Unusual Vegetables to Grow at Your Allotment


Salsify is a new name on me however, it was commonly grown going back to the Victorian era; similar to a parsnip in looks but it is also known as the Oyster Plant due to it's similar flavour after being cooked. It can be easier to grow than parsnips and carrots, although it can take a while for the seeds to germinate. It is grown as a root vegetable and it's in actual fact part of the dandelion family.

A really versitile vegetable that can be roasted, boiled, mashed - it has a subtle flavour with a thick skin and creamy flesh just like a parsnip.  The amazing thing about this particular vegetable is the absolutely beautiful flowers it produces - well worth growing if only for those! AND you can eat the green shoots!


Also known as 'Black Salsify' has a tough, dark skin which is inedible.  Obviously taste is down to the individual however it's widely said that this one is stronger and tastier than that of the salsify and parsnip - some say similar to artichoke.

Scorzonera plants can grow a few metres high and produces beautiful yellow flowers; again worth it for those alone! Again, they are grown like a root vegetable in well drained soil with depth for growth to produce the parnsip - pencil like shape to harvest. They need little attention whilst growing; keeping weed-free and watered during hot, dry weather.  Alike other root vegetables and salsify, they can be left in the ground to lift as required; benefitting from a frost.



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