Skirret – An Thrilling Choice for a Perennial Vegetable Backyard?


After a few seasons of being a lesser vegetable gardener than I as soon as was, I’ve lastly come to phrases with what I have to do with the unique vegetable patch.

Do away with it.

I not need or want a vegetable backyard as we frequently consider them. These are locations that contain a variety of seasonal work and which require me to be current, to keep up it, from spring to fall.

I need to journey in the summertime. Irrigation in my patch is tough, and I’m bored with the in depth hoses and pipes that want an excessive amount of upkeep. And once I develop greens, I usually find yourself with far more than I would like – which is one other chore I don’t need.

Vegetable backyard overproduction causes me new stress. Methods to give all of it away quick sufficient? And easy methods to protect it after which use it later? (I merely can’t throw away good meals).

These are issues which can be joyful – but in addition burdensome. I would like none of that recently. Principally I would like simply ease and simply sufficient.

This yr I planted three tomato vegetation and two peppers and I did a poor job of sustaining them in patio pots – in order that they didn’t produce effectively. And nonetheless, it was greater than sufficient. In truth, I believe I may need taken larger pleasure within the small handful of tomatoes that I harvested than the massive bowls full that I as soon as did. (Or not less than simply as a lot.)

skirret in beds
Sium sisarum, generally often called skirret, is a perennial plant native to Europe and Asia. It belongs to the Apiaceae household and has edible roots much like carrots or parsnips. Skirret has been cultivated for hundreds of years and is valued for its candy, nutty taste.

Leaning right into a Perennial Vegetable Backyard

Within the absence of orderly. greens I’ve come to hate the disorderly mess that the previous veg patch has develop into. I don’t discover satisfaction in paths which can be laden with weeds. However I believe the backyard itself has proven me what I have to do.

For a few years, the strawberries had been allowed to develop as they wished, and consequently, I bought bushels of berries within the early summer season. Along with the strawberries, sooner or later, I planted an apple tree, and horseradish, potatoes, thyme, tarragon, and strolling onions. These are there and persisting and producing all on their very own.

These vegetation don’t require me to plant within the spring, stake them, water them excessively (or in any respect) or any of the opposite myriad backyard chores…and they’re thriving. That is working for my life-style.

I’m impressed to proceed to transform this space to extra of those perennial and low upkeep meals vegetation and to change my complete outlook on vegetable rising. It’s, as at all times, an experimental mission.

I’d love to listen to ideas of what to develop that matches into my new standards.

A lush garden corner with a variety of green plants, including leafy greens, skirret, and small white flowers. The plants are growing in a raised wooden bed, surrounded by a wooden lattice fence, providing a serene and verdant outdoor space.
The beautiful white umbel flowers of Skirret develop in a backyard with sedum. picture by Emma Doughty

Plant Necessities for a Low-Upkeep Perennial Vegetable Backyard:

  1. Perennial or reliably self-sowing however not rampant or aggressive.
  2. Tasty and culinarily attention-grabbing.
  3. Low upkeep (which means no staking or fertilizing required and by no means needing particular consideration to maintain it wholesome in my local weather).
  4. Principally unbothered by deer, woodchucks, or different animals.
  5. All the higher whether it is stunning.
skirret flowers. An Exciting Option for your  Low Maintenance Perennial Vegetable Garden? by @vixgardening
Skirret, also referred to as Sium sisarum, is a perennial plant with candy, carrot-like roots. It’s native to Europe and Asia and has been cultivated for hundreds of years for its edible roots. Skirret is straightforward to develop and can be utilized in soups, stews, or roasted as a tasty and nutritious vegetable. by @vixgardening

Skirret – Sium Sisarum

In wanting round for vegetation to experiment with and fill within the backyard, I simply got here throughout Skirret. Latin: Sium sisarum.

From Unimaginable Vegetable:

“Skirrets are a hardy perennial root vegetable with skinny parsnip kind roots.  Skirrets may be grown from seed or from buying a crown or root offset…which gives you a head begin. One sowing is all you want and you’ll gather your individual seed and divide up your individual vegetation as soon as established.”

Unimaginable Vegetable:

skirret roots (edible)
Skirret Roots are identified to be very candy.

After which there may be this from The Telegraph:

“Unfussy in most soils, proof against illness and relishing frost, this candy, white root’s downfall was progress. “It’s simply not a business crop,” explains Marc Meltonville, meals historian at Historic Royal Palaces. Comparatively low-yield, fiddly to reap and fiddlier to arrange, poor little skirret’s pleasant however skinny roots had been overtaken by daring, brash, industrial-scale potatoes and parsnips. Dainty and delicate, skirret’s loss to the business world is a present to the house gardener.

Native to China, skirret arrived in Europe throughout classical instances, in all probability delivered to the British Isles by the Romans. It featured in monastic gardens, however grew to become standard in medieval instances and was used loads in Tudor cookery.”

– The Telegraph

Plus the tops look loads like dill or carrots with umbilifer heads that I really like in a bouquet. I’m wondering what their vase life is like?

Have you ever grown it?  Cooked with it?  All I can discover are recipes on Wikipedia from Tudor instances – which is form of cool (okay, actually cool), however I’d love to search out some modern-day innovations.


I discovered this on instagram (by neladible)

I’m wondering Why was it dropped? Additionally – I discovered a reference that many Tudor Period cookbooks and recipes usually use skirret.

The place to Purchase Skirret and Be taught Extra:

See Wiki for Sium sisarum (Skirret).

Photographs from Mandy Barber at  Unimaginable Greens (in UK – the place seeds can be found). 

Within the USA seeds, you could possibly buy from Fedco. 

Skirret seeds, also referred to as Sium sisarum seeds may be planted in well-drained soil and can produce edible tubers after a number of months of progress. Skirret seeds are a singular addition to any backyard.

skirret flowers - a low maintenance perennial vegetable garden

Reclaiming the Vegetable patch. A simple makeover.