It’s not quite time to plant here in the Midwest yet, but it’s getting closer. If you are a fan of fresh greens, I’d like to encourage you to start thinking about planting some this year. Like sprouts, they are incredibly easy to grow, will last for months if you pick them frequently, and it’s really wonderful to be able to just step outside your door and pick a variety for a yummy salad. Greens will even grow in a large container, so don’t let your lack of gardening space stop you!
We regularly grow with success (and very little work) kale and romaine lettuce. Spinach does well some years, but sometimes the bunnies get the best of it!
A few tips:
- Select varieties that you enjoy eating. Once the greens start producing, they will produce a lot, so make sure you enjoy eating it!
- Try to get out there to pick the greens at least a few times a week. Just select some of the larger leaves and cut off near the stem. The plant will continue to grow upwards adding more leaves as it goes. It will start to look a little “leggy” which basically means lots of leaves and the top and a long stem, but don’t worry, that is normal and it will continue to produce. If you don’t cut the leaves often enough, it will get too heavy and there won’t be room for it to continue to add leaves.
- Consider “sharing” plants with a neighbor. If you have another gardener nearby and you buy your plants in sets of four or six you will end up with a larger variety if you split the packs! Ditto if you use seed packets.
- Check this zone guide and the instructions on your seed packet or plant to determine when you should consider planting – typically after the last frost although you can successfully cover young plants if you are careful.
- If you can, stagger your planting (maybe every two weeks apart for six weeks). This will ensure you have plants maturing at different times and will hopefully help your supply last longer.
I hope you start planning at least a few greens for the summer. I think you’ll find there is nothing like a salad made with greens fresh from your own garden!
Be Healthy. Be Happy.
How to use those greens? Get your copy of my menu planning e-course “Menu Planning Made Easy” and don’t allow those fresh greens to go to waste!