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In Russia, sorrel has come a long way from a common weed to the "king of spring". He earned the title for his early appearance and help in the fight against vitamin deficiency.
But we need vitamins all year round, so it is important to keep it fresh for as long as possible and collect it correctly for harvesting. Indeed, in winter, such a blank will become an indispensable ingredient for preparing various dishes.
This article describes in detail when sorrel is harvested and how to properly preserve it at home in the form of a burnout.
When can you cut it?
If you sow sorrel in the spring, then about 60 days after germination there is a chance to harvest the first crop. Don't wait until the plant is fully mature. You can determine that the leaves are ready for cutting by their length.... It should be in the region of 7-10 cm. It is important to be in time before the appearance of flowering shoots, since with their formation the concentration of oxalic acid harmful to humans will increase sharply.
In its natural environment, the "king of spring" grows in fields and floodplain meadows, forests, along the banks of rivers and lakes. Wild sorrel bears fruit from May until autumn. Its seedlings are easy to find as soon as the snow melts. And after 3 weeks, the leaves will already be edible.
What is the best collection time? It is better to collect healthy greens in the morning or in the evening. It is especially good to choose the time after watering or rain. During this period, it is juicier, since it is maximally saturated with moisture.
In its natural environment, the plant is recommended to be harvested for fresh consumption until the end of July: later the foliage coarsens and becomes less useful.
How to carry out the procurement correctly?
How to cut correctly from the garden? Sorrel leaves together with petioles must be carefully cut off with scissors, a sharp knife or pruning shears. It is necessary to start with the extreme ones. If you nevertheless decide to collect by hand, do not pull on the sheets: this way you can uproot the plant. Be careful not to damage the growth buds. It is better not to touch small leaves: let them grow further... Choose the largest, most beautiful and crunchy ones, and leave the old ones to feed the plant.
When collecting whole sorrel, do not pull it out. He is a perennial, and the buds are on the roots. It is better to cut it off as the leaves grow at a height of 3-4 cm from the ground. They stop collecting greens a month before the onset of frost.
To prepare seeds, do not cut leaves from 2-3 sorrel bushes. They should bloom. This usually occurs in mid-May. By the second half of July, the inflorescences will darken and turn brown. Then it's time to start harvesting.
- Cut off the panicles of the inflorescences.
- Tie in bunches and dry for 10 days.
- Rub the dried inflorescences between your palms into dust.
Seeds remain suitable for germination for 4 years... If the material is collected from a hybrid sorrel, the qualities of the mother plant will not be preserved.
For drying, the leaves are harvested in the same way as for fresh consumption. Then they need to be sorted out. Remove spoiled, withered and yellowed leaves, tear off the stems.
If you plan to use an electric dryer, then rinse the greens thoroughly. Then you need to let the water drain. To do this, simply spread the sorrel on a towel.
When the plant is air-dried, no pre-wash is required.... Simply form bundles and arrange them under a canopy in a ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight - the greens will lose color from them.
Features of collection in the forest
Wild sorrel contains about 4 times more ascorbic acid than cultivated one. The main difficulty in collecting it is that it grows most often alone. Therefore, the process of "hunting" can be very long.
Also, do not expect large leaves from the wild form and do not postpone a trip to nature for a long time. After all the most delicious wild sorrel is in spring.
To make your search successful, consider the species of wild sorrel, and where each of them lives.
|Common sorrel||It has spear-shaped leaves and red-green inflorescences. It can reach a height of 60 cm.||Inhabits meadows, forest edges and clearings.|
|Small sorrel||It has small, spear-like leaves. They grow at right angles. Inflorescences are red.||Prefers open spaces: meadows and fields.|
|Curly sorrel||Differs in "curliness" due to the wrinkled edges of the leaves. It has annular green inflorescences.||Grows on the banks of reservoirs and the sides of crops.|
|Horse sorrel||Its leaves are oval-triangular. It can grow up to 120 cm.||Selects floodplain meadows, places along roads, river and lake banks.|
|Coastal sorrel||It has sharp large leaves, slightly wavy at the edges. It can be up to 2 meters high.||Loves moist soil on the banks of water bodies.|
Unfortunately, in order to collect wild-growing varieties, you will have to leave as far away from civilization as possible, otherwise the plant may do more harm than good.
Provided that the sorrel was planted in early spring, it will yield 3-5 times before the fall. Moreover, the collection interval is only 20-25 days. If the sowing was done in the summer months or in winter, then the greens should be expected only the next year. To constantly have the "king of spring" on your table, plant it several times: in early spring, summer and late autumn.
To make sorrel produce more tasty leaves, remove the flower stalks. You can also thin out the bushes by reducing the number of female plants. However, you cannot get rid of them completely.
Also, if you want to harvest a good harvest, change the sowing place every 4 years.
It is easy to grow sorrel indoors all year round. In this case, it is not necessary to initially breed it on the windowsill. In early September, carefully dig up the plant, cut off the leaves and store in the basement, sprinkle with earth. Plant it in a pot at the beginning of winter.
How to save the cut?
Freshly cut sorrel leaves are not intended for long-term storage.... Therefore, try to either eat them immediately or process them. This way you can store more nutrients.
To extend the life of fresh sorrel, you need to prepare the plant accordingly.
In a glass container
Features of storage in a glass container:
- Rinse the leaves in a container of water.
- Blot them with a paper towel.
- Leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
- Place the sorrel in a glass container with a plastic lid.
- Store your sorrel on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator.
In the package
- Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth. Never wash.
- Blot with a towel and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Place the leaves in a plastic bag.
- Punch a few holes in it to allow air circulation.
- Place the package on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
These simple steps will keep your greens fresh for several weeks.
There are many options for using sorrel throughout the year. Not surprisingly, many gardeners love this plant. The main thing is not to miss the collection time and make the blanks..