Approximately 1200 seeds per gram. Lot# SO14501 Rumex acetosa Sorrel De Belleville is a small French cultivar with pale-green leaves to 8cm (3”) long. Sorrel averages 30-48cm (12-18”) tall with a spread of 30-48cm (12-18”) wide. It is a hardy, fast growing cultivar and well-proven to be productive under almost any conditions. Sorrel was gathered from the wild until the late 1600s, when French gardeners decided to bring it under cultivation to improve the flavour and texture of the leaves. The oldest cultivated sorrel is ‘Belleville,’ domesticated in France during the 1730's. Very easy to grow, it produces clumps of pale green leaves. It is best to harvest leaves when the plant is more mature after gaining their characteristic and desired acidity and flavour. The lemony tang of sorrel makes a great addition to salads. As the leaves get bigger they can be cooked like spinach and used in soups, sauces and risottos. Heating sorrel dulls the taste a little, so you can afford to be more generous with the leaves if you are going to cook them. The plant should be productive between 8 and 10 years.
Sorrel seeds are tiny and they are best sown 5mm (¼”) deep in rows. Lightly water the base of the rows, sow the seeds thinly inside, and cover with soil. Space the rows 45cm (18”) apart. Once the seedlings have germinated, thin to 30cm (12”) apart. Can be started indoors 1-2 weeks before your last frost. Use small pots and sow seeds 5mm (¼”) deep, covering lightly with soil. Keep in greenhouse or under lights and transplant to garden in late spring.
Soil Conditions: Well worked, rich, loose, and well-drained soil. Ideal pH: 5.5-6.8
Planting Depth: Sow seeds 5mm (¼) deep.
Germination: 5 -7 days.
Height at Maturity: Plants reach 30cm (12”) tall. Spread of 30-48cm (12-18”) wide.
Days to Maturity: The tender, young basal leaves are the best ones to pick for culinary purposes as they are less bitter than the course, older foliage. To guarantee a constant supply of young leaves, lightly harvest the plants on a regular basis throughout the main growing season. For the best flavour, use them on the same day, although they can be frozen.
Watering: Plants require about 2.5cm (1”) of water per week. Allow water to completely soak the soil 15-20cm (6-8”) deep. This will ensure good growth, whether they are grown in single hills or wide rows. The amount of rain that falls during the week will help supplement how much you should water your garden. Soil should remain moist. Sorrel plants do not like it hot and dry. Potted plants will always need more watering and feeding than those in the ground.
Sun/Shade: Full Sun-partial shade.
Spacing after Thinning: Space transplants 30cm (12”) apart.
Additional Information The lemony tang of sorrel makes a great addition to salads. As the leaves get bigger they can be cooked like spinach and used in soups, sauces and risottos. Heating sorrel dulls the taste a little, so you can afford to be more generous with the leaves if you are going to cook them. If you've never used sorrel, begin by adding it to your potato soup or gratin. Just sauté three or four large handfuls of chopped leaves in a bit of butter until they 'melt.' The melting quality makes sorrel a fantastic central ingredient in sauces for fish and veal. Your guests will wonder what the mystery ingredient is that gives that sauce such an intriguing tang. Sorrel is one of those leafy greens (like spinach) whose culinary values depend in good part on their oxalic-acid content which is what gives them their distinctive tart flavour. Most people need not be concerned about oxalic-acid but those with certain conditions such as kidney disease, kidney stones, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout, do need to be careful. The high acid content of the leaves also means that the flavour can be impaired if they are cooked in aluminum or cast iron pans. Use stainless steel utensils and cookware while cooking sorrel.