llaz(z6 ma)February 16, 2008

Anybody have experience growing agretti? I've found a fair amount of information online, but it would be great to hear from someone who's actually grown it. I'd like to give it a try this year. I garden in coastal Massachusetts. Can it be grown in normal garden soil? When is the best time to plant it?


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I can't help with your request, since I've never heard of this plant before your post. However, it intrigued me enough that I looked it up. Thought I'd post this link here for others who might be wondering what it is:

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 5:23PM
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I was intrigued by Agretti enough last year to buy seeds. But then the rest of the garden took over and I never got it in. From what I understand it does not need saline soil but thrives in it. It does grow in CT and MA according to the vendor in MA I got my unused seeds from.

There are several variations of saltwort. Agretti appears different than the wild version on our sand dunes here and different from this Japanese Salsola

Here is a link that might be useful: Okahijiki (Land Seaweed)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 4:45AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Funny, both Scheepers and Johnny's offered Okahijiki for the first time this year and I ordered some. Johnny's tip was to harvest when young to avoid the plant getting woody.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 6:46AM
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bmckay(Z5b MA)

Agretti (salsola sola, aka roscana, barba di frati, etc) does best if direct seeded in the spring, probably about the same time as you would start lettuce, beets, etc. 2-3 seeds every six or seven inches, thin to one. It is pretty slow growing at first (seedling looks kind of like a piece of broken stick) but once it gets going it does fine. It will not germinate when temperatures are really hot (say mid 80's or above). By then, however, the seed is usually no good; it only remains viable for seven or eight months after harvesting, so use it up the year you get it.

The Italian type, at least, you can allow to get fairly large (10" tall or so); in Italy they usually harvest the entire plant, root & all. It tastes pretty good, kind of like a mild beet green with a little salt.

Bill McKay

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 7:21AM
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