a fair supply of humus. Seeds are sown in March or April, in drills about 1 in. deep and 1 ft. apart, and the seedlings are thinned out to 4, 6, or 8 in. apart, the last-named distance being best as a rule. During the season the hoe should be used between the rows and the plants, especially in dry periods. The roots will be fit for lifting in October and November, and may be stored in dry sand or soil during the winter months until wanted for use. The skin is yellowish but the flesh is white. When scraped and boiled, and served up with melted butter, etc, they make a good dish. There are a few varieties of Salsafy grown for market, among the best being Giant French Mammoth and the Mammoth Sandwich Island.
Fig. 514. - Salsafy (Tragopogon porrtfolius).