Gardening

How to plant levistically

Levisticum officinale

The levístico is a perennial plant similar to celery or celery, which can reach more than two meters in height. The whole plant can be used for food, the leaves being eaten raw or cooked like celery, or used as seasoning, and can be used in place of parsley or parsley, although its flavor is stronger. The seeds (actually nuts containing the seeds) are similar to the seeds of fennel and cumin, and can be used in breads, sweets, cookies and as a spice. The roots, on the other hand, have a very strong flavor, but can also be eaten raw or cooked, and when dried and grated they can be used as a condiment. This plant is also used for various medicinal purposes.

Climate

Leviticus is a plant that grows best with temperatures ranging between 15 ° C and 30 ° C, but can also be grown in colder climates, where the aerial part of the plant dies in winter and is reborn in spring. This plant can withstand light frosts.

Brightness

This plant can be grown in direct sunlight or in partial shade.

Ground

The soil must be well drained, deep, fertile and rich in organic matter. Leviticus grows best in soils with a pH between 6 and 7, but is quite tolerant in terms of pH and soil type.

Irrigation

Irrigate frequently so that the soil is always kept moist.

Planting

Leviticus can be grown from seeds or by dividing well-developed plants. The seeds, which do not remain viable for a long time, can be sown directly in the final location or they can be sown in sows, small pots or cups made of newsprint approximately 10 cm high and 5 cm in diameter, but no more than than 5 mm in depth. Levistic seedlings can be transplanted when they are large enough to be handled. Seed germination can take one to four weeks.

The spacing between plants can usually be 60 cm to 75 cm.

Cultivation

Remove invasive plants that are competing for resources and nutrients.

In contact with the skin, the sap of the plant can cause phytophotodermatosis in some people, so wear gloves to protect your hands when handling or cutting the plant, especially on sunny days.

Harvest

A light harvest of leaves can be done in the first year in home gardens, but the ideal is that the harvest is done only from the second year of planting, when the plants are better developed. The leaves are usually used fresh, but can also be left to dry in a well-ventilated place, then can be stored for use as a condiment.

Fruits or seeds can be harvested when they are turning brown. Cut the umbrellas and let them finish drying on a cloth or a suitable size container, to facilitate the collection of the seeds (dried fruits) that come off.

The plants become woody from the fourth year of life and must then be renewed. Taking advantage of the fact that the plants need to be uprooted, the roots are harvested. Pieces of the plants containing roots and shoots can be used to propagate the levistic and renew the plantation.

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