Red-veined sorrel is a healthy alternative used in contemporary cuisine. Its young, bright green leaf is round and has a decorative red vein and stem. It adds a deliciously lush acidity to trendy salads and is also perfect to use as a garnish. Mature leaves have a lanceolate shape and can be used in mashes, soups or as substitute for spinach. Cut the leaves right above the ground. This stimulates the growth of new leaves. It is best not to harvest leaves that are rather old, for these will taste substantially more acidic and can even become a tad bitter.
For the harvest of young, tender and bright green leaves, red-veined sorrel is best grown as baby leaves by sowing with a high density (20x2 cm). For baby leaf cultivation, it is necessary to repeat sowing each year. Do keep in mind the slow germination and development of the plant: Red-veined sorrel develops significantly slower than garden patience. However, once the crop starts growing, it becomes particularly productive. Red-veined sorrel thrives in all kinds of soil, but doesn’t do well in extreme heat nor with drought.
Red-veined sorrel can also be grown as a hardy perennial. For perennial cultivation, use a wider planting space (20x20 cm) and let the crop mature, with the first harvest at the end of the summer. In the second year, leaves can be harvested in spring. In case a plant starts to flower, cut off these stems, for these often give chewy leaves. If the crop still bolts, cut if off at its base so that young leaves will start growing again in autumn.
Direct sowing: April-July
Plant spacing: 20x2 cm
Soil: Suitable for all types of soil