Posted on 13 December 2011 by

How to Grow a Unique Salad Green-Purslane

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

The other day I was watching a cooking show and saw a chef creating a salad made from purslane.

How funny this seemed to me that people were watching a chef create a salad from a plant that is viewed as a weed or at least viewed as a weed in North America.

Purslane in other areas of the world, such as the Mediterranean, central Europe and Asian countries, is welcomed to the dinner table as a potherb without much fanfare.

But recently, it has resurfaced as a “power food of the future” since it was found to contain omegas and other nutrients.

Purslane is a trailing, annual herb, which grows from both seeds and starts. This plant will grow practically anywhere and will root anywhere the stem touches the soil.

The planting process starts in April to August, depending on your local frost-free date. Remember though, that this plant will only grow 3 inches in height and can spread to 12 to 18-inches. When choosing a location for your purslane keep in mind that the perfect location is a sunny spot on sandy soil but it will practically grow anywhere.

Planting purslane is very easy and only requires one to sprinkle the seed on top of the soil, gently pressing it in, and watering in. This seed is so small do not bother covering with soil. Keep the soil evenly moist until the seedlings germinate. Once the seedlings have germinated and are about 2 inches in height, it is time to harvest. Purslane is best used when it is young and sweet.

If planting in a container, make sure that the opening of the container is at least 12 inches in diameter. Fill the container with an all-purpose potting soil and plant as above.

To harvest purslane, simply cut down to the ground level. This herb can come back up from the roots and can be reseeded two to three times for successive harvests.

If you do not want to eat purslane, still consider growing it for its ecstatic beauty and its ability to condition the soil. Purslane grows on stems that start out green and then turn reddish brown with age. The flowers consist of five yellow petals that protect little black seeds.

This herb is also used as a rotation crop that brings up soil nutrients and protects plants from many different types of insects.

So until we blog again, remember what is one man’s or woman’s weed is another ones dinner.

One Response to “How to Grow a Unique Salad Green-Purslane”

  1. What is Purslane? Says:

    […] was reminded of how much I like purslane by Mindy McIntosh-Shetter post on Urban Garden Casual, a blog I read regularly. Mindy’s article discusses how easy it is to grow […]

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