Burnet, sometimes known as salad burnet, is an evergreen hardy perennial and an often neglected, versatile herb. It grows to around 30cm in height, forming an attractive clump, and is happy in sun or partial shade, in all types of soils, in the ground or in a container on the patio.
Sow: your salad burnet seeds direct, in shallow drills, as soon as the ground warms in Spring, or early Summer. Alternatively, sow in pots under cover at any time of year and lightly cover with a sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Carefully transplant pot grown plants when large enough to handle, being careful to minimise root disturbance.
Aftercare: Salad burnet needs very little looking after and can even withstand periods of drought.
Harvest: young leaves have the best flavour, so cut the plant back regularly to encourage new growth. Removing the flower heads will also improve flavour.
The delicate leaves, which have a tasty cucumber flavour, are delicious in everything from refreshing summer drinks, herb butters, sandwiches and salads. They can also add flavour to soups, sauces and vinegars. As an evergreen perennial, burnet is particularly useful in winter.
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