Growing salad greens

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Growing salad greens

Postby Dendra » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:21 am

After going to several stores the past few weeks and being disappointed in the quality of their alternate salad greens, I've decided to plant my own again. We can get good spinach and lettuce, but the rest (prewashed, baby greens) dont seem fresh enough - they are often bruised or slightly turning yellow. Or there is too much 'baby lettuce' in the mix, or too much bitter arugula. No thanks.

I'm going to plant some tried and trues that I know I like - tatsoi, mizuna and whatever I still have seed for. I already have mache, beets, chard, parsley, kale, and spigarello going, but still small.. Most of the latter were to be grown for mature greens, but I see no reason to not grow them for tender salads too. But I need to plant more of everything since salads twice/day uses so much.

Fortunately our climate allows for outside winter growth of salad stuffs.
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Re: Growing salad greens

Postby Faith in DC » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:57 am

You are fortunate to be growing salad greens this time of year.

For those of us in winter mode, maybe try Microgreens. I went to a class on them. No they aren't going to feed a family of 4 with a daily salad but it would be nice as a supplement to the grocery store stuff.

Any hey don't put arugula down :) I love that stuff.
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Re: Growing salad greens

Postby Chimichanga » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:36 pm

I would like to grow green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, kale, collard, bok choy. Can someone share their experience as to which ones you can grow in north easy I'm in Zone 6 upstate NY.
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Re: Growing salad greens

Postby Faith in DC » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:15 pm

right now, they won't grow outside in the open. I'm zone 7.5 - I get my salad greengs started outside in early April, unless our March is looking very mild, then I may take a chance and put them in then.

Do you have a green house?
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Re: Growing salad greens

Postby Chimichanga » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:42 pm

What leafy green you can grow in spring/fall? I know you can do lettuce but not sure about the others.
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Re: Growing salad greens

Postby Plumerias » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:10 am

Chimichanga wrote:I would like to grow green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, kale, collard, bok choy. Can someone share their experience as to which ones you can grow in north easy I'm in Zone 6 upstate NY.
I gardened in zone 6b, central Ohio. I couldn't start planting until some time in March. I usually celebrated what I called "the planting of the green", meaning peas and other cool weather crops, about St. Patrick's Day, March 17th. The soil simply was too cold until then. If the soil is too cold, the seeds will likely rot, unless of course, the birds get them first. A soil thermometer comes in handy. There is usually information on the seed package giving a range of germination temperatures.

Now, inside some kind of cold frame structure, I did keep some mixed lettuces until almost Christmas a few mild years. But these were already established plants, not seedlings. They didn't really grow a whole lot, just kind of a stasis thing, but darn it did feel good. I'd just take all the seeds I had left, mix them together, and just broadcast seed them into the designated area. If I remember correctly, the red varieties performed better than the green ones.

I never had any luck with spinach, spring or fall, although fall was better. Sometimes I had luck with trying to overwinter some spinach though, assuming a mild winter, one with enough snow cover to protect the plants. I know that sounds odd, snow cover to protect, but it prevents the cycle of freeze and thaw to a certain degree, as well as frost heaving of the plant. Spring warmed too quickly, and it would just bolt and go to seed, in a very short time. Annoying.

I'm not a fan of cruciferous greens, so I can't speak to them. I do believe most of them prefer cooler weather though.

And, FWIW, green onions (aka spring onions or scallions) will overwinter, but may go to seed early in the spring following the winter.

Johnny's Select Seeds has a really fun selection of all kinds of greens.

Of course, this time of the year there's always the set of sprouting jars in the kitchen.
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Re: Growing salad greens

Postby Faith in DC » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:32 am

yes sprouting too. I forgot about that.

I've got kale and chard in right now, put hay around them. I don't have a cover or cold frame. We've had a super mild winter, but I think our luck is turning come Monday. The temps are getting more seasonal or below. So I'm cutting it back and see what happens.

I have had zero luck with spinach also.
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Re: Growing salad greens

Postby kittyadventures » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:13 am

Most of the greens do well in milder winter... Swiss chard, collards, and mustard greens all do great. Spinach is a light weight. Cabbages doo okay too. For lettuces you would need to grow the reds and also the romains do okay... Although that is in my milder climate 9

We only usually get down in the twentys during the coldest part of winter. Most days rang from the mid thirties to the mid fifties during the day... Some years into the tweens but not often.
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