Growing Samphire successfully is all about creating an idyllic environment. Found naturally on salt marshes and tidal flats in the UK, Samphire is a coastal plant and thrives off the high salinity of the water. As the largest grower of Samphire in the UK, we have perfected our process over a number of years, ensuring we get the perfect balance of salinity and nutrients for optimum growth.
In this blog post, discover more about how we grow this delicious Sea Vegetable!
1. Time to Prepare
We start preparing for the Samphire season just before spring when growth is at its best. Our first step in the process is about getting the soil ready. We cultivate it by subsoiling, which gives an even sowing bed. Subsoiling involves loosening and breaking up soil deep below the surface.
Soil health is vital to the success of growing Samphire. Subsoiling not only decreases compression but also increase root aeration and gives space for water to drain. This all means that Samphire can access the nutrients more easily and, therefore, grow successfully.
2. Sow the seed
Of course, no seeds, no Samphire! Even distribution of the seeds is key; we ensure that Samphire has enough room to grow. As Samphire loves a warm, sunny environment, we grow our Samphire in our glasshouses which also keeps the crops at a consistent temperature.
Samphire takes up to 40 days to grow, where bright green stalks will sprout to around 7cm tall.
As mentioned, growing Samphire is about getting the right balance of salinity and nutrients. That’s why, during the growing process, we taste the Samphire to decide whether to add more or less salt to our irrigation water. Paying such close attention allows us to adjust our feed as necessary.
Here at Westlands UK, we pride ourselves on having environmentally-friendly growing methods. We harvest as much rainwater as we can from the roofs of our glasshouses. It then goes through a thorough filtering and cleaning process using both UV or ozone before being used to irrigate our Samphire.
You can read more about our sustainable growing here.
Our Samphire is usually ready to be harvested by late April or May. At this point, it is deliciously crisp with a succulent salty bite, making it a perfect accompaniment to a range of seafood dishes. Eaten raw or, most commonly, cooked, we taste-test every batch to ensure we are growing you consistently great Samphire.
For recipe inspiration, check out our recipe cards here.
Order your Samphire here.