Burdock, Okinawa Long (Organic)
A variety originating in Okinawa, an island of southern Japan. The people of Okinawa are known for their long lives and health, which burdock is believed to play a part. Often cooked in soups or pickled, it is known for its healing properties and high vitamin content. The burdock root’s ability to penetrate heavy clay subsoil can help improve drainage, but be careful – once burdock is in your garden, it is difficult to get it out. Given to The Seed Ambassadors Project in 2006 by the proprietors of Urtegartneriet, a small Danish biodynamic seed company.
Burdock is a great choice for winter gardens in the pacific Northwest. Direct sow April through June in rows that are 12” apart. Thin to 6″ in row. Harvest in autumn through the following spring for large roots. Burdock needs good deep soil to form its characteristic high quality roots. Only moderate fertility and water is needed, however too much neglect will give you low quality roots.
Seeds are produced in the second year and are ready when they are dry and seed heads begin to shatter. Save seed from at least 20 high quality plants (to avoid inbreeding). We recommend caution when seed saving for burdock. It can become a weed in the garden, the burrs (the inspiration for velcro) stick to everything, and have little hairs that irritate the skin. Isolate from other varieties of the same species by ½ mile.