Experiments on the cultivation of dandelion for salad use: I. Study of cultivation methods and their influence on yield and sensory quality

Taina Kuusi, Kirsti Hårdh, Helena Kanon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Cultivation of mild-tasting dandelion types for salad use has been studied as one part of an investigation aimed at evaluation the possible uses of dandelion. Eleven Finnish agamospecies were compared with two middle-European varieties, ’Vollherziger, verbesserter’ and ’Vertde Montmagny’in regard to preferred methods of cultivation as well as to yield level and quality properties. Further, suitability and effects of the culturing methods were studied, the main variables being level of fertilization and use of various coverings to bleach the rosettes. Of the cultivation properties, particularly the earliness, flowering, winter hardiness, vigour of growth and resistance against diseases and pests were considered. The yields in spring varied between about 50 and 150 kg/are. When growth was in light the bitterness of all the agamospecies and varieties studied was only slight and when effective covering was used bitterness was in significant. The sensory quality varied somewhat depending on the agamospecies or variety and method of cultivation, being at best very good and at worst satisfactory. In the conditions studied, the higher level of fertilization was too high. The single black film, the black fibre cloth and thick bark humus layer were all suitable coverings. Though they decreased the yield (at least when calculated as dry matter), the coverings improved the taste and texture of the rosettes. With film and fibre cloth, rosettes were somewhat more greenish and yields better than with bark humus. The humus also made the rosettes more succulent and crisp, so that the texture was improved. This method is laborious, however, and better suited for home gardening than commercial cultivation. Of the agamospecies and varieties studied, the best for cultivation in light were Taraxacum hemicyclum, T. lanyphyllum, ’Vollherziger verbesserter’ and ’Vert de Montmagny. For cultivation under covering the best were ’Vert de Montmagny’, T. hemicyclum and T. pallidipes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-22
JournalJournal of the Scientific Agricultural Society of Finland
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1984
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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