Growing leafy greens

November 15, 2010 | By | Comments (0)

Who needs to eat more leafy greens?

I’m trialing a bunch of unique varieties from The Cook’s Garden in our fall/winter garden.

All of them are very easy to grow. Sow seeds directly into the soil, about 1/4″ deep. You can plant in rows or broadcast by hand. I kept the beds moist through germination and covered them with floating row cover to keep the birds away. Harvest information is listed for each specific green.

You can get another planting in if you live in a super mild climate (like us). Or drool over the seed catalogues (what else is winter for?!) and plan what you’ll sow just as soon as the ground can be worked next spring.

Picture 4

Endive, ‘Catalogna Garnet Stem’

The leaves can be harvested at 4-6″ tall, or they can be thinned, giving each plant more room to form a┬áhead. It’s hard to see from the photo, but here is a dramatic red midrib forming up the middle. Hence the name? It’s gorgeous.

Picture 5

Dandelion ‘Ameliore’

No, I’m not just showing you a patch of weeds (though it sure feels like it!). This is an intentionally sown dandelion patch. Leaves can be cut just above the crown for a cut-and-come-again approach, or I can thin them and let each plant grow bigger before harvest.

Here are some recommendations for cooking with dandelion.

Ok. Now we’re getting to the good stuff. This is the most beautiful leafy green I have ever grown.

Wait for it…..wait for it…..

Picture 6

Mizuna ‘Red Streaked’

Unbelievable, right? It’s gorgeous. It’s also super sweet and crispy at this small size.

Picture 7

They should be thinned to 4-6″ apart. Mizuna can last an entire season by harvesting the outer leaves and making sure the new growth is unharmed.

What an easy way to take any salad from regular to F-A-N-C-Y.

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