The New England Farmer 6(43): 337 (May 16, 1828)

DANDELIONS

Mr. Fessenden, — Last year in May, I set out two rows of dandelions, which were taken up when in bloom, not being able to attend to it before. They were placed a foot apart, and the rows two feet asunder, and about one hundred feet in length. The leaves all perished, but having hoed the earth upon the roots, others sprang up in a few days, and continued to grow, luxuriantly, until autumn, and covered all the space between the plants. Just before the ground froze straw was spread over them. In February they were opened and my table has been supplied with an abundance of greens and salad since. They have been cut four times, and some of them five. The rapidity with which the leaves shoot out after cutting, is greater than in any plant I have ever seen. Some of them were covered with flower pots, after the fourth cutting, to blanch the leaves for salad, and they are nearly or quite equal to endive. In five days after the pots were put over, the leaves which had previously been cut close to the crown of the root, shot up five inches in height.

1 kept the ground, which is very rich, hoed and raked between the plants, during the last season and the present.

Thus, at little trouble and expense, can a family be supplied with greens and salad, from February until sea-kale and asparagus come in.

They may be set out, at any time after the frost is out of the ground; but the present answers perfectly well. I would recommend that the rows be three feet asunder, and the plants two feet apart in the rows; for I find mine are too crowded, as each plant, last autumn, covered an area of from fifteen to seventeen inches in diameter.

Care must be taken not to cut the leaves so close as to injure the flower buds.

Very respectfully.
Your most ob't. servant,
H.A.S. DEARBORN.
Brinley-place, May 7, 1828.