Enjoy this versatile and increasingly popular vegetable as salad leaves when young, or when more mature, the leaves can be steamed and used like spinach. The broad, white stems can be chopped and cooked like celery or used to add crunch to salads and stir fries.
Sow seed thinly, 1cm (½in) deep in drills 30cm (12in) apart. Sow ‘little and often’ for a continuous supply. Cloche later sowings for harvesting into December.
Thin seedlings to 23cm (9in) apart for ‘midi’ plants or 30cm (12in) for mature plants. Thinnings are suitable for using in salads. Water summer sowings regularly to prevent bolting (running to seed). Harvest stems as required, picking only a few from each plant at a time.