French sorrel is an evergreen perennial herb that mainly grows in the northern hemisphere. However, various species of this herb are cultivated almost everywhere in the world. It has fleshy green leaves which are edible and are primarily used in salads or as a substitute for cooked spinach. These leaves taste mildly sour, with a taste and aroma of lemon. Sorrel leaves have the best taste and texture when harvested young, as these plants grow, the leaves become and hard and taste bitter.
- Pruning saw
Get the seeds
The first step in growing a French sorrel at home is to buy good quality seeds from the nearest nursery.
Decide the location
French sorrel grows best in moist, well drained soil mix, in a sunny to partially sunny location. If you are planting an annual sorrel, you do not need to think much about the temperature zone; however, perennial sorrels grow only in mild climates (hardiness zones 5 to 9), where the soil does not experience frost in winters. Make sure you use an iron rich compost to plant French sorrel.
Sow the seeds
The best time to sow sorrel seeds is early spring. Sow the seeds directly in the soil, about an inch deep, keeping a space of at least one foot between two seeds. The average germination time of sorrel seeds is 7 to 10 days. If you had not considered spacing when sowing seeds, thin the seedlings once they sprout.
Water the plant regularly
French sorrel thrives best in moist (not overly wet) soil, so keep the compost well watered. If you will not water the plant adequately, its leaves would be less juicy and hard.
Fertilize the plants properly
Feed your plants with the right balance of organic fertilizer when it starts growing again in spring.
You can harvest French sorrel any time after the first two months of spring growth. It is recommended you harvest these leaves every one or two weeks during the growing season. This plant keeps on producing new foliage all through the summer.
Prune your French sorrel regularly, cutting flower stalks or buds to make sure your plant continues to produce fresh, succulent leaves.