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Sorrel

 
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I planted sorrel several times before it finally decided to cooperate. I think it's 2 years old.  I have read I should divide it after about 3 years.  Most say to divide it in the winter when it's dormant.
Soooo. My sorrel is in a raised bed that is 4'X4'. It pretty much taking up 1/4 of the bed maybe it's 3 years, but I really think 2.. Dormant? Not in my neck of the woods. It grows year round.

Should I divide it now?  I don't want to kill it.  It is definitely taking over, and I wouldn't mind reducing it. Plus I have a friend who would like a piece of it.
Thanks
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Sorrel
Sorrel
 
pollinator
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Looks like yours has reach the stage of comfrey equivalence: You should always have it now, and all you need to do is make sure it doesn't go where you don't want it. Give lots away to friends and make sure they understand this quality.

It grows just about year round here as well and I don't let it grow in the garden beds anymore. There are enough plants in the paths to keep us (and the chooks) in sorrel for the long term. I also keep an eye on the flower stalks and lop those off before they set seed. That's how you keep it more or less contained.
 
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My advice would be to take off a chunk, with as much root as possible, clip the top so it doesn't have to support the greenery while it's trying to re-establish it's root system, and water it as needed.

As an aside, most plants will tell you they need dividing by the development of a dead zone in the middle, so if you see that it's definitely time to divide.
 
Jen Fulkerson
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This bed is only about 8"? Deep. There's weed cloth under it. Would it be best to see if I can lift the entire plant, divide, and replant? Or should I use a spade to break off a section?  I haven't ever divided anything before, so I don't really know what I'm doing.
Thanks
 
Andie Carter
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Either way would work. The benefit of leaving most of it while breaking off a section is that if you're nervous about the survival of the transplanted portion, you'll still have the mother plant. But you can totally also just dig out the whole thing, trying to keep the rootball as intact as possible (until you break it)
 
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This thread has given me a few jobs for tomorrow. I've got 2 clumps of green sorrel and 4 of the red variety. Ima Gunnar pot some up to rotate through the poultry yard as well as under a couple of fruit trees.  
Thanks for the suggestions.
 
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Jen, here's some good information here   https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-grow-sorrel-4121351  with just what you need to know for dividing your plant. I would love to have some in my yard. How near are you to Grass Valley?  
 
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I got mine from seed.  Go to your local farm and garden store; I'm sure they would carry it.  I just sprinkled it out back and voila--sorrel!  

Denise Cares wrote:Jen, here's some good information here   https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-grow-sorrel-4121351  with just what you need to know for dividing your plant. I would love to have some in my yard. How near are you to Grass Valley?  

 
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Winter (now) is probably the best time to divide. My experience is that at this point your plant is VERY hearty so you can probably slice some chunks off  just about any time. If you have a turf knife or something similar (hori hori?) you can get a few cuttings from the outer edges  (careful so as not to cut through your landscape fabric).  then as earlier suggested, remove a lot of the  foliage from the cut off parts when you put the starts where you want them.

My issue is figuring out what to do with so much sorrel: it is delicious, but only in small amounts, for my tastes.
 
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I do not mean to hijack this thread, but figured it might be an appropriate spot to ask the question.

How much sorrel is 'reasonable' to plant for individual use? Do you only keep the one plant Jen? I'm thinking of getting some seeds.
 
Barbara Simoes
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One plant is more than enough for me.  There is some sort of substance in sorrel that you don't want to have too much of, as it can lead to kidney stones.  In small amounts, it's not an issue, and I believe, if you cook it, that makes it a non-issue.  I'm drawing a blank on its name, but I'm sure you could google it.  It will continue to push out leaves throughout the season, but springtime, when there aren't maybe a lot of choices, is when you'll really want a bit.
 
Barbara Simoes
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I just did a quick search:

It is also high in Vitamin A and potassium and is a good source of iron. However, sorrel contains very high amounts of oxalic acid — that's what makes the veggie seem tart — which can be bad news for those who are prone to kidney stones (most kidney stones are made up of calcium oxalate).


 
Andie Carter
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Denise Cares wrote:Jen, here's some good information here   https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-grow-sorrel-4121351  with just what you need to know for dividing your plant. I would love to have some in my yard. How near are you to Grass Valley?  



That's an article talking about a very different sorrel, Oxalis vs this garden sorrel, which is in the Rumex genus. Very different growth habit, not related at all, though they do both taste sour due to the oxalic acid in them.
 
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Division of all perennials is best done in Fall, when the plants are going dormant, or in very early Spring before the leaves start erupting (that is, when the crowns are just in bud).   You may get away with doing it at other times but, if the plant already has extended leaves, cut ALL the leaves back to the base when doing so.  Roots cannot establish themselves at the same time as putting on leaf growth, so you will have losses or less vigorous establishment.
 
Jen Fulkerson
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Wow thanks everyone.

Actually I'm not that far from Grass Valley. I will PM you when I get it divided up, and see if it's worth the drive for you.

I have this one bunch of sorrel. I can't say if it's one plant, I planted seeds. I think a few came up.  We don't eat much of it. It's one of those things that we put into dishes, like stir fry, and scrambled egg. Adding it when we can to make what we are eating more healthy.  I never worry about waist because I have chickens, and they are happy to eat extra, and pest damage leaves. Plus one of my coworkers is crazy about it, she is always happy to talk some off my hands.

I do have a Hori hori. I got it for Christmas and haven't used it yet.  I will be careful not to puncture the weed cloth. Though I plan on making this bed a hugel beet sooner or later.

Thanks
 
Denise Cares
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Andie Carter wrote:

Denise Cares wrote:Jen, here's some good information here   https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-grow-sorrel-4121351  with just what you need to know for dividing your plant. I would love to have some in my yard. How near are you to Grass Valley?  



That's an article talking about a very different sorrel, Oxalis vs this garden sorrel, which is in the Rumex genus. Very different growth habit, not related at all, though they do both taste sour due to the oxalic acid in them.



Andie, don't ask me how it happens that when one clicks on the link I posted above it opens to a very different page about "How to Get Rid of Wood Sorrel" which is an invasive grass with a small yellow flower!  That is NOT what I linked to. Even the web page url//and number of the article are different. I can't figure out or explain how it can cross-over by just clicking on the link! Very strange electronic voodoo...dooodoo..doodoo!! :)  Try to copy and paste the link in a new window and see if it works correctly.
 
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In Australis Sorrel is called curly leaf dock. It is usually regarded as a week but I eat it around once a week. I collected many seeds from one plant but I havent planted any yet.
 
Andie Carter
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Denise Cares wrote:

Andie Carter wrote:

Denise Cares wrote:Jen, here's some good information here   https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-grow-sorrel-4121351  with just what you need to know for dividing your plant. I would love to have some in my yard. How near are you to Grass Valley?  



That's an article talking about a very different sorrel, Oxalis vs this garden sorrel, which is in the Rumex genus. Very different growth habit, not related at all, though they do both taste sour due to the oxalic acid in them.



Andie, don't ask me how it happens that when one clicks on the link I posted above it opens to a very different page about "How to Get Rid of Wood Sorrel" which is an invasive grass with a small yellow flower!  That is NOT what I linked to. Even the web page url//and number of the article are different. I can't figure out or explain how it can cross-over by just clicking on the link! Very strange electronic voodoo...dooodoo..doodoo!! :)  Try to copy and paste the link in a new window and see if it works correctly.



It is very weird because when I copy paste, it still switches. I even tried googling the phrase, and clicking a link that looks like what you were trying to link, and it also went to the getting rid of wood sorrel page. So that is in fact some very strange electronic weirdness going on.
 
Andie Carter
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John Algar wrote:In Australis Sorrel is called curly leaf dock. It is usually regarded as a week but I eat it around once a week. I collected many seeds from one plant but I havent planted any yet.



That's really interesting, because up here curly leaf dock refers to Rumex crispus, while garden sorrel is Rumex acetosa. I've eaten both, and they're both tasty! Though one is much harder to get established in your garden, lol.
 
Jen Fulkerson
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Mother nature has decided for me. I've been very busy and haven't deleted with the sorrel.   I was in the garden and noticed the sorrel looked terrible. I noticed it looked a little wilted the other day, so I watered it and didn't think about it.  So when I saw it today my first thought was gopher. This is one of my old beds that just has weed cloth on the bottom. I have never had a problem with gophers getting through the weed cloth, I know they must be able to. I dug up the sorrel. I didn't find a hole in the weed cloth, but something is definitely eating the root.  I did see a lot of ( pill bug, rolly Polly, potato bug, saw bug) what ever you call them.  I have heard of there's an overpopulated area, and not enough decomposing matter they will eat plants.   I'm not sure this is the problem. I just didn't see any evidence of gopher activity, and I did see ton of these bugs.
I decided the plant, and put the roots in a bucket of water.  Then I put the plants in pots.  I hope they make it, but between the damage that was done, and my inexperience I don't know if any will survive. If they don't I will plant more seeds.
In the bed I removed some of the soil under and around where the sorrel was. I dusted the hole and the top of the rest of the bed with diatomaceous earth.  I try not to do any bug control, even organic, but I decided the balance is off for some reason. It's going to rain tomorrow, so it will be in affective.  I just don't want the rest of the veggie in this bed gobbled up.
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Jen Fulkerson
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Sorrel in pots. It's cold and rainy today, I'm not thrilled, but the sorrel actually looks better than it did in the bed. Maybe I did the right thing. Time will tell.
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Jen Fulkerson
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The sorrel is growing like crazy.  
In hindsight I realized my first thought was the correct one.  It was a gopher getting into that bed. I must have gotten to the sorrel just in time. It shows how hardy it is to take that much damage, and not only survive, but thrive.
I redid that raised bed putting hardwire cloth on the bottom to prevent future attacks.  I replanted a nice clump of sorrel in the same place because it seemed happy there.  I gave my friend at work a nice clump, and have a few left.  
 
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