Cultivation of Valerianella or Soncino

Valerian is a salad widely grown in home gardens because it has good cold hardiness and possibly it is also good under cold tunnel or greenhouse, so it is an excellent crop for the winter months, it can also be easily grown on the terrace of the balcony garden and is very simple as a vegetable.

The plant belongs to the valerian family, there are more than 150 species of valerian. What is grown as a cut lettuce is known by different names depending on the region, the most common are valerian, soncino or songino and its scientific name is locusta valerian. It is not the officinal plant (valeriana officinalis) that causes sleepiness and for this reason it is also used in homeopathy or by naturopaths.

Sow the song in the garden

Climate and relief. Valerianella seeds germinate up to temperatures above 15°C, it is a plant that resists cold well and is therefore grown practically all year round. Since the soil is an undemanding plant, it is also content with residual fertility, without the need for additional fertilizing.

Sow. Sowing is possible throughout the year, avoiding the winter months, and can take place directly in the ground. If you want to grow these cut vegetables for home consumption, it is best to plant them every two to three weeks so that you always have a fresh salad available. It can be sown by sowing, by throwing the seeds in the garden or in the pot or even sown in rows, facilitating the work of weeding. In this case, the recommended planting height is 5/6 cm between seedlings and 25 cm between rows.

How to grow valerian

Cultivated. Other than keeping the surrounding soil free of weeds and possibly watering it during dry periods, the soncino requires no other measures.

Collection . Songino can be harvested by cutting the leaves within an inch of the neck, that way more harvests can be made. Harvest time depends on when the lettuce is planted.

Use in the kitchen. Valerian or soncino is a great salad to eat fresh, but you can also cook it like herbs or spinach if you like. It is a plant rich in interesting properties, so much so that it is a close relative of a plant listed among the medicinal herbs, and is best known for its calming properties.

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